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     LOT 273
Desirable Documented Early Production U.S. Ainsworth Inspected Colt Cavalry Model Single Action Army Revolver with John Kopec Letter - Serial no. 3476, 45 LC cal., 7 1/2 inch round bbl., blue/casehardened finish, walnut grips. Manufactured in late 1873 (nos. 3478 is the last shipped Cavalry of 1873, per Kopec letter). O.W. Ainsworth’s desirable “A” inspector mark is found on the trigger guard, barrel, cylinder, back strap and bottom of grip. A “P” proof is found on the cylinder and barrel. The barrel has the one-line Hartford address, and the frame has the two-line patent dates marking followed by an obliterated “US.” The ejector rod has a bullseye head. The left side of the grip has a faint script letter cartouche. The matching full serial number is found on the frame, trigger guard, back strap, cylinder, and barrel. Ainsworth physically inspected SAA revolvers recorded in the serial number range 200 through 14343. This was the first major block of U.S. Cavalry revolvers. Per the included letter of authentication, noted SAA expert and author John Kopec states the revolver was likely issued to the 4th Cavalry during the early Indian Wars period and noted the replacement base pin screw, obliterated “US” frame markings as characteristic of a period soldier/deserter stolen revolver and correct script barrel address. He concludes the authentication letter, “Truly this revolver remains a ‘cut above’ the revolvers we frequently encounter. It clearly shows the thoughtful care of its former owner(s).” CONDITION: Very good plus. Strong traces of original blue finish remain on and around the ejector rod housing and traces of original case colors remain
on the frame and hammer in the protected areas, otherwise a smooth brown-gray patina. The grip is also very good with a couple chips at the toes, high edge wear and minor handling marks. Mechanically functions, but is slightly out of time as cylinder skips. Estimate: 10,000 - 16,000
LOT 274
Desirable, Historic, Documented U.S. Artillery Model Colt Single Action Army Revolver with Pre-Custer Battle Lot 5 Frame Formerly of the Dr. H. Sterling
Fenn Collection - Serial no. 4547, 45 LC cal., 5 1/2 inch round bbl., blue/casehardened finish, walnut grips. This U.S. Artillery Model Colt SAA revolver is accompanied by a “Letter of Authentication” (copy) by Colt Single Action expert John A. Kopec. The letter describes the features and condition of this revolver, and the details of the Colt “Artillery” alteration and refurbishment. In the letter, Kopec notes that the frame no. 4547 places it within the historic Lot Five (nos. 4500-5504)
serial number range. Lot Five was one of the prime groupings of SAA revolvers issued to the 7th Cavalry from Ft. Abraham Lincoln on July 2, 1874, just before the 7th’s departure to the Black Hills and Custer’s infamous defeat at Little Bighorn. “Our
records indicate that most of the serial numbered components of this revolver have been substituted (changed) at on possibly two previous occasions. During 1982 when Dr. H. Sterling Fenn purchased this revolver from Mr. Dean Williams
it had the following components fitted to its frame #4547; triggerguard #48962, backstrap #136628, cylinder
#1119-DFC, and barrel #5369-A. Later we find that most components were again changed. The trigger guard
was changed to #17243; the backstrap to #17057. The cylinder to #8289-J and the barrel was changed to #6106-L and these are the
serial numbers currently appearing on this revolver.” Kopec also states the grips and mainspring have been changed out and the
second style ejector is incorrect for the early barrel. When the revolver was documented and photographed for “Cavalry & Artillery
Revolvers...a Continuing Study” (see page 269), it was fitted with the serialized components listed in Kopec’s letter when it was owned
by Dr. Fenn. The frame serial number 4547 is listed on page 271 among the known Lot Five SAAs now surviving as Artillery Models.
The frame has the “US” marking. The trigger guard (no. 17243) is in close proximity to host revolver no. 17128 which belonged to Troop F, 7th Cavalry as of July 10, 1888. In the letter, Kopec noted, “These later revolvers had been issued to the ‘Custer Avengers’ just some four month after the famous Custer Battle on October
3, 1876.” The back strap (no. 17057) falls into a serial range sub-inspected by W.W. Johnson and is in close proximity to no. 17004 that was issued to Troop C, 5th Cavalry. The cylinder (partial serial number 8289), too, falls into a serial number range of host revolvers sub-inspected by W.W. Johnson and is in close proximity to no. 18289 that was issued to Troop L. 7th Cavalry. The barrel (partial serial number 6106) is in close proximity to host revolver no. 16320 known to have belonged to Co. F, 6th Cavalry.
CONDITION: Very good with substituted components (see above). The barrel and ejector rod housing retain 80% of the blue finish. Strong traces of blue remain in the cylinder flutes and in and around the protected areas of the grip straps, otherwise mottled brown-gray patina. Slight traces of case colors remain on the hammer and frame. The replacement grip is also very good with a couple chips at the bottom, high edge wear and minor handling marks. Mechanically excellent.
Provenance: Dean Williams; Dr. H. Sterling Fenn.
Estimate: 5,000 - 7,500

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