Page 84 - Auction84-Book3
P. 84

   LOT 3095
Scarce Engraved Smith & Wesson No. 1 Lever Action Repeating Pistol - Serial no. E8, 31 cal., 4 inch bbl., blue finish,
rosewood grips. This Smith & Wesson No. 1 Lever Action Repeating pistol was manufactured by Horace Smith & Daniel B. Wesson in Norwich, Connecticut c. 1855 and assembled by the Volcanic Repeating
Arms Company. The serial number is stamped on the left side of the butt beneath the grip and on the bottom of the lever spring. “8” is stamped on the inside of both grips. All the visible serial numbers match. The serial number of this pistol indicates that it is one of the No. 1
pistols assembled and sold by the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company after July 1855. This pistol has the Type II features which include: crowned
muzzle, rounded T-bar spring and loading lever without finger spur. The part-round/part octagon barrel has a nickel-silver pin front sight and clam-shaped steel
magazine follower. The top and side barrel flats are roll-stamped with the legend: “SMITH & WESSON/NORWICH. CT./CAST STEEL/PATENT/FEB. 14, 1854”. The receiver
has a fixed rear sight, hammer with knurled spur, loading lever with finger hole but no spur and small semi-circular cut-out on the front of the ejection port. The receiver side plates and top, rear and back strap and back of the hammer are engraved with the standard S&W scroll and leaf factory engraving. The pistol originally had a browned barrel and blued receiver. The two-piece,
bag-shaped rosewood grips have a varnished piano finish. Total production of the S&W small frame Volcanic pistols is estimated to be less than 1,200 pistols. Some 500 of these pistols, like this example, were assembled by the Volcanic Repeating Arms Company in 1855-1857 using parts acquired from Smith & Wesson.
CONDITION: About good. This pistol has all the original components and remains fully functional. The barrel and receiver have a dark, gray-brown, patina with scattered surface discoloration and scattered pitting. The barrel legend is light but fully legible. The simple but well-executed factory engraving is distinct. The grips are very good condition and retain 50% of the original varnish finish. There is an old repair on the
loading lever at the finger hole. This No. 1 Lever Action repeating pistol is a key and hard-to-obtain piece for any advanced collection of Smith & Wesson or Winchester firearms.
Provenance: The Milan J. Turk Collection.
Estimate: 5,000 - 7,000
LOT 3096
Extremely Scarce Engraved Venditti Second Model Lever Action Pistol - NSN, 9 mm cal., 6 3/4 inch octagon bbl., blue finish, walnut grips. This extremely scarce lever action pistol is one of only 350 manufactured across the first and second models of Italian maker Pietro Venditti. This pistol is similar in many ways to the American Volcanic Pistols, and until recently was thought to have influenced Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson in their design. It is now surmised, that Venditti did not have his first experience with firearms design until after his release from prison in 1860, well after Smith & Wesson had patented their design. This is supported by the lack of any appearance of this mechanism if the “Catalogue of the Great Exhibition” printed in 1851 where Smith and/or Wesson supposedly got the idea, as well as the fact that no documentation exists showing either man leaving the United States at that time. For more information on this subject see pages 145-148 of “Volcanic Firearms: Predecessor to the Winchester Rifle” by Edmund Lewis and Stephen Rutter. The barrel bears traces of the first model style “SISTEMA VENDITTI” marking on the
top flat. This marking is flanked by factory engraved scrollwork that extends to the top of the frame, frame sides at the front, side plates, and back strap. The frame is brass with iron side plates. The pistol has a 10-shot tubular magazine and two piece checkered grips with escutcheons. CONDITION: Fair. The iron surfaces have turned to a dark gray with pitting throughout. The brass has an attractive mellow appearance with crisp engraving. The hammer and muzzle collar screws and lever ring are replacements. The front sight and lanyard swivel are absent. The grips are very good with some worn checkering. Mechanically very good. A scarce handgun in the evolutionary development of lever action arms. Provenance: The Milan J. Turk Collection.
Estimate: 3,500 - 5,500

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