Page 291 - Auction84-Book2
P. 291

 LOT 1559
Very Scarce Documented Russian Contract Colt Government Model Semi-Automatic Pistol with Factory Letter - Serial no. C52552, 45 ACP cal., 5 inch round bbl., blue
finish, walnut grips. Originally ordered
in 1916 and 1917, the Russian Contract Colt Government Model pistols were
ordered by the Imperial Russian government from Colt. When placing the order, the government of Great Britain acted as an intermediary, using a line of credit established by the Russians and backed by hard gold reserves held in Britain to cover the bill. Britain’s role as go-between is the source of the signature marking on the left side of the
frame, “ANGL. ZAKAZIE”(transliterated) for “English Order”. The Russian Contract pistols as-issued otherwise bore only standard Colt markings like this example. By 1916, the situation on the Eastern Front was already getting well out of hand for Russia,
and in 1917 they went through the February and October Revolutions, which brought about both the fall of the Imperial government and the successor Provisional Government, which led to the rise of the Soviet Union. Additionally, some reports of the final assassination of Tsar
Nicholas II and his family put a pair of Colt .45 ACP pistols among the weapons used by the Bolshevik party, in particular one used by Yakov Yurovsky, leader of the squad who is noted as having fired the opening shot directly into the Tsar’s chest. Russian Contract Government Model
Colts are very rare on the American market in any condition, as they saw hard use through multiple conflicts and virtually none were ever exported by the Soviet Union. The left side of the slide has the two-line, two-block address and patent dates with the Rampant Colt behind the
serrations and the caliber marking on the right side. The barrel is a later production replacement marked “P” on the bottom. The left side of the frame is marked with the aforementioned contract marking and “VP” and “b” on the trigger guard, with the model marking and serial number on the right. It is fitted with the standard blade and notch sights, long smooth trigger, wide checkered hammer, short grip safety, smooth mainspring
housing, diamond pattern checkered grips, lanyard loop, and an unmarked two-tone magazine with lanyard loop base. The included factory letter
confirms the current configuration (grips not listed) as well as shipment to the government of Russia on 3 August 1916 in a 5,000 gun shipment.
CONDITION: Fine, retains 60% of the original high polish blue finish with the balance having thinned to mostly a smooth grey patina, primarily on edges, the grip straps, and in the form of the some spotting on the left of the frame and slide. The grips are very good with some scattered minor dings and scratches, and otherwise crisp checkering. Mechanically excellent. Provenance: The Dr. Robert Azar Collection.
Estimate: 9,500 - 16,000
LOT 1560
Rare Documented Mexican Contract Colt Model 1902 Military
Semi-Automatic Pistol
with Pearl Grips, Mining Executive Identified Holster and Factory Letter - Serial no. 31113,
38 Colt auto cal., 6 inch round bbl., blue finish, pearl grips. Manufactured in 1908. The accompanying factory letter confirms the 6 inch barrel in .38 caliber, blue
finish, (Factory Engraved:) Mexican eagle stamped on top of the slide, and pearl grips, and was one of 600 pistols sold to the Mexican government and shipped to the Mexico City, Mexico,
dealer A. Combaluzier on February 27, 1908. This pistol correctly falls into the serial number range (30631-31612) of the 600 Model 1902s with pearl stocks and Mexican eagle slide stamp purchased by the
Mexican government as identified in William Goddard’s “The Government Models” on page 184. The Mexican government later purchased an additional 200 Model 1902s for a grand total of 800 pistols with pearl stocks
and Mexican eagle slide stamp. “Although 800 pistols were produced,” wrote Douglas Sheldon, “apparently few have survived and even less have returned to the United States” (see “A Collector’s Guide to Colt’s .38 Automatic
Pistols,” page 116). The pistol has the square butt, slide lock on the left side of the frame, lanyard swivel and eight- round magazine that distinguish it from the Colt Model 1902 “Sporting” pistol. Features rear slide serrations, blue
barrel and unmarked blue magazine. The left side of the slide is marked with the standard two-block two-line patent dates and Hartford address, with the circled Rampant Colt behind the serrations. Standard two-line caliber markings on the right side of the slide. The left side of the trigger guard bow is stamped with a “6” assembler’s mark on the lower rear and the Colt “VP/triangle” proofmark
on the front top. The top front of the slide is factory roll marked with a Mexican snake and eagle/wreath marking. Fitted with smooth pearl grips. Comes with five framed photographs depicting life in Mexico in the early 20th century and an unmarked tan flap holster with the name “LOUIS S. CATES” as well as “PARRAL”(a city in Mexico) handwritten on the inside of the flap. Per included research complied by the consignor, Louis S. Cates (1881-1959) was an American mining engineer and businessman who received his mining engineering degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1902 and started his career in the mining fields of Parral, Mexico. He later moved to Utah taking a job with the Boston Consolidated Mining Co. where he was made manager in 1910 and played a major role in the development of the Bingham mine. He went on to hold several high level positions with mining companies operating in the southwest until he eventually became president of Phelps Dodge Corporation, and under his leadership from 1930 to 1947, Phelps Dodge became the third largest copper producer in the world.
CONDITION: Fine. 40% plus original high polish blue finish remains with the balance a mix of gray and brown patina. There is some scattered pin prick type pitting. The grips are also fine with some very minor chipping and cracking. The markings are crisp and clear. Mechanically excellent. The holster is also fine with much of the original brown polish, some mild flex cracking, some minor wear, and tight stitching.
Provenance: The Doug Ellison Collection.
Estimate: 5,000 - 8,000

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