Lot #194
Lot #196

Lot 195: Wells Fargo Marked Colt Model 1851 Navy Revolver

Historic Wells Fargo & Co. Marked Engraved Colt Model 1851 Navy Percussion Revolver

Auction Date: December 9, 2022

Lot 195: Wells Fargo Marked Colt Model 1851 Navy Revolver

Historic Wells Fargo & Co. Marked Engraved Colt Model 1851 Navy Percussion Revolver

Auction Date: December 9, 2022

Estimated Price: $5,500 - $8,500
Price Realized:

Historic Wells Fargo & Co. Marked Engraved Colt Model 1851 Navy Percussion Revolver

Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1851
Type: Revolver
Gauge: 36
Barrel: 7 1/2 inch octagon
Finish: blue/casehardened/silver
Grip: walnut
Stock:
Item Views: 681
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 165
Class: Antique
Description:

Manufactured commercially in 1861, this Colt Model 1851 is finely engraved/inscribed "Wells Fargo & Co." on the right side of the barrel lug. Just the name Wells Fargo conjures up iconic imagery of the American Old West, especially stagecoach holdup scenes popularized by Hollywood that they became a standard Western troupe. A film could not be considered a true Western without a nail biting scene depicting armed men on a high speed stagecoach engaging in battle. Founded in 1852 for the initial purpose of providing banking service to California, Wells Fargo rapidly grew due to demand caused by the California Gold Rush, and by the time the gold rush came to an end in 1855, Wells Fargo dominated the banking and express service industry in the West. Pieces of the Wells Fargo legacy, especially those that date to westward expansion (c. 1861-1890), are in high demand by collectors. This Wells Fargo marked Model 1851 certainly has the look of spending a lifetime out in the harsh environment of the unruly American West. It is not hard to imagine this revolver carried at the hip of a stagecoach driver. The barrel has the standard one-line New York address, the frame has the "COLTS/PATENT" marking on the left side, the cylinder has the naval scene, and matching full or partial serial numbers appear on the frame, barrel, trigger guard, back strap, loading lever, cylinder, wedge, and arbor pin. The grip has great character with three "kill notches" and the letter "W."

Rating Definition:

Very good showing all the wear and tear of a hard working piece of 19th century Americana. The cylinder does not lock properly after the hammer is fully cocked, otherwise the action functions fine. From the smooth gray patina to the worn cylinder scene to "kill notches" on the "W" initialed personalized grip, this Model 1851 sure has all the character of trusty sidearm that spent a lifetime in a cruel, inhospitable environment of the American West. As a Wells Fargo marked Model 1851, this Colt will certainly add dimension to any American antique firearms or American West collection.



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