This classic Colt "Model 3" variation "Root" revolver was manufactured in 1861, the final year of .28 caliber production. Unlike the earlier "Model 3" revolvers, this one is late enough that it drops the pointing hand motif on the barrel before the "+COLT'S PT./1855+" and "ADDRESS COL. COLT/HARTFORD CT. USA.+" barrel markings, but it retains the distinctive full-fluted cylinder. It has beautiful factory scroll engraving likely executed by Herman Bodenstein and is similar to other examples attributed to him in Houze's "Colt Factory Engravers of the 19th Century." Bodenstein became the primary engraving contractor for Colt when Gustave Young returned to Germany in 1858 and remained the primary engraver until his untimely death by drowning in 1865. Much of Bodenstein's work has been mis-attributed to Young over the years. The engraving consists of classic scroll engraving with punched backgrounds along with some borders. The barrel has a cone front sight, and the top strap has a groove rear sight. Matching serial numbers are on the bottom of the barrel and butt. The back of the cylinder has a "G" and the matching serial number stamped over a different number. The grip has some nice figure and a glossy "piano" varnish.
Fine. The engraving remains crisp. 40% original blue finish remains. The hammer and loading lever have some areas of bright original case colors. The balance has a mix of silver-gray and brown patinas, and there is some isolated minor oxidation and pitting. The cylinder has a very noticeable crack/fracture visible at one of the chambers, and the safety notches are filed off. It mechanically needs work: the cylinder rebounds when the hammer is lowered, and the hammer doesn't have a half-cock and has a replacement screw. The grip is also fine and has minor lower edge wear, nice figure, and 90% of the original varnish remaining.
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