RARE CASED ENGRAVED PAIR OF HARTFORD/LONDON 3RD MODEL DRAGOON PERCUSSION REVOLVERS- NRA SILVER MEDAL No. 283.
SN 135 & 136. Cal. 44. Revolvers are virtually identical with 7-1/2″ oct to rnd bbls, German silver front sights and New-York City right hand addresses with brackets. Left sides of frames are engraved “COLTS PATENT” in ribbons. The silver-plated brass trigger guards and backstraps contain highly figured, 1-piece oil finish walnut grips. Cyls and bbl lugs have English proofs. They are similarly engraved in English style with light foliate arabesque patterns in about 50% coverage without background shading. Hammer screws are engraved with large rosettes, recoil shields are engraved with foliate and floral patterns. Foliate arabesque patterns extend over the bbl lugs and top side flats, onto the rammer pivot and leaf and vine patterns on rammer handles. The 2 rammer screws also have engraved rosettes. Rammer screw on #135 enters from the left and on #136 from the right. Cyls have usual 6 chambers with Dragoon/Indian fight scene roll marking. The “MODEL U.S.M.R. AND COLT’S PATENT” panels appear to have been hand enhanced. Accompanied by an original, brass-bound, green felt lined, English oak casing with empty medallion in the lid and swinging latches with a mortised lock in the front. Period original casing originally designed for 8″ revolvers, now housing these 7 1/2″ guns. Inside the lid has an original Colt’s directions for loading and cleaning label. Bottom is compartmented for two revolvers, a Barlow bag shaped flask with graduated spout, a brass Colt’s patent 2-cavity mold with bright sprue cutter and bowed handles with an “S” inspector mark on the right side, 2 large tins of Joyce caps, 2 L-shaped nipple wrenches, a sealed packet of 6 combustible cartridges, a pewter oil bottle, a military-style steel oil bottle, a wood handle cleaning rod, 7 spare nipples and a small turn screw. Also accompanied by an NRA sliver medal awarded for one of ten best arms displayed at an NRA meeting. According to The Book of Colt Firearms, Wilson, there were only about 700 Hartford/English Dragoons produced in the period 1853-1857. He speculates that there were about 150 of those 700 that were engraved. It is well recorded that there were 73 engraved English dragoons returned to the US in September, 1861, just at the onset of the Civil War. Simple extrapolation of the estimated numbers shows that probably fewer than 80 English dragoons were sold in England. This pair of revolvers is pictured on pg. 149 of Colt Engraving, Wilson; pg 236 The Colt Engraving Book Volume One, Wilson; pg 62, plate 35 Samuel Colt Presents, Wadsworth Atheneum; pg 70 of Colt’s History & Heroes, Hamilton and pg 98 The Book of Colt Firearms, Wilson. None of the illustrations show a case. PROVENANCE: Johnie Bassett Collection; J.P. Altmeyer Collection; George Allen Collection; Robert Q. Sutherland Collection; Arnold Marcus Chernoff; Michael Leff Estate Collection; Mr. Leff’s notes show also the William M. Locke Collection. CONDITION: Revolvers are in virtually identical condition, all matching except grip on #135 which number is obscured. Overall both revolvers retain a smooth, cleaned gray metal patina. Cyl on #135 shows 80-85% strong dragoon Indian fight scene with clearly legible cartouches. Grip on #135 has been repaired with what appears to be a screw and re-gluing with a plug in the left side. This grip retains a fine hand worn patina. Cyl on #136 also retains 80-85% strong dragoon Indian fight scene with sharp, slightly enhanced cartouches. Grip also shows a glued repair and retains a smooth, hand worn patina. Neither grip shows much wear. Mechanics are fine on both revolvers. Bore on #135 is bright with scattered pitting. Bore on #136 is bright and shiny with a few scattered spots of pitting. Case has a couple of grain checks in the lid, otherwise is sound with usual handling and storage nicks, scratches and a few small gouges and retains about 80% original varnish. Interior is moderately faded with yellowed label and light soil in the bottom. Flask has a small dent otherwise is fine with traces of original finish. Mold has a few light nicks and dings with bright sprue cutter and has sharp cavities. Cap tins show spots of rust with one label showing wear with a couple of missing spots. Cartridge packet is crisp and clean, still sealed. Other accessories are fine. Altogether a fine and rare set. 4-49622 (75,000-100,000) – Lot 2146Click here to view rotating image
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