Image Lot Price Description



SN 333587. Cal. 45 Colt. Nickel finish with 4-3/4″ bbl, full front sight and 2-line address with caliber marking on left side. Left side of frame has 2-line 3-patent dates and rampant Colt. Mounted with fine 2-pc pearl grips with a large relief carved Mexican eagle on left side. The heel of left grip is chipped with a solid gold well fit apparently contemporary restoration. SN was observed in three places on bottom of revolver with last four digits on rear face of cylinder. Revolver is classically engraved by Cuno Helfricht with about 40% coverage foliate arabesque patterns with punch dot background. A nearly identically engraved single action is pictured on p. 300 of Colt Engraving, Wilson. Top of back strap, left recoil shield & loading gate are engraved with light sunbursts. Left side of bbl boss on frame & ejector rod housing boss are engraved with hunter stars. Top strap is engraved with snake & dot patterns and the top gullet of ejector rod housing is engraved in a snake pattern. Cyl is engraved with light arabesque patterns on the lands between the flutes and has a light snake pattern around rear edge. Accompanied by a Colt factory letter identifying this revolver as found in 45 Colt with 4-3/4″ bbl, nickel finish, pearl stocks and factory engraved, shipped to Stauffer, Eshleman & Co., New Orleans, LA, c/o: A.J. Anderson Co., Fort Worth, TX on Aug. 17, 1916 in a 2-gun shipment. Of note, the second gun in this shipment, SN 333530, was sold on these floors as Lot 1289, October 29, 1996 and equally in extremely fine condition. Also accompanied by a copy of a hand written note from previous owner stating that this revolver has never been offered for sale publicly or privately until the previous owner purchased it from the family of the person who had purchased it new. He states that the revolver was initially purchased by a Mr. Atkinson who worked for the railroad in Waco, TX and bequeathed it to his daughter of Gatesville, TX. Her husband’s name was Thomas R. McClellan who was a U.S. Navy Rear Admiral with a long Texas history dating back to Coryell County, TX to at least 1864. A bit of genealogy from this family shows that John Bingham Atkinston obtained his law degree from the University of Texas in 1911. He was later Attorney for McLellan County from 1912 to at least 1916 when this gun was made. Is it possible that this was a wedding gift to County Attorney who would no doubt be prosecuting some dangerous types? A few years later,he became an inspector for the IGNR Railroad in Waco, TX. Atkinson, who was outlived by his father-in-law John Scott Paul, also worked for the Texas & Pacific Railroad at the time this gun was made. The McClellan family were well known in the era of this pistol. James Rufus McClellan, known as “Rufe” was District Attorney and Judge responsible for prosecutions including one of the 1914 murder trial of Texas hit man and psychopath Felix Jones. The jury was initially deadlocked and he was released and on the street in 1916 when this gun was purchased. Jones was not nailed on another murder case until 1918. Once newspaper account concerning Felix Jones states “would have killed his mother for a dime”. In 1920, McClellan became a District Judge with a tough reputation of upholding the law. At one point he ordered the destruction of $200 worth of booze during Prohibition that would hardly endear him to the local populace. As a judge, he presided over murder trials including the 1922 trial of a drill master at a local reform school with essentially running a kid to death. This District Attorney and Judge needed protection. PROVENANCE: Atkinson/McClellan Family of Waco and Gatesville, Texas. CONDITION: Very fine to extremely fine, all matching except 2-pc grips which are numbered internally (#354) and appear to be Colt, though probably were added by the owner in Texas as grips lack the medallion seen on factory guns of this date. Grips do fit quite well and the gold restoration to one toe is extremely well executed and unique. Overall retains about 95-96% strong orig nickel finish with light holster wear on left side of bbl and left edge of muzzle with some light wear on front sight, otherwise shows little evidence of having been fired. It will not hold at half-cock and safety notch missing. Bright shiny well defined bore. 50412-39 (30,000-50,000) – Lot 4257

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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.