Page 63 - Auction84-Book1
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 The included 2002 notarized letter identifying this historic firearm from
George M. Young, Jr. indicates he is a direct descendant of Mormon leader Brigham Young and was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on July 11, 1946. His father was George M. Young, and his grandfather was Percival Young. He states: “The Sharps Pistol Carbine, #79 with Beehive engraved on the patchbox was by family tradition, the property
of Brigham Young.” Included additional genealogical research shows that his great grandfather was Elder Alfales Young, only son of Brigham Young and Eliza Burgess Young, and that Alfales Young was close to Brigham and regularly corresponded with him. It is documented in Sharps records that Alfales placed a $150 order with the Sharps Rifle Company for a deluxe engraved Sharps- Borchardt Model 1878 Long-Range Rifle with a leather trunk case, reloading tools and cartridge cases on July 20, 1878. Alfales, who
and engraving, aside from the beehive, is very similar to the consecutive pistol-rifle pictured and discussed on page 146 of “Sharps Firearms- The Percussion Era: 1848- 1865” by Marcot, Paxton, and Marron.
The wonderful beehive motif engraved
on the patch box lid is impressive, and unquestionably a special order feature direct from the factory. Bees and beehives have long held symbolic significance to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Joseph Smith’s grave had a beehive placed over it. Stained glass windows, doorknobs, sculptures and other objects throughout the Mormon world exhibit the beehive motif. It was meant to be a symbol of the life work and enjoyment of their finished endeavors. An October 11, 1881, article in “The Deseret News” explained the symbolism: “The hive and honey bees form our communal coat
of arms...It is a significant representation of
worked as a newspaperman, used the rifle for long-range hunting and shooting and kept it until his death on March 30, 1920.
Only 550 Pistol-Rifles (aka Pistol-Carbines) are estimated to have been manufactured
in 1857-1860, so even without the immense historical interest, this rifle would be very scarce, not to mention that only a handful
of those are engraved such as this exquisite example. This pistol-rifle is a 1st Model, 2nd Type chambered for the .36 caliber Sharps “Extractor Arm” cartridge. It has a knurled band at the muzzle, blade front sight, “tube” rear sight with notch sight inside and groove on top, “C. SHARPS & CO’S/RIFLE WORKS/ PHILA, PA.” marked on the left side of the frame, “ C. SHARPS/PATENT/1848-52” marked on the right side of the frame below the hammer, “79” marked lever and breechblock, “27” marked forend cap, scroll and border engraving on the frame, a burst pattern engraved on the receiver ring, light border engraving on the patch box and beehive and checkerboard pattern on the lid, varnished forearm and stock, and attractive figure on the latter. The configuration
the industry, harmony, order and frugality of the people, and of the sweet results of their toil, union and intelligent cooperation.”The beehive became one of the most prominent symbols in Utah. Brigham Young’s primary home was called the Beehive House at 67 East South Temple Street in Sat Lake City which was named after the traditional bee hive sculpture on the roof, which is similar to the hive engraved on the patch box (images included). The Beehive House was the executive mansion of the Utah Territory in 1852 to 1855.
CONDITION: Fine with 90% original plum brown finish on the barrel, 75% bright blue finish on the frame, 75% original case colors on the furniture, smooth gray and brown patina on the balance, repaired/reattached upper tang, and minor overall wear. The wood is very fine and has attractive figure, most of the partially refinished varnish, small chip at the upper right corner of
the repaired/refinished wrist, and some minor scratches. Mechanically excellent. A sensational and well-documented piece of American history.
Estimate: 75,000 - 150,000
 Brigham Young

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