Very Rare Factory Engraved M1849 Colt Percussion Pocket Pistol, Nickel Plated with Ivory Grips, .31 Cal, mfg. 1856 with 5" barrel. This is a beautiful example of a true factory engraved '49 Colt executed by legendary master engraver Gustave Young. Overall the pistol retains 90%+ old re-nickel finish which is just turning frosty. The engraving on the frame, hammer, grip straps, and loading lever is sharp while the barrel scroll work is slightly washed out. Matching serial numbers visible on the barrel, frame, cylinder, backstrap, triggerguard, loading lever, wedge, and cylinder pin (barrel number is faint but legible in person). Scroll engraved "Saml Colt" barrel address and "COLT'S PATENT" marking. A punch dot can be seen near the serial numbers of the barrel, frame, triggegruard, and backstrap which is generally regarded as being the mark of revolvers which were engraved at the factory. The cylinder scene is for the most part worn away with only traces visible. The Ivory grips retain a beautifully mellowed patina and have no chips or cracks whatsoever (except for some typical grain checking). Aside from some minor shrinkage around the triggerguard they fit very well and have likely been on this revolver since new. Every component of this revolver is original throughout right down to the engraved screws! The action is strong and functions well. The cylinder sometimes lags slightly and needs just a little assistance to index properly into place. All nipples are clean originals. Fair bore with good strong rifling front to back and some light blackpowder frosting scattered about mid way. A proper cleaning will likely improve it. Overall a very impressive and attractive example of a Gustave Young engraved Colt which will surely be a highlight among any antique arms collection.
Wild West Legend Nat Love
aka "Deadwood Dick"
Important & Historic M1862 Colt Pocket Police Factory Conversion Revolver Inscribed to Nat Love, aka "Deadwood Dick", The Most Famous Black Cowboy & Folk Hero of The Wild West, Nickel Plated with Ivory Grips, .38 CF, mfg. ca. 1881 with 5 1/2" barrel. Nat Love (pronounced "Nate" Love) was born a slave in Tennessee in 1854. Love learned to read and write at an early age and in the years following the end of the Civil War he was already noted for his expert riding and horse breaking abilities. In 1870 he headed west to Dodge City, Kansas, where he joined up with a group of cattle drivers from Texas who he would spend the next two years working for. Love quickly became a formidable cowboy and marksman. In 1872 he moved to Arizona and took up work at the Gallinger Ranch. In 1876 Love drove a heard of cattle through Deadwood, Dakota Territory, and entered the 4th of July rodeo where he stunned the crowd by winning no less than six riding and roping contests. Love was declared the "champion roper of the western cattle country", a title which he proudly held throughout the rest of his years as a cowboy. It was at this rodeo Love earned the nickname "Deadwood Dick",
a name which was later regarded in his autobiography as "a name I was proud to carry and defend, if necessary, with my life." Love went on to take part in scores of adventures throughout the late 1870's and 1880's including capture by Indians, gun fights, and even encounters with Bat Masterson, Billy The Kid, and Pat Garrett. Nat Love left the cowboy life behind in 1890 after marrying the previous year and took up a job as a Pullman Porter for the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad. Love published his autobiography, "Life and Adventures of Nat Love, Better Known in the Cattle Country as 'Deadwood Dick,' by Himself", in 1907. After moving to southern California, Love spent the last years of his life working as a security guard before passing away in 1921. Today Nat Love's image, dressed in full cowboy attire, has become synonymous with American western history and is universally regarded as the most famous black cowboy of the wild west. This M1862 Colt Pocket Police Conversion was likely acquired by Love sometime in the early 1880's and is period inscribed "Deadwood Dick" in old English along the backstrap with his name "Nat Love" engraved in script on the butt. Upon close examination there is no question the inscriptions were done during the period of use. A Colt Firearms factory letter will be included with the revolver which states it was originally shipped with blued finish and stocks "not listed" (wood) to J. P. Moore & Sons of New York City as part of an order for 50 guns. J. P. Moore was one of Colt's top dealers and most assuredly was responsible for adding the Nickel finish and Ivory grips seen on the gun today. Not long after it was likely re-sold and made it's way out west. Supposedly this gun was on display for years in a large western museum back in the 50's or 60's though I have not been able to find any further information regarding where. The pistol retains approximately 65% period Nickel finish with the balance having worn to a silvery/gray appearance. There is some very shallow, old pinprick pitting along the top of the barrel with mottled traces of case color on the hammer which have turned plum. The Ivory grips fit well with some minor shrinkage & swelling along the backstrap and triggerguard. They show a heavily worn and darkened patina with various age checks and stains. There is a period replaced sliver of Ivory along the back of the right grip with a smaller filled sliver opposite on the left grip. Matching serial numbers on the frame, barrel, cylinder, backstrap, triggerguard, and cylinder pin. The wedge is unnumbered but appears original. Clear cylinder scene, patent dates, and serial numbers. The barrel address heavily worn and partially visible. Original hammer, trigger, loading gate, ejector assembly, and bead front sight. The ejector head may have been re-shaped slightly and some of the screws appear to be later replacements. The action is crisp and functions very well. The bore shows very strong rifling front to back with moderately scattered blackpowder frosting and light pitting beginning near the muzzle. A proper cleaning may improve it. Opportunities do not arise often to own a truly iconic western figure's gun and as far as we know this is the only one of Nat Love's guns ever offered for sale. This is a significant piece of American western history worthy of the most advanced collection or museum display.
Rare Original Colt Firearms Rampant Horse Desk Size Bronze Statue, ca. 1900-1930. This beautiful little bronze was supposedly taken directly from the old Colt archives and gifted to a Colt employee many years ago. I have no further provenance but do not doubt the story given the source. Our shop is located only a half hour from the original Colt factory. The bronze itself measures approximately 5 1/4" long and 5 3/4" high. It is unmarked and mounted on a 7" x 3 1/2" marble base. There are signs of a plaque being fixed to one side of the base (now missing). No chips, cracks, or repairs, and the bronze has a stunning dark green patina. The horse is a little loose on the base. I have never seen another like it. An impressive and rare display piece for any Colt collection. Extremely Rare & Outstanding Presentation Grade Nicholas Gilon M1851 Colt Navy Percussion Brevette Revolver of Army Caliber Manufactured for Manton & Co. Calcutta, Factory Engraved with Case & Accessories, .44 Cal, mfg. ca. 1860's. Pictures do not do this gun justice! From the collection of noted outdoors author Bob Simpson comes this breathtaking 100% original and untouched presentation grade revolver. This is by far the finest Colt Brevette we have ever encountered. Nicholas Gilon was a quality Belgian gun maker who was among the very first licensed to manufacture Colt style revolvers under Colt's patent with royalties paid to Colt from the sale of each gun. In later years after the licensing through Colt had expired, Gilon continued to make Colt revolvers and was subsequently accused of counterfeiting. This particular revolver was made to order by Gilon for retail through Joseph Manton's Calcutta, India based shop. Manton was of course one of the premier English gun makers of the time who had established a supplementary shop in India to supply the abundant English population within the region. The gun was most assuredly intended for an English officer or Indian royalty. The style of the gun is generally patterned after an 1851 Colt Navy however it is of the larger Army .44 caliber. Additional unique features include an elongated grip and lack of recoil shields. The barrel measures 7 7/8" long and features a small brass cone front sight with a deeply chamfered muzzle. The top flat is inscribed "COLT PATENT / COLT'S PATENT MANUFACTURED EXPRESSLY FOR MANTON & Co. CALCUTTA". The two mentions of "COLT" have been intentionally defaced, perhaps done after Colt's licensing with Gilon had expired. Overall the pistol retains an astonishing 95% original bright high polish blue finish showing only slight toning and minimal signs of handling. The screws, rammer, trigger, cylinder pin, and face of the cylinder are "in the white" and retain their original luster. The English style scroll engraving is crisp throughout. The English Walnut grips are nicely figured and retain 95%+ original varnish with no cracks or chips. There is a very small English proof visible on the left side of the barrel just ahead of the cylinder, and Gilon's mark "N / GILON" stamped on the face of the cylinder. The action is crisp and functions like new. All nipples are perfectly clean originals. Perfect bore with bright and shiny, deep rifling front to back. I can't even say for sure if it has ever even been fired! If so it was only shot a few times, properly cleaned, and put away. The condition of this gun is just outstanding top to bottom. It's amazing to think a gun like this could survive 150 years and look this good! Also included is a nicely made contemporary velvet lined wood case which is fitted to this revolver. Within the case there is a powder flask which appears to be authentic, an original G. & J.W. Hawksley oiler, French Alcan percussion caps, and a reproduction brass container. This is an exceedingly rare, high condition deluxe revolver that will be a highlight among the most sophisticated of collections. RARE Frontier Used M1873 Colt Single Action Army .44 Rimfire Revolver, Nickel Plated with Vintage Flap Holster, .44 Henry Rimfire, mfg. ca. 1877 with 7 1/2" barrel (reduced to 5 1/2"). One of the most highly sought after variants of the Colt Single Action is the .44 Rimfire series of which only 1,863 were manufactured between 1875-1880. These guns had their own serial number range separate from the regular Single Action series (approx. 1-1863) and further differed by having a specific Rimfire hammer and firing pin as well as a slotted frame to accommodate the firing pin. These guns were intended to appeal to buyers who were still using the old Rimfire Henry and 1866 Winchesters however it soon became apparent that the market was soft for this and the line was discontinued. Most, if not all of Rimfire production, were in the standard 7 1/2" barrel configuration. As popular folklore tells, a vast majority of these guns found their way to Texas and Mexico where the Henrys and 66's were still in regular use. Subsequently those revolvers that did see action along the boarder saw very hard use. Additionally most of these frontier Rimfires had their barrels shortened to 5 1/2" which at the time was favored in the Southwest region over the longer 7 1/2" barrel. This example, serial number 960, is an authentic Rimfire that exhibits all the obvious characteristics of a Colt used on the frontier. Truly a gun that was "there" in the wild west! Overall the metal shows very heavy wear with a silver/gray patina drifting to plum in protected areas. There are only a few small traces of Nickel finish visible, predominately on top of the hammer and some faint thinned finish along the ejector housing. Matching serial numbers can be found on the frame, barrel, cylinder, backstrap, and triggerguard. The barrel has been reduced to 5 1/2" during the period with the original front sight refitted. The original wood grips fit nicely with the exception of a little swelling along the triggergaurd. They show a wonderfully untouched smooth, worn finish with some very minor chipping along the backstrap. Several screws appear to be old working replacements and the ejector rod is likely from a later era Colt. Clear original serial numbers and barrel address. The frame patent dates are worn and only partially visible. The action is surprisingly crisp and tight. It functions beautifully. The bore shows good, strong rifling with a couple scattered blackpowder pits and light wear near the muzzle. The accompanying holster fits the gun like a glove and would date to right around 1900 or so. It shows moderate wear with no rips or tears. This is a great example of a rare .44 Rimfire Single Action that undoubtedly saw frontier use along the Texas/Mexico boarder. If only it could talk!