EXTRAORDINARILY RARE CASED CONSECUTIVE NUMBERED PAIR OF EXHIBITION QUALITY COLT MODEL 1860 ARMY PERCUSSION REVOLVERS FROM THE GENERAL JOSEPH R. HAWLEY ESTATE.
SN 151388/151389. Cal. 44. Incredible pair of ’60 Army revolvers that are consecutively numbered and nearly identical with blue & color case hardened finish, each having 8″ rnd bbl, German silver front sight, 1-line New-York U.S. America address and mounted with smooth 1-pc ebony grip. Frames are 3-screw type cut for shoulder stock. Cyls are rebated with Ormsby Naval battle scene roll marking. Revolvers are engraved, probably by Master Engraver Gustave Young in late vine style with about full coverage foliate arabesque patterns on the frames with some scrolls terminating in flower blossoms. Left side of frame on SN 151388 has “COLTS PATENT” engraved n a pillow shape while SN 151389 has the small stamped “COLTS PATENT”. Engraving extends over the sides of the bbls and terminates forward of the address. Several scrolls terminate in flower blossoms with a scroll on the left bbl lug of number 151389 terminating in Mr. Young’s dogs head and the right side in his mythical birds head. Backstraps, buttstraps & trigger guards are engraved to match with shoulders of backstrap engraved in quarter flower blossoms. Tops of the backstraps are engraved in Mr. Young’s typical fan pattern. Ends of the wedges are also engraved and the hammers are deluxe engraved with wolf heads on each side of hammer noses, foliate arabesque patterns on the shanks, & fish scales on top edge and sides of spur. Accompanied by their orig, most elaborate and spectacular silver mounted, solid rosewood double casing versus the usual veneered style. The casing was made by William Milton and his casings were recognized as the very finest. Case has silver reinforced corners with a silver English style lifting ring in the center of the lid, a mortised lock with scalloped escutcheon & sliding latches at each front corner. The interior is purple velvet lined and compartmented in the bottom for the revolvers, a spectacular “COLTS PATENT” trophy of arms & flags angle spout flask, a bow-legged, blued steel “COLT’S PATENT” bullet & ball mold with sprue cutter marked on the right side “44H”, a packet of Colt’s Cartridge Works combustible cartridges, 2 L-shaped nipple wrenches, 2 lacquered tins for Eley’s caps, 2 spare hammer springs, a spare trigger & a spare trigger return/lockbolt spring, a set of 11 spare screws and a centenary of American independence, a pressed oak medallion with the bust of General Joseph R. Hawley who was the President of the U.S. International Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876. These wooden medallions were created at the Expo and sold as part of a set of 6 in a fitted case. These revolvers are in the same 151,000 serial range as the more elaborately engraved General Grant “Liberty” and “Union” Model 1860, SN 151713 and another nearly identically engraved ’60 Army with ebony grip that belonged to Lt. Huntington Frothingham Wolcott, a Civil War veteran, SN 151385. Joseph Roswell Hawley (Oct 1826-March 1905) was the 42nd Governor of the State of Connecticut, a Republican politician, Civil War general, journalist & newspaper editor. In 1857, he was a leading organizer of the Connecticut Republican Party and became the editor of the party newspaper. In April 1861, Hawley helped recruit and organize and infantry company, the 1st Connecticut Infantry, and was elected Captain. That unit saw combat at the first Battle of Bull Run in July. His term of service was only 3 months and after mustering out assisted Col. Alfred Terry in raising the 7th Connecticut Infantry, a 3 year regiment and was named Lt. Col. Hawley’s unit participated in the major battles of Port Royal, Ft. Pulaski, Siege of Charleston Harbor, Battle Oulstee, Bermuda Hundred Campaign, Siege of Petersburg & the Battle of Wilmington along with several other minor battles & skirmishes. He rose through the ranks, being promoted to Brig. General in Sept 1864. He remained Chief of Staff for the Department of Virginia until October 1865, having risen to the rank of Brevet Major General and was mustered out of the Army Jan. 1866. He served as Gov. of Connecticut April 1866 – April 1867 and had Oliver Winchester as his Lt. Governor. After leaving office he purchased the Hartford Courant newspaper and combined it with the Press newspaper. He served 2 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and 4 terms as a U.S. Senator. From 1873-1876 he served as President of the United States Centennial Commission which planned and ran the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. He was a trustee of Hamilton College from whence he received a law degree in 1875 and later in 1888 another law degree from Yale. Two weeks after stepping down from his office in the Senate, he died in Washington, DC. These revolvers are pictured in the Texas Gun Collector July 1969 and in color in books by R. L. Wilson Colt An American Legend and Colt Heritage, both on pg 103. Part of the caption reads: “According to tradition, the set had been borrowed from Colonel Colt for an exhibition, and was never returned to the factory”. It is believed General Hawley was presented these pistols by the Centennial Committee for his effort as President for the Centennial Commission. They are truly extraordinary Colts and are some of the most elaborate known today. PROVENANCE: Jonathan M. Peck Collection; Jay Altmayer Collection; Larry Scherrin Collection; Warren Anderson Collection; Paul Tudor Jones II Collection. CONDITION: Pistols are nearly identical with SN 151388 retaining about 99% glossy, special polish bright blue and brilliant case colors. Grip frame retains about 60% orig silver and grip is crisp & new. Cyl has a long thin scratch over 1 chamber. SN 151389 is also crisp and new but shows some flaking on the bbl and thinning of the finish on the major diameter of the cyl. Otherwise, retains brilliant case colors with crisp grip. Grip frame retains about 60% orig silver. Both guns appear to have never been fired or used and as such, are in extraordinary orig finish. It should be noted that the rebated part of the cylinder on 151388 had some teeny prickling or pitting and was partially polished at the time the guns were finished at the factory. SN 151389 is missing the wedge screw, which has been missing for as long as anyone can remember. Case has a couple of grain checks in the lid, otherwise is sound with light handling & storage nicks & scratches and retains most of its bright orig varnish. Silver furniture is also fine. Interior is lightly faded inside the lid with a couple of stains from contact with revolver cylinders. Bottom is heavily faded with damage from front sights & hammer spurs. Mold & flask are superb and like new. Nipple wrenches & spare parts are also crisp & clean. Cartridge packet has old cellophane tape over a broken toe edge. Cap tins are fine. Wood medallion is crisp & clean. 49941-2 (250,000-350,000) – Lot 2149Click here to view rotating image | Click here to view provenance
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