EXTREMELY RARE 1 OF 1000 WINCHESTER MODEL 1873 DELUXE LEVER ACTION RIFLE.
SN 31270. Cal. 44 WCF (44-40). Rare 2nd Model rifle with 28″ oct bbl, full magazine, a gold-washed Beach’s combination front sight, early style semi-buckhorn rear sight with checkered edges & thin base sporting rear sight with 4″ staff. Mounted with 2-3 X flame grain American walnut with early style checkered forearm and straight stock with crescent buttplate that has trap containing an orig 4-pc steel & brass cleaning rod. Left side of lower tang, under the wood, is marked with the assembly number “897” and “XX”. Matching assembly number is also found in top tang channel of buttstock & inside toe of buttplate. Receiver is 2nd type with attached dust cover rail and 3rd type dust cover with impressed checkered thumbprint and has single-set trigger. Bbl is engraved over the chamber area in what is commonly accepted as 4th style with script panel “One of One Thousand”. This panel has a fine chip & dot border and an elaborate fleur-de-lis at the front end. The top side panels in the same area are very nicely engraved in foliate arabesque patterns in fine pearled background and it has a silver band at the receiver. Matching engraving patterns are found on 7 of the 8 flats around the muzzle and front sight, also with a silver band around the muzzle. Magazine tube is 1st type with screwed in plug. This rifle was the 4th Model 1873 1 of 1000 reported in 1950 during the search for such rifles by the Universal Movie Studio who produced the James Stewart film Winchester ’73. This rifle was at that time owned by Scott Merry of Tacoma, WA, who reported that he had purchased it “from an old rifleman by the name of Widum”. According to the book The Story of the Winchester 1 of 1000 and 1 of 100 Rifles, Lewis, this rifle was received in the warehouse November 14, 1878 along with 5 other consequentially number 1 of 1000 rifles and shipped November 20, 1878 to order number 13488. The same order also contained 3 Winchester Model 1876 1 of 1000 rifles. Remarks on two of the 1876 rifles states “returned by Skinker 5/1881”. John Skinker was Winchester’s West Coast agent based in San Francisco. It is well documented that he ordered a large number of the 1 of 1000 rifles, both 1873 & 1876 and later sold them at a discount when sales lagged. It can be stated with almost certainty that this rifle was one of the “Skinker” rifles which lends credibility to it having surfaced in Washington State. PROVENANCE: Scott Merry Collection; Robert Watt Collection; Paul Tudor Jones II Collection. CONDITION: Fine, all matching. Bbl retains about 88-90% strong orig blue with sharp edge wear and some minor flaking which areas show as a brown patina. Magazine tube retains blue in the sheltered areas being an overall plummy/brown patina. Receiver and sideplates retain faded case colors, stronger on right sideplate and in sheltered areas, being mostly a mottled silver/grey patina. Hammer retains strong case colors, faded on top edge. Lever retains traces of case colors being mostly a silver patina. Buttplate is a mottled silver/grey patina. Stock has a couple of tiny hairlines back of the top tang, otherwise wood is sound with normal handling and use marks with the buttstock showing light to moderate diamond point wear and retains most of its orig oil finish. Forearm is sound showing moderate to heavy wear on the checkering and is a hand worn patina. Mechanics are fine. Strong bright bore with scattered light pitting. 49941-3 JR68 (175,000-275,000) – Lot 2017Click 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.