This revolver was manufactured in 1853 and has stunning Germanic scroll and floral engraving on the barrel, loading lever, frame, hammer, trigger guard and back strap. The engraving most likely executed by John Marr. The engraving is closely matches the engraving on the examples attributed to Marr on pages 73-77 of "Colt Factory Engravers of the Nineteenth Century" by Herbert Houze who notes, "Marr was hired, in 1853, as an engraver by Samuel Colt on the recommendation of Herman Bodenstein whom he had known in Zella." Marr only lived in Hartford for two and a half years before he moved to Milwaukee, so the number of Colt's he engraved for the factory is very limited, but his engraving style is very clean and refined and definitely has a different look to those familiar with revolvers engraved by Gustave Young and his shop. The barrel has a small brass cone front sight and "Saml Colt" hand inscribed on top. The cylinder has the stagecoach hold-up scene and a "3" marked perpendicular to the serial number. The frame has "COLTS/PATENT" hand inscribed in a rectangular panel among the scrolls. Matching serial numbers are found on the loading lever, wedge, arbor pin, cylinder, barrel, frame, trigger guard, and back strap. The revolver comes in a fitted mahogany case with a brass dual cavity mold without sprue cutter, L-shaped screwdriver/nipple wrench, cap tin, and small eagle powder flask.
Fine. The engraving is crisp throughout. The grip straps retain 90% plus of the original silver plating which displays an attractive dark aged patina. The barrel retains 50% plus of the original blue finish, and the cylinder has 30% of the original blue and a distinct scene. The balance has smooth gray and brown patina. There is some minor wear, including light pitting around the breech and cylinder face. The grip is also very fine and has beautiful natural grain and aged patina, some slight age cracks, and minor shrinkage. Mechanically excellent. The case and accessories are fine and have mild age and storage related wear, such as some rears and staining on the lining and a dent on the flask. This is a stunning early Colt percussion revolver with very distinctive factory engraving. Gustave Young and Herman Bodenstein were the dominant engravers of percussion Colts, but others such as John Marr also engraved a select number of these historic handguns, and their artistry is rarer.
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