Page 27 - Auction84-Book1
P. 27

         So proud was he that he signed it seven times, including on
the bottom of the frame...Made as a presentation from the
president of Peru, Jose Balta, to the president of Bolivia, Mariano
Melgarejo. The frame, forend, buttplate, and carrier block are all
of solid silver, believed to have been supplied to Winchester from
the rich mines of Peru.”The rifle is also featured on the dust jacket
cover and opposite of one of the title pages of the same publication and
on page 33 of “Winchester: An American Legend” also by R.L. Wilson. In addition to Wilson’s books, this rifle is featured and discussed on pages 356-357 of “Winchester Repeating Arms Company: Its History and Development from 1865 to 1981” by Herbert Houze, and singularly on a page in “Steel Canvas”.
A cased privately printed text on the rifle titled “The Solid Silver Winchester Deluxe Engraved by
L.D. Nimschke and Fully Documented in the Book L.D. Nimschke Firearms Engraver...” from Wilson
is also included and includes photographs of the rifle, copies of relevant pages from Wilson’s publications, and more. On the cover he notes it is “a unique masterpiece of an American gunmaker with a combination of features found on no other gun. Signed by the engraver more times than any other gun in his 50 year career.” Inside, Wilson reiterates some the same points as in his publications discussed above and notes “the Solid Silver Winchester - only solid silver Winchester ever built - stands unquestionably as one of the premier firearms in the history of American gunmaking. The ultimate in fine guns are those which feature a combination of history, craftsmanship and artistry, mechanical superiority and romance. The Solid Silver Winchester excels in all of these comprehensive
"Signed seven times by the master engraver"
themes.” He then breaks down how
this rifle is exceptional in each of those
categories. Among the peculiar details he points
out aside from Nimschke’s incredible work, the history,
and immense rarity of the silver construction is the lack of
serial number which he notes “makes the Rifle even more important,
and rare.” He also discusses his plans to include the rifle prominently in an
expanded edition of “L.D. Nimschke: Firearms Engraver” with Dr. Richard Marohn
along with “The Art of American Arms.” He concludes, “It is the writer’s firm opinion that the
Solid Silver Winchester Model 1866 Rifle ranks as a unique example of the per-eminent position of American gun making in the 19th century.

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