Image Lot Price Description



SN 1568. Cal. 31. Very rare pistol with 3-1/2″ oct bbl that has integral magazine, pinched post front sight and fixed rear sight in a dovetail in top flat of frame. Mounted with smooth, 2-pc, square butt walnut grips with last 3 digits of matching SN inside each grip. SN was also observed on left side of buttstrap under the grip. Receiver and sideplates are silver plated and very nicely factory engraved with a patriotic American shield on each sideplate surrounded by foliate arabesque patterns and a sunburst over the top. Matching patterns are lightly engraved on the front and rear sides of the frame, over the top and on the backstrap with feather patterns surrounding the hammer slot. The transition flats from the sideplates to the front flat panels are engraved in a wide border pattern, with fine border patterns completely around the sideplates. The New Haven Arms Company was the successor to the Volcanic Arms Company which had succeeded Smith & Wesson, the inventors of this design of action. Oliver Winchester, a shirt maker by trade, invested in the Volcanic Arms Company about 1855 and when Smith & Wesson dropped out in about 1856, he apparently assumed control and reorganized the company into the New Haven Arms Company in 1857. The company remained in production under that name until about 1860. The design of this pistol was incorporated into the very successful Henry Model 1860 lever action rifle of Civil War fame and later became the basis for the Winchester Model 1866, 1873 & 1876 series of firearms which established the Winchester Dynasty. The Volcanic cartridges were simply a hollow base lead bullet filled with propellant and priming mixture and were severely under powered. A misfired round or the desire to unload a chambered round was virtually impossible to remove from the chamber without aid of a ramrod type tool and as such the buying public did not readily accept this design which resulted in the very limited production. According to Flayderman’s Guide to Antique Firearms only about 850 of these rare pistols were produced 1857-1860. Those examples that were engraved from the factory generally followed a very standard pattern. Finding one of these pistols with patterns that deviate from the standard is extremely rare, especially a patriotic theme such as found here. CONDITION: Very fine, all matching. Bbl and magazine retain about 15% bright blue in the most sheltered areas with the balance a blue/brown patina. Frame and sideplates retain about 85% orig silver showing edge wear and most of the losses to the right side. Hammer retains faint case colors and the lever a brown patina. Grips are sound showing sharp edge wear with a few nicks and scratches and retain most of their orig varnish. Mechanics are fine. Bright shiny bore with a few scattered spots of light pitting. A very rare Volcanic pistol. 51820-2 (17,500-22,500) – Lot 1004

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Auction: Firearms - April 2017
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.