Page 110 - Auction84-Book1
P. 110

 Extremely Rare U.S. Martially Marked Carbines
   Collector’s Fact
One of only 175 Sharps Model 1851 carbines issued to the U.S. Army. Many of these were issued to the 1st and 2nd U.S. Dragoons.
  LOT 223
Scarce Early U.S. Contract Sharps Model 1851 “Box Lock” Breech Loading Percussion Carbine - Serial no. 191, 52 cal., 21 5/8 inch round bbl., brown finish, walnut stock. This model was the first model of Sharps carbines issued to the U.S. Only 175 were ordered and marked for the U.S. Army and issued to the 1st and 2nd U.S. Dragoons in the Southwest in 1854 and 1855 making them especially desirable for Sharps and U.S. martial arms collectors. This example has the proper “US 1852” marking on the buttplate and “U.S/S.K/P” marks on the barrel for a U.S. contract carbine. It also has the usual Sharps and Maynard patent markings. The barrel has a brass blade front and flip up “squirrel ear” rear sight. A long sling ring bar runs from the left side of the receiver to the brass barrel band. The Model 1851 was redesigned by Richard S. Lawrence and William Jones based on a model submitted by
Christian Sharps. The changes made to the design without Christian Sharps’ involvement are part of what led to him leaving the company, but this model, manufactured by Robbins & Lawrence, established the Sharps as one of the most advanced and desirable American firearms of the 19th century, and the Sharps rifles and carbines were famously used by the Free Staters during Bleeding Kansas, during John Brown’s Harper’s Ferry Raid, by Union forces during the Civil War, and out on the American frontier late during the post-Civil War settlement of the West and Indian Wars. The Sharps Model 1851 carbines are distinguishable from the later Sharps firearms by their hammers which are mounted inside the locks. CONDITION: Good with a mix of brown patina and artificial brown finish on the barrel and action, enhanced recut markings mostly visible on trapdoor on receiver and barrel, attractive aged patina on the brass, four cuts on the right side of the buttplate near the heel, and some small marks and scratches. The re-oiled wood is good with traces of the cartouches on the left, repairs at the toe, scattered scratches and dings, and mild overall wear. Mechanically fine. This is a very scarce antebellum era Sharps carbine that would have seen use in the legendary American Southwest in the 1850s by the U.S. cavalry in skirmishes with the Navajos and Apaches. These U.S. contract Sharps Model 1851 carbines are rarely available and are thus missing from most U.S. martial arms and Sharps collections. Provenance: The George Moller Collection. Estimate: 4,500 - 7,000
LOT 224
Rare Burnside First Model U.S. Saddle Ring Percussion Carbine Serial Number 37 - Serial no.
37, 54 cal., 21 3/4 inch round bbl., blue/casehardened finish, walnut stock. This is an example of one of
less than 300 total First Model Burnside carbines manufactured by Bristol Firearms Co. circa 1857-58. A reported 200 First
Models were purchased by the U.S. government, with most issued to the 1st U.S. Cavalry at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas in January 1858 and carried
on various expeditions. This example is marked with sub-inspector initials “ADK” (Andrew D. King, the K is faint) on the left of the barrel at the breech.
A tape primer device located inside the frame is actuated by a breechblock release lever mounted on the right side of the frame (currently not working
properly); unique to the First Model Burnside carbines, with subsequent models absent both the primer system and this style of lever. According to “The Burnside
Breech Loading Carbines” by Edward A. Hull pg. 15-17, “...on April 21, 1856, Col. [Henry] Craig [Chief of Ordnance] ordered 200 carbines of Burnside for field trials... By the
terms of this first Army order for carbines [Ambrose] Burnside was to provide carbines of .54 caliber having a barrel 22 inches long and weighing less than seven pounds overall.
The carbines were required to have a swivel bar with ring for cavalry use. In a change to the design, Col. Craig required that the carbine be configured to use Maynard’s tape primer...
This requirement presented Burnside and Foster [Burnside’s partner and head gunsmith] with the problem of developing a primer feed mechanism which would work reliably, could be readily manufactured and avoided infringing on Dr. Maynard’s lock patent (to avoid paying royalties).” Like the second model after it, it correctly lacks a forend. Blade front and flip up ladder rear sight. Matching numbers are on the frame, breechblock, and underside of the barrel. The stock is fitted with an unmarked German silver oval plaque on the left of the stock and a brass trapdoor buttplate. “GDM” (George D. Moller) collection initials marked at the toe of the stock.
CONDITION: Good, exhibiting genuine use with a mottled brown patina on the barrel, some dings, gray patina on the frame with scattered moderate pitting. A repair is visible on the forward
portion of the lever. The stock is also good with period wear, some light scratches, scattered handling marks, a small crack at the toe, and numerous light chips around the lock. Mechanically excellent. These early First Model Burnside carbines are one of the most highly sought after U.S. arms and very rarely turn up in any condition, with only a handful known to still exist!
Provenance: The George Moller Collection.
Estimate: 5,500 - 8,500
Collector’s Fact
One of approximately only 200 First Model Burnside carbines purchased by the U.S. Government.

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