FINE LEECH & RIGDON CONFEDERATE REVOLVER CAPTURED BY UNION NAVAL OFFICER.
SN 944. Cal. 36. This particular revolver is among the very finest examples of this model known. This gun appears 100% orig and complete with all matching SN, 944. This gun was purchased by Norm Flayderman from direct descendants of Civil War Naval Captain John Adams Howell. Captain Howell was a graduate of the Naval Academy in 1858 and served throughout the Civil War being promoted to Lieutenant Commander before War’s end and retired a Rear Admiral. Rear Admiral Howell had a long and adventurous military career including his part in the capture of Confederate Ironclad Tennessee in August 5, 1864 at the Battle of Mobile Bay. We mention this capture as there is a great possibility that that is where this gun was made a souvenir as SN 605 Leech & Rigdon was captured off that same vessel on same date. SN 605 is pictured in several reference books with a plaque that reads “Ensign P. Fred Harrington / U.S. Navy / U.S.S. Mononcahela / Mobile Bay, Alabama / Friday Aug 5th 1864 / Captured with the Rebel Ironclad / Tennessee”. This gun has all standard features associated with these pistols made in Greenboro, Georgia. Bbl is marked “LEECH & RIGDON CSA” on top bbl flat. Cryptic of four dots in a cross is seen on left side of trigger guard. SN are found on all parts normally numbered on this gun, including bbl housing, loading arm, latch, wedge, frame, arbor, cylinder, trigger guard and backstrap. This gun retains a thin bright glossy plum color over much of its surface which appears to be original blue that has simply turned. Mr. Flayderman notes on the original tag still attached to this gun “Extremely fine Confederate Leech & Rigdon Revolver – probably the finest known specimen”. This is truly a magnificent gun with beautiful color and crisp fine markings that would be difficult to replicate with Civil War Naval capture history. This gun is pictured on page 196 of Norm’s book The Bowie Knife. PROVENANCE: John Adams Howell, USN. Norm Flayderman Estate Collection. CONDITION: This gun retains about 90% of its plum color to bbl, bbl housing, and loading arm. Cyl retains about 80% of this same plum, though thin with areas of staining and pin prick pitting. The frame is gray with traces of finish with finishing marks still present. Brass trigger guard and backstrap have mustard colored patina with typical scattered scratches. Trigger bow exhibits several casting flaws as can be seen in photos. Stocks are sound, solid, and well fit retaining about 90% orig varnish with scuffing on bottom edges. Bore is crisp and well defined and gun is mechanically sound. 4-51127 JS5 (40,000-60,000) – Lot 2115
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.