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  The Most Comprehensive Collection of Exceptional Condition Remington Cane Guns
In this section you will find multiple pages of extraordinary Remington cane guns, the most comprehensive selection ever offered by
Rock Island Auction Company. While cane guns and swords were popular in Europe, they were never manufactured in large quantities in the U.S. making each of these pieces rare and highly desirable examples of innovative American firearms manufacturing.
 LOT 3147
Exceptionally Rare, Inscribed, E. Remington & Sons Coral Colored Cane Gun with Small Curved Handle - Serial no. 41, 32 RF cal., 28 3/8 inch round bbl., coral finish, gutta percha grips. The mid to late 1800’s saw the popularity of canes reached their pinnacle amongst the upper echelons of society, particularly in Europe and North America, with various forms of defensive canes also becoming popular. These gun canes were often carried by gentlemen for use in warding off stray dogs or the occasional ruffian that might like to help themselves to their valuables. Remington saw this as an opportunity for their fledgling company, and used a design from one of their very own employees to
    break into the market. The Remington Cane Gun was designed by John F. Thomas, Remington’s master mechanic, with the percussion version patented in 1858, and the improved rimfire version beginning production shortly after the Civil War. These rimfire examples were made from about 1866 to
1888 in two calibers, .22RF and .32RF, with this example being the latter. It is estimated that approximately 2,000 of each caliber were made, with a
few different variations of handle. Like many of the major gun manufacturers of the time, Remington was always open to special order requests from clients who were willing to pay. This example has a rarely seen small curved handle and is the extremely rare and attractive, special order, coral color. The coral finish is never mentioned in factory records, however, it has been noted by renowned Remington collector Elliot Burka that as few as three examples of Remington cane guns with this finish are known to exist, making them incredibly scarce. This is also the only known alternative finish to the various shades of brown or black seen on the majority of Remington’s cane guns. There is a small German silver band where the handle meets
the shaft that is engraved “JR Andrews MD”, and it has a serrated iron ferrule at the tip/muzzle. The faint serial number “41” can be seen at the top and bottom of the lower section of the shaft, bottom of the upper section of the shaft, and on the iron ferrule. It measures 36 inches overall.
CONDITION: Exceptionally fine, retains most of the attractive and scarce coral color on the gutta percha, bright German silver, and mostly a smooth grey patina on the iron ferrule, with a couple short hairline cracks at the top of the lower portion of the shaft, and a slightly discolored repair in the handle where it begins to curve. Mechanically excellent.
Provenance: The Milan J. Turk Collection.
Estimate: 14,000 - 22,500
   LOT 3148
Rare, Documented Early Production E. Remington & Sons “Shot Only” Smoothbore Percussion Cane Gun with “Ball and Claw” Handle - Serial no. 14, 50 cal., 26 1/8 inch round bbl., brown finish,
gutta percha grips. The Remington Cane Gun was designed by John F. Thomas, Remington’s master mechanic, and patented on 9 February 1858. These cane guns were one of the first civilian firearms produced by Remington, and were an attempt to get a piece of the flourishing market in gentleman’s defensive accessories. These Remington cane guns, like their contemporary cane guns or sword canes, were intended to give a strolling gentleman the means to defend himself from stray dogs, robbers seeking to relieve them of their valuables, or any other unforseen dangers.
It is estimated that approximately 500 of the percussion cane guns and rifles were manufactured between 1858 and 1866, with production significantly decreased during the years of the Civil War. This example, being in smoothbore “shot only” configuration, is even more scarce, with no reliable estimate placed on the total number manufactured, but the survival rate indicating that it was far less than that of the 500 rifled examples. An article in an included copy of the June 2020 issue of “Man at Arms” by Dick Littlefield goes into further detail about this specific cane. The article cites a very early Remington advertisement in which the company boasts their “NEW PATENT GUN CANE” that was “ARRANGED FOR USING BALL OR SHOT”. In most ways the two types look and operate very similarly, however, this smoothbore example lacks the short rifled barrel that other examples have, instead having a smooth steel core that runs the entire length within the gutta percha sleeve. It also has a longer chamber attached to the firing mechanism which was filled with shot and held in place with a small wad. The barrel measures approximately .50 caliber at
both ends, which is far larger than any of the known rifled examples. The serial number “14” is visible on the firing mechanism and iron ferrule at the tip, and “38” is on the chamber which may relate to shot suggestion. It is possible that these smoothbore cane guns were serial numbered in the same range as their rifled counterparts or in their
own range. The iron ferrule is also marked with the Remington address and 1858 patent date. The cane itself has the desirable brown gutta percha “ball and claw” handle, a German silver band where it meets the shaft, another silver band around the area of the firing mechanism, the remainder sleeved in brown gutta percha, and the aforementioned nickeled iron ferrule at the tip. The overall length is 33 1/2 inches. Also included is a letter on Richard Littlefield Antiques letterhead stating similar information to the article and that the cane was sold to the consignor.
CONDITION: Very fine, retaining most of the original brown finish on the gutta percha, 80% of the nickel finish on the ferrule, and attractive antique patina on the silver with a couple minor stabilized cracks, and some scattered light handling marks. Mechanically excellent.
Provenance: The Milan J. Turk Collection.
Estimate: 9,500 - 16,000

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