HISTORIC AND SPECTACULAR NIMSCHKE ENGRAVED, IVORY STOCKED WINCHESTER MODEL 1866 SADDLE RING CARBINE PURPORTEDLY MADE FOR EMPEROR MAXIMILIAN OF MEXICO AND LATER OWNED BY PRESIDENT OF MEXICO PORFIRIO DIAZ.
SN 21921. Cal. 44 RF Henry. Incredible and well known ’66 carbine with 20″ bbl, full magazine that has integral front band/front sight and a 2-position rear sight graduated to 500 yards. Carbine is mounted with an extraordinary carved, solid elephant ivory buttstock & forearm with straight grip & brass crescent buttplate with trap. Left side of buttstock is wonderfully, deep relief raise carved with the Mexican eagle perched on cactus holding a snake in its beak and right talon. The carving is extremely well detailed and has the appearance of engraving done by master engraver L. D. Nimschke. Receiver & buttplate tang are beautifully engraved in very fine, intertwined foliate arabesque patterns with very well executed pearled background showing very little overlapping in the pearls. Raised area between the sideplates and front flats are engraved in feather patterns and front flats are engraved to match the sideplates. Matching engraving extends over top three flats of the receiver, receiver ring,top tang, & buttplate tang. Most unusually, the bbl is also engraved with matching patterns over the chamber area, before & after the forearm band and behind the front band. Bottom of the receiver has one small matching pattern with bottom of the carrier engraved in diamond & dot patterns with a small 4-petal flower blossom in the center, all surrounded by very fine zigzag border. Bbl is marked with the Henry’s & King’s patent address in 2-lines. This exact carbine is pictured in full color with a full page spread on pg 53 of Winchester Engraving, Wilson. In the caption, Mr. Wilson states that this carbine is “traditionally attributed as having been created for the Emperor Maximilian and documented from the arms collection of Mexican President Porfirio Diaz”. Accompanied by a beautiful burgundy leather covered, burgundy velvet lined case with gold embossed lid. It has a leather panel in the top embossed “HIS EXCELLENCY / PORFIRIO DIAZ / PRESIDENT OF MEXICO”. This exquisite case was handmade by Arno Werner. Inside the case has a green leather label embossed identically. This case was created by Arno Werner, Master Bookbinder for Harvard University’s Houghton Library rare book collection. It has long been believed that this gun was made for Emperor Maximilian who was executed on June 19, 1867. Production records published by Madis would imply the gun was completed after Maximilian’s execution. However, Madis’ dates are speculative there are no factory records for these early 66’s and we are told various documented and date inscribed Model 66’s affirm this theory. It is also important to note that a similar Ivory stocked Model 66 ornamented with Mexican Eagle is in the Mexican Military museum in Chapultepec. It is identified as having been owned by Miguel Gregorio de la Luz Atenógenes Miramón y Tarelo. General Miramón was executed with Maximilian on June 19, 1867 and thus very strong support for the Maximilian ownership. This exact carbine is also pictured on pg 505 of The Wm M. Locke Collection book. It is also beautifully illustrated in the Texas Gun Collector “Antique Arms Annual” 1st Ed. 1971 on pg 97. At the time it belonged to Herb Glass (Sr). It is also illustrated in the 1970’s Sotheby’s Annual of Sales Results when it was auctioned by Sotheby’s at Los Angeles for Walter B. Ford, III. The gun was also featured on the front cover of Gun Report July 1963 with an accompanying article on pg 44. It is also illustrated in “Winchester: An American Legend” by R. L. Wilson and on pg 335 it depicts Mrs. John B. Solley III seated with this very gun at her feet. Obviously created by a master, probably Mr. Nimschke. This is generally considered to be the finest Ivory stocked Model 66 known, a true masterpiece. This ivory stocked Winchester, SN 21921, was awarded SN 5 Silver Medal in the NRA Annual 10 Best Firearms in the first year of that competition in 1960. Included is a detailed R. L. Wilson letter detailing much of this. In 1946, the Model 66 was temporarily loaned to Winchester, as arranged by the Metropolitan Museum for the special exhibition and again in 1966 it was loaned for the Centennial exhibition at PepsiCo Company in New York City. PROVENANCE: Acquired from the Estate of Porfirio Diaz, President of Mexico (1830-1915), after his death, by collector Walter Douglas who bought Diaz’s collection. Most of the pieces were donated to the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, Canada and those donated are fully documented, however this gun as per information from Lt. Col. Leslie Collins was one of various guns sold by Douglas to collector Lt. Col. James W. Flanagan. Flanagan’s collection subsequently sold at Parke-Bernet Gallery April 21-22, 1944 and was lot 351. William M. Locke acquired from this same sale in 1944; Richard P. Mellon via Herb Glass; W. Buhl Ford III via Herb Glass; John B. Solley III; Joseph T. Hajec; Carl Press; Paul Tudor Jones II Collection. Special Note: This item contains or is made of ivory. Do not bid on this lot unless you have read and agreed to our "Ivory Position Statement" and the "Waiver of Legal and Financial Risk to James D. Julia in regards to your Purchase of an Ivory Object." This information is located in the front section of our catalog. CONDITION: Extremely fine. Bbl & magazine tube retain about 98% orig blue with some fine surface freckling. Receiver, sideplates & buttplate retain strong traces of orig silver that has turned dark with the loss areas a pleasing dark mustard patina. Receiver & sideplates show sharp, crisp corners. Buttstock has several age lines with some cracks by right side of top tang, but is sound. Forearm has a couple of minor age lines and overall the ivory is a mellow, golden patina. Mechanics are crisp. Bright shiny bore. Case is extremely fine. 49941-1 IVORY (150,000-250,000) – Lot 2009Click here to view rotating image | Click here to view provenance
Please Note: All prices include the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium, which is paid by the buyer as part of the purchase price. The prices noted here after the auction are considered unofficial and do not become official until after the 46th day.