This revolver was manufactured in 1855 when Gustave Young is believed to have become Colt's primary engraving contractor and displays the beautiful Germanic scroll engraving Young is famous for. The left side of the barrel also incorporates a cat's head, and the use of rayed ornamentation and floral blooms are attributes associated with Young's work for Colt in the mid-1850s. The engraving is featured on the breech half of the barrel, the sides of the loading lever, all of the frame, the sides of the hammer, and onto the grip straps. The hammer has the classic wolf's head motif and five dots on the spur. These dots are often said to reflect how many days Young spent engraving the revolver. As with identified Gustave Young engraved Colts, the barrel has "Saml Colt" inscribed in place of the usual barrel address and "COLTS/PATENT" is inscribed among the engraving on the left side of the frame instead of the usual stamped marking. The barrel also features a brass cone front sight and a "2" on the left side of the lug. The left side of the trigger guard has "S" and "X." The cylinder has the standard stagecoach scene and patent markings. The serial numbers on the loading lever, wedge, arbor pin, barrel, frame, trigger guard, and back strap match, and the factory dot marking used on arms designated for engraving is marked by the lower serial numbers. The grip has a raise relief carved bust on the left side of a long haired man with a flowing mustache and beard and a hat with two feathers. These raised relief grips are much rarer than engraved Colt percussion revolvers themselves. Many of the examples that have survived with carved grips have the Mexican golden eagle and snake design or the American bald eagle and shield design rather than a more individualistic design like this very stylish and detailed bust. The revolver comes in a close fitted hardwood case with a powder flask, L-shaped combination tool, brass mold without sprue cutter, cap tin, spare nipples, and key.
Good with 25% original silver plating on the grip straps remaining and exhibiting a light aged patina, attractive aged patina on the exposed brass, mottled gray patina on the iron, moderate pitting, and general moderate overall wear. The slightly shrunken grip is very fine and has attractive aged coloration, lightly hand worn but distinct carving, some light scratches and handling marks, beautiful grain, and minimal minor age cracks. Mechanically fine. The relined case is fine and has minor scratches and dings, a small repair on the left side, and general mild wear.
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