EXCEEDINGLY RARE, JOHN ULRICH ENGRAVED ONE OF ONLY TWO EVER MADE WITH GOLD AND NICKEL FINISH WINCHESTER MODEL 1873 ONE OF ONE THOUSAND LEVER ACTION RIFLE OF ARGENTINE BUSINESSMAN DON EDUARDO CASEY.
SN 37911. Cal 44 WCF (44-40). Second model 1873 rifle with 24-1/4″ oct bbl, full magazine, half nickel front sight and short semi-buckhorn rear sight with checkered edges. Receiver is 2nd type with attached dust cover rail and 3rd type dust cover without thumbprint. Receiver has set trigger. Mounted with about 2X American walnut with early style matching checkered forearm and straight stock that has crescent buttplate with trap. Buttstock & forend cap have factory sling swivels. Receiver, side plates, dust cover, lever, hammer, bbl, forend cap, magazine band and buttplate tang are beautifully engraved in scarce patterns by John Ulrich. Engraving consists of a running bull elk on the left side plate and a grizzly bear in the left front side panel. Right side plate is engraved with a running bull buffalo and the right front side panel is engraved with a vignette of a mountain lion. All the panels are surrounded by fine intertwined foliate arabesque patterns that have fine pearled background and light shading. Top of the receiver, dust cover and bottom of the receiver are engraved to match with matching engraving on the lever, hammer, forend cap, magazine band and buttplate tang. Bbl is engraved with matching patterns on the 5 exposed flats over the chamber area which surround the panel engraved “One of One Thousand”. Muzzle end of the bbl is also engraved to match and there is a silver inlaid band at the muzzle and chamber ends of the bbl. Receiver, side plates, dust cover, forend cap and buttplate are gold plated. Lever, hammer, trigger, loading gate, magazine tube, magazine band and sights are nickel finish. Left side of the lower tang, under the wood is marked “XX” and the assembly number “193”. Matching assembly number is also found in top tang channel of buttstock, inside toe of buttplate and right bottom flat of bbl under the forearm. Bottom tang is signed “J.Ulrich”. Accompanied by a Cody Firearms Museum letter which identifies this rifle with oct bbl, set trigger, “XXX” checkered stock, sling swivel, engraved 1 of 1000, engraved “$20.00”, gold & nickel, received in warehouse Nov. 8 1879 and shipped Nov 26, 1879 to order #17571. This rifle is listed by SN on page 26 of The Story of the Winchester 1 of 1000 and 1 of 100 rifles, Lewis. According to consignor, this rifle was owned by his direct descendant, Eduardo Casey (1847-1906,). It has been handed down directly through 4 generations in Argentina until its offering by James D. Julia in this auction. Casey was the son of Irish immigrants who came to Argentina circa 1830. By age 30, Eduardo was an established rancher and was the first to export cattle on the hoof to England. He was also a member of the board of The Western Railway Company and The Buenos Aires Provincial Bank. One of his first business ventures was the purchase of 130,000 hectares (321,100 acres) of land in southern Santa Fe provance. In 1881 he acquired an additional 180,555 hectares (445,972 acres) of land which by 2 years later was fenced and on which he was running 40,000 head of cattle, 50,000 sheep and 10,000 horses. In the economic crash of the 1890’s Mr. Casey lost everything, primarily from bad investments in Uruguay. He lost all of his assets and even his personal property was auctioned to repay investors. His brother purchased most of his personal property at the auction and subsequently gave it back to him. Mr. Casey then went to England where he was able to borrow 100,000 English Pounds (about 1 million dollars) with which he repaid all of the small investors who had suffered financial losses when his investments collapsed. Mr. Casey died in 1906 at age 58, impoverished and ignored by the society to which he had devoted most of his adult life. CONDITION: Fine, all matching as noted above. Overall retains a very old restored finish with strong blue on the bbl with only a few scattered spots of light surface rust. Magazine tube retains 85-88% strong orig nickel. Receiver, side plates, dust cover, forend cap and buttplate retain most of their restored gold finish showing dark areas on the sharp edges and high points. The engraving is all crisp & clear. Lever retains about 50% orig nickel and the hammer about 65-70%. There is about a 1″ crack in the forearm at the receiver, otherwise wood is sound with a few light nicks & scratches and shows most of its fine restored finish with freshened checkering. Set trigger is not functioning otherwise mechanics are fine. Strong sharp bore with scattered light pitting. 51332-1 JRL (75,000-125,000) – Lot 1034Click here to view rotating image | Click here to view provenance
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