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SN 818. Cal. 36 (actually measures .41). Blue finish with 7-1/2″ oct bbl, tiny German silver front sight with rear sight in the hammer nose. Top flat of bbl is marked “Patent Arms M’g. Co. Paterson, N.J.- Colt’s Pt.”. There is a star & snake pattern at each end of the address. Bbl lug is fitted with a 3-pc Ehlers rammer with assembly no. “125” on all 3 pieces and on bottom flat of bbl by the spring catch. Cylinder is 5-shots with rnd stop notches, rnd shoulders and the stagecoach hold-up scene roll marking. Mounted with 1-pc walnut grip that is matching numbered to this pistol. Grip has repairs to the front edge & toes. SN was observed on the wedge, rear face of bbl lug, rear face of cylinder, cylinder pin ring, rotating ring, hammer, right side of front strap under the grip, inside backstrap and in the buttstrap channel of the grip. A tiny matching number is also found on outside of buttstrap. Bore has 11 lands & grooves with right hand twist. According to various publications there were about 1,000 of this model Paterson pistol produced 1838-1840. In 1841 the Patent Arms Co. had become insolvent and creditors, including John Ehlers forced a bankruptcy sale wherein Mr. Ehlers purchased the remaining stock of Paterson revolvers with rights to assemble and sell finished pistols. He apparently assembled a few hundred Paterson, of all models, with his patented rammer including a few No. 5’s. It is also reported that a few finished revolvers that had been sold by Colt were returned for the addition of the Ehlers lever. This exact revolver is pictured as part of a cased set on page 147 of The Paterson Colt Book, Wilson & Lavett with credit to the Paul Sorrell collection. The Paterson revolver series of pistols was Colt’s first successful revolvers in the beginning of a dynasty. 150 of the No. 5 model pistols were sold to the US Navy and 180 were sold to the Republic of Texas for their Navy. Many of the Texas Navy Paterson’s were subsequently issued to the renowned Texas Rangers where they gained fame and made Colt’s fortune. Of the 1,000 No. 5 pistols produced, subtracting the US Navy & Texas Navy orders, totaling 330 pistols leaves only 670 pistols that ever made it onto the civilian market. Of those few, extraordinarily few were fitted with Ehler’s levers. The vast majority of No. 5 Texas Paterson revolvers encountered today are completely without finish and usually in relic appearance. Finding one today with orig finish and strong cylinder scene is a great rarity. PROVENANCE: The Paul Sorrell collection. CONDITION: Very fine, all matching as noted above. Bbl retains about 50% orig blue with scattered spots of fine surface rust and the loss areas a medium to dark patina. Frame retains a mostly plummy blue/brown patina with a few small spots of fine pitting and a series of small dings around the hammer screw, which is a replacement. Recoil shields are a mottled dark patina with light dings and scattered fine pitting. Cylinder is a blue/brown patina with traces of orig blue through the stagecoach hold-up scene roll marking and shows about 50% roll marking. Backstrap & buttstrap retain about 60-65% strong orig blue. Grip, with its aforementioned repaired front edges & toes has a couple of small dings on the left side and retains most of its restored finish. Mechanics are fine, strong dark bore with moderate pitting. 52511-1 JRL (75,000-125,000) – Lot 1123

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Auction: Firearms - October 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.