Image Lot Price Description



SN 9270. (ca 1893) Cal. 12 ga. 2-5/8″ Chambers. Annie Oakley “Little Sure Shot” was born in 1860, and her amazing talent for marksmanship came to light when she was just 15 years old, when she won a shooting match with traveling marksman, and later husband, Frank E. Butler. The couple joined Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show a few years later, and Annie became world renowned. Throughout her career she used a number of different firearms, some specially ordered by her, others were gifts from different gun makers. This gun was made shortly after the end of a three year European tour with the Wild West Show, and it is not known if it was a gift, or was ordered. It is directly tied to “Little Sure Shot” by its silver shield at rear of comb, engraved with monogram “AO”. There is an arched stamp in the wood to the right side of the trigger plate “OAKLEY”. The “OAKLEY” marking is quite special in that it comes from the relief die of her name, that she used to mark coins she shot in trick shooting. The gun was made with 28″ chopper lump bbls with a narrow, matted, game rib engraved “Wm CASHMORE MAKER BIRMINGHAM” and “Highest Awards. Adelaide. Melbourne. Launceston & Hobart” “Sir J. Whitworth’s Fluid Compress’d Steel”. According to Cashmore advertising, the Tasmanian awards date to 1891 and 1892, and factory records indicate SN “9444” was made about 1895. This pretty well dates this gun to ca 1893. Bbl flats are stamped with Birmingham black powder proofs for 12 ga. Bottoms of bbls are stamped with Whitworth sheaf of wheat trademarks. Case hardened boxlock action features automatic safety (SAFE engraved on gold band) and dbl triggers. Action is engraved with 90% coverage exceptionally well cut, small, tight scroll within small open scroll borders. “WM CASHMORE is in scrolled riband on each side of action. Matching trigger guard has SN on tang. Nicely marbled and lightly figured European walnut Prince of Wales grip buttstock measures 13-3/4” over checkered wood butt with engraved steel heel and toe plates. Side panels are deeply recessed and checkered, and terminate in very fine traditional drop points. Grip checkering is point pattern and borderless. The aforementioned “AO” monogrammed silver shield is on comb near heel, identical to another 1893 Cashmore now at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, WY. “OAKLEY” is stamped on bottom front right of stock. Matching splinter ejector forend with Anson release is stamped with Cashmore’s running rabbit trademark on bright polished iron. Bore diameter: left -.730, right – .729. Bore restrictions: left – .039 (extra full), right – .006 (IC). Wall thickness: left – .027, right – .030. Drop at heel: 1-15/16″, drop at comb: 1-7/16″. Cast: approx 1/4″ off. Weight: 6 lbs. 11 oz. LOP: 13-3/4″. Accompanying this gun is a notarized affidavit telling the best recollections of Helen Steel (who missed a few dates, but otherwise, story seems factual) who sold the gun to Michael Del Castello. This letter (notarized 1987) by Helen R. Steel describes what she could tell of this gun, and its history, and how her grandfather acquired it: “As I remember it was about 1921 when my step-grandfather, Albert Hale Mershon, learned that Annie Oakley had been injured in a car accident and was in a hospital in the Daytona Beach area where he and my father’s mother lived. Being a longtime fan of Annie – he and his wife took flowers from their garden to the hospital. During several visits my step-grandfather and Annie Oakley became good friends. After she was released from the hospital Grandfather purchased the shotgun from Annie for $150.00. The shotgun passed to my father, Louis Davis Steel, upon my grandfathers death in the late 1920’s. I remember my mother reading Annie’s letter which accompanied the sale, and her telling me that perhaps someday the shotgun and letter might have some value. Unfortunately my mother put the letter in a safe place, and I have been unable to find it. She died in 1966. The shotgun has remained in my possession for many years, and only because of my deteriorating health, I have reluctantly decided to part with it.” Various copies of Cashmore advertising with testimonials from Annie Oakley, one stating “The gun you made me is exactly what I ordered, and, if anything, more than I expected. I used it in my exhibitions here, and made some long shots at pigeons while the wind was blowing very strong.” This gun is possibly the best known of all of Annie’s shotguns that she obviously loved and used a lot, showing honest use, but well cared for “as found” retaining strong finish and hand worn patina. PROVENANCE: Annie Oakley, about 1893; Albert Hale Mershon, about 1925; Mrs. Louis Davis Steele; Helen R. Steel, 1966; Michael Del Castello; Greg Martin; pictured on pg 120 & 131 of “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West An American Legend” by R. L. Wilson. CONDITION: Fine, as found. Bbls retain most of their orig plum blue, with many light marks, and a few dents. Action retains approx 40% orig case color, considerably faded and lightly silvered. There is a considerable amount of pinprick pitting on fences. Blue of top lever is considerably silvered at thumbpiece. Trigger guard is somewhat squashed, and retains maybe 10% blue. Stocks retain most of what is possibly their orig oil finish, considerably worn, with numerous marks and dings associated with considerable carrying and use. Checkering is worn and grimy. There are cracks through wrist on left side starting about 1/2″ in front of trigger guard screw running up and back toward comb, with corresponding crack on right side running from behind screw up into comb. This shows evidence of old repair. It flexes slightly. Bores are fine, with scattered frosting and light pits. Action is tight. Bbls are on face. 50591-1 MGM102 (125,000-175,000) – Lot 3254

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Auction: Firearms - October 2016
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.