The accompanying factory letter confirms the 5 1/2 inch barrel in .38 Special, blue finish and deluxe engraving. The letter also states the revolver was shipped on July 26, 1957, to The Security Company of New Orleans, Louisiana. This is truly a rare piece of Colt heritage. Based on research presented by Colt SAA expert and author Don Wilkerson in his book "The Post-War Colt Single-Action Revolver, 1955-1975" only two factory deluxe grade second generation SAAs with a 5 1/2 inch barrel chambered in .38 caliber and blue finish came out of the Colt factory, and these two deluxe revolvers were engraved by Alvin Herbert (see pages 118, 119 and 125). The deluxe engraving was one of the rarest embellishments offered to the SAA line. Out of the entire second generation production, Wilkerson accounts for only 32 deluxe engraved examples. When this SAA was engraved in 1957, the engraver for Colt was Alvin Herbert, and while employed by Colt from 1954-1968, Herbert engraved a total of 65 SAAs. Herbert embellished arms for President Dwight D. Eisenhower, General Charles De Gaulle, Sammy Davis, Jr. and many other high profile politicians and celebrities. He was a prolific engraver who, as noted by Colt historian R.L. Wilson, "turn[ed] out more than most engravers could in a 25 year period." The scrollwork is similar to the patterns found on three Peacemakers that were originally part of a five gun set Herbert engraved for Colt and used by Colt for a traveling display as pictured on page 124 of the aforementioned Wilkerson book. The fine scrollwork on a punch dot background covers 75% of the surface. Double bands are engraved behind the cylinder stops, and amongst the scrolls is a floral blossom on the trigger guard. The revolver is stamped with the standard Colt markings, and the matching full serial number appears on the trigger guard, left side of the trigger guard and back strap, and both grip panels. The revolver wears a set of checkered Rampant Colt hard rubber grips and features a full blue factory finish.
Excellent, retaining 98% plus original blue finish showing a few handling marks, very slight spotting on the back strap, and light cylinder drag line. The engraving is crisp. The grips are also excellent with crisp checkering. Mechanically excellent. A great work of post-war Colt artistry that is missing from even the most advanced public or private collections. A must have for the serious SAA collector!
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