Offered here is a spectacular near full coverage factory exhibition quality engraved S&W New Model No. 3 Revolver and is a presentation gun from the head of the Argentine National Guard to the governor of the San Luis province. The factory letter confirms the revolver was shipped on April 4, 1880 and delivered to Verney & Gobert of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Although the records do not list the engraving, S&W historian Roy Jinks notes the genuine period engraving that appears to be done by a member of the Young family. The gun is featured in Dean Boorman's "The History of Smith & Wesson Firearms" on page 108 where "the typical Young family style" engraving and presentation inscription featured on the pearl grips are noted, and is also featured in Supica and Nahas' "Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson" on page 22 where the Young style engraving is cited. In this catalogers professional judgement, there is no doubt what-so-ever that the extensive coverage scrollwork was done by Gustave Young. Arguably the greatest family dynasty in 19th century American engraving: Gustave, Oscar and Eugene Young ran S&W's engraving department for 50 years (1869-1919). Nearly all of the surface features fine Gustave Young style scrollwork on punch dot background along with light borders. Even the hammer features the engraving. The revolver wears a set of plain pearl grips with the left panel featuring a presentation inscription: "Teofilo C. Gomila/a /Juan Saa." This revolver was a gift from the head of the Argentine National Guard, Teofilo Gomila, to the Governor of San Luis province, Juan Saa. The top of the barrel rib has the two-line S&W legend. The revolver is fitted with standard pinned blade front and fixed notch rear sights. The matching serial number appears on the butt, cylinder, barrel, and barrel latch. Juan Saa (1818-1884) was an Argentine soldier and politician who took part in the later Argentine Civil Wars, a series of internal conflicts that occurred from 1814 to 1853 between the Centralists and Federalists, and fought against Unitarian Bartolome Miter. Under the government of Justo Saract, Saa was appointed second chief of the Southern Division of the Army of the Confederation and later took command of the division after the death of the commander in 1856. He led a federal cavalry division to victory against Miter forces at the Battle of Cepeda in 1859. In 1860, he became governor of the San Luis province and in the same year crushed a revolt at Constitutional Fort. His army defeated Unitarian Antonino Aberastain at the Battle of Rinconada del Pocito in January 1861. Internal strife ultimately led to a war against the Argentine Confederation, and Saa found himself exiled to Chile and Europe during the presidency of Miter. Saa returned to his native country in 1880 where he died four years later. Provenance: The Supica Collection
Very fine. The frame and barrel retain 85% plus factory nickel plating and 20% original nickel remains on the cylinder with smooth dark gray patina on the balance. The engraving is crisp. The grips are also very fine with a couple surface chips, highly attractive fiery colors, and clear inscription. Mechanically excellent. A highly desirable Gustave Young exhibition quality engraved Smith & Wesson New Model No. 3 revolver presented to an Argentinian official that will be a great addition to any S&W or firearms art collection.
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