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Rare collection of fine Colt revolvers up for auction at Bonhams
A cased presentation set of Gustave Young engraved Colt percussion revolvers. H.A.G. Pomeroy From Col. Colt 1858. Estimate: $600,000-800,000.


SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Bonhams will offer 375 lots of fine antique arms from the estate of Joseph A. Murphy on November 10, followed by a 453 lot auction of antique arms and armor and modern sporting guns on November 11 in San Francisco.

An exceptional group of cased and engraved Colt revolvers lead the November 10 sale. There are three Patersons, two of which are cased with accessories. A silver-banded Colt 'Texas' Paterson No. 5 Holster Model percussion revolver, serial number 985, the only engraved and silver-banded Paterson with a 6-inch barrel, is of particular note (est. $300,000-500,000). In the Wadsworth Atheneum, serial number 984 is identified as part of Col. Colt's personal collection. As the cylinder on number 985 appears to be numbered 984, there has been considerable conjecture that the two were once a pair owned by Colt himself.

There are several deluxe cased dragoons, including a factory-engraved Colt third model dragoon .44-caliber percussion revolver, serial number 12405 for 1852 (est. $300,000-500,000). The gun was sold by the Whitney family in 1971 and had been a gift from Samuel Colt to Eli Whitney. There is also a Colt third model dragoon .44-caliber percussion revolver, serial number 19432, that was one of a very limited number of third model dragoons produced with 8-inch barrels (est. $200,000-300,000).

Other cased and engraved examples in exemplary condition include a Model 1848 Baby Dragoon (est. $100,000-150,000); a Model 1849 pocket revolver (est. $125,000-200,000); three 1851 Navies, including one with shoulder stock (est. $150,000-250,000 for that); and a deluxe Model 1860 Army revolver (est. $100,000-200,000).

The famous H.A.G. Pomeroy cased presentation set of Colt percussion revolvers, serial numbers 69640 and 4473, given by Col. Colt to the architect of Colt's Hartford factory, is another major highlight of the sale (est. $600,000-800,000).

The sale features a number of fine Colt automatics. One is a factory-engraved Colt Model 1902 Military semi-automatic .38-ACP caliber pistol, inscribed 'General Victoriano Huerta,' engraved by William H. Gough, serial number 35832, and shipped in 1914 (est. $50,000-80,000). Huerta was a Mexican military officer and the president of Mexico between February 19, 1913 and July 15, 1914. Also on offer is the mate and near pair to the Huerta pistol, serial number 35751, made for and inscribed with the name of his Secretary of War, Gen. Aureliano Blanquet (est. $50,000-80,000). Blanquet led the coup d'etat during the Decena Trágica. He is known as one of the major villains of the Mexican Revolution. There is also a Colt Model 1905 semi-automatic pistol, serial number 0, the first .45 automatic produced by Colt (est. $40,000-60,000).

Of further note in the auction is an exceptional cased pair of silver and gold mounted Philadelphia percussion pistols by Henry Deringer, presented by Brigadier General Thomas Jefferson Brady to his son Arthur Wolfe Brady (est. $40,000-60,000). The pair is among a selection of rare Henry Deringer percussion pistols of varying estimates.

In addition, a fine selection of Confederate revolvers is on offer, including two Leech & Rigdon .36-caliber revolvers, one unserialized and the other serial number 15 (each estimated at $50,000-75,000). They are the only known complete specimens with the “Leech & Rigdon Novelty Works and CSA" markings.

Also included are several Confederate swords and bowie knives. Of note is a Confederate infantry officer's presentation sword with a rare Jacob Faser-signed and decorated blade by James Conning of Mobile, Ala., that was presented to Lieut. Charles B. Day at Clinch Rifles of Augusta, Ga., by the Blue Whistlers of Pensacola, Fla., circa 1861-1862 (est. $70,000-100,000). There are also two rare Confederate naval officer's swords: one by Firmin & Company of London and the other retailed by Courtney & Tennant, made under contract to the Confederate Navy by Robert Mole & Company (both separately estimated at $25,000-35,000).

Other materials on offer include a selection of custom engraved Colt single action Army revolvers, Confederate militaria, German militaria including a group of rare Lugers, and a large selection of miniature firearms of varying estimates.

In the November 11 sale, there are 453 lots of antique and collectible arms, armor, edged weapons and sporting guns on offer. Standing out among them is the rare and historic Congressional presentation sword of Sailing Master Daniel Hazard for the successful action on Lake Champlain on September 11, 1814 (est. $25,000-35,000). That day, British and American forces met in Plattsburgh Bay and around the town of Plattsburgh, New York. After a short, but sharp fight, American forces were successful in turning back an attempted British invasion.

There is also a rare Congressional presentation U.S. Model 1819 Hall breechloading flintlock rifle that was awarded to Smith Bateman for valor at the Siege of Plattsburgh on September 6, 1814 (est. $60,000-80,000). It is one of 17 Hall rifles - the only firearms ever awarded by Congress for valor - to a group of teenage students who volunteered as riflemen under Martin Aiken when British forces threatened Plattsburg.

Additional highlights include a fine gold damascened Royal Bavarian underlever cape gun by Miller & Valentin Greiss, probably made for Prince Franz Maria Luitpold of Bavaria, with the serial number 14617 and with 25 1/2 inch side-by-side barrels (est. $8,000-12,000).

Sporting guns of note include a cased 16 gauge sidelock ejector gun by James Purdey & Sons, circa 1908, that was originally purchased by Albert Stickley, with the serial number 19180, featuring 29-inch blued barrels (est. $4,000-6,000). Albert Stickley, 1862-1928, founded the famous Stickley Brothers Chair Company with his brothers Gustav and Charles.

There is also a cased pair of 12 gauge sidelock ejector guns by Boss & Company, with the serial numbers 4785 for 1900 and 4955 for 1902, featuring 30 and 1/8 inch blued barrels (est. $25,000-35,000) and a cased 20 gauge sidelock ejector gun by Boss & Company, circa 1930-32, with the serial number 7937, featuring 26 1/2 inch blued barrels (est. $20,000-30,000).

There are also fine American longarms from the Theodore Heske, Jr. Collection. Highlights include a number of fine flintlock and percussion martial arms and Pennsylvania rifles including a full-stocked flintlock rifle attributed to J.P. Beck (est. $15,000-25,000).





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