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LOT 3076
Factory Engraved and Inlaid Antique Marlin Deluxe Model 1893 Takedown Lever Action
Short Rifle with Factory Letter - Serial no. 128193, 32-40 cal., 22 inch octagon bbl., blue/casehardened finish, fancy
checkered walnut stock. Manufactured in 1895. This Model 1893 short rifle is a rarity in Marlin collecting as it is not only factory engraved but is also
factory inlaid. The engraved motif on the casehardened receiver matches Marlin’s No. 3 pattern as illustrated in Brophy’s “Marlin Firearms” on page 531. The embellishment consist of floral scrollwork on a punch dot background, borders and a game scene in a circular panel on the left side. The panel scene depicts an elk in a woodland scene, and the panel is outlined in inlaid platinum. A band of platinum decorates the front and rear of the frame. The forend cap, takedown collar, hammer, and lever are also engraved and inlaid with platinum line borders. The buttplate is numbered “119303” and is also engraved. Manufactured in 1895 per the serial number records listed by Brophy, this rifle was built when renowned Master Engraver Conrad Ulrich was engraving most of the work for Marlin. Ulrich started with Marlin circa 1881 and was with the company until circa 1910. The Marlin patterns, including the engraving on this short rifle, were designed by Ulrich who was influenced by the 19th century masters L.D. Nimschke and Gustave Young. Conrad Ulrich spent a lifetime embellishing some of the finest high
art firearms of the late 19th century to early 20th century. The rifle is fitted with a windage adjustable combination Beach front sight, a folding Lyman two leaf rear sight and a Marlin peep sight mounted on top of the receiver. The barrel is stamped on the top flat with the two- line legend ending with the August 1, 1893 patent date ahead of the rear sight and “32-40” at the breech and “SPECIAL SMOKELESS STEEL” (a marking seen on barrels made after 1904) on the upper left flat. The upper tang is marked “MODEL/1893.” The top of the receiver is marked “MARLIN SAFETY.”The highly figured select walnut forearm and pistol grip stock feature factory No. B multi-point checkering. The accompanying factory letter indicates that this rifle originally left the factory on October 10, 1895 with a 26 inch octagon barrel in .38-55 caliber, pistol grip stock and takedown configuration, but the rifle was quickly returned to the factory on October 23, 1897 and left the factory on November 4, 1897 with a 26 inch octagon barrel in .32-40
caliber, pistol grip
stock and takedown
configuration. Currently
the rifle has a post-1904
factory 22 inch octagon
replacement barrel in
.32-40 not mentioned
in the factory records.
Marlin records are
notoriously incomplete.
The engraving, inlay and
deluxe stock are certainly factory features,
but they are not listed in the records. As Marlin expert William Brophy has
pointed out, “Unfortunately, the few remaining factory records do not, with
any regularity, indicate if the gun was factory engraved or not.” The quality of
the engraving certainly makes it possible that this rifle was used by the factory for
exhibition purposes.
CONDITION: Fine. The factory replacement barrel and magazine (see above) retain 85% thinned original blue finish. 50% original nitre blue remains on the loading gate. The receiver retains 60% original case colors. The hammer and lever retain 40% original case colors. The buttplate and forend cap have faded to a gray. The revarnished wood is fine with a couple small chips on the buttstock, a few minor handling marks and crisp checkering overall. Mechanically excellent. An attractive work of late 19th century Marlin artistry.
Provenance: The Milan J. Turk Collection.
Estimate: 18,000 - 27,500

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