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SMITH & WESSON MODEL No.1 .22 SEVEN SHOT, GUTTA-PERCHA CASE.. 1857 -1858

This was THE FIRST self contained cartridge revolver made by Smith & Wesson, this started it all !! This is a Model No.1, 6th Issue. The term issue could confuse, but it meant there were slight internal action changes and with each change the term issue was added. It still was a No.1 Serial No.801X is a 1st Model, in the Original Gutta-Percha embossed lid case. This is MARVELOUS condition !!!

This entire ensemble is in incredible condition, as new to new as possible after 161 years !

The overall condition is as follows: the oval frame has 100% of all its silver plating, the cylinder has 100% of all its factory blue. *To include the patent date roll around the center of the cylinder. The grips have 100% of all their Varnish. The barrel has 95% of all the original blue, thinning very minimally with traces of plum patina. Mechanically, it is 100% perfect in ALL the working actions.

 

It would be impossible to improve on this ensemble, even the internal velour lining is perfect, except for where the cylinder has rested for 161 years, no color loss!!! The hinges of the box are perfect, NO damage. A great antique S&W, the little pistol that started it all, the S&W Model No.1 It has been said, great things have small beginnings, as it is with the No.1. PRICE $ 5,950

 

The delicate Case is in PERFECT condition, no chips, cracks, scratches, nothing, it is as the day it was made in 1857.

 

S&W MODEL OF 1881, DOUBLE ACTION .44Russian CALIBER, NEW YORK ENGRAVED...@1881

S&W introduced their first double action revolver in 1881, chambered in the .44 Russian cartridge . Much later in production they would add the 44/40 caliber. Serial No. 664X would have been a first year production revolver. It is highly engraved and embellished , New York engraving with a unusual pattern. It exhibits a style typical to the early days of engraver Otto Bodenstein while in New York. He was doing work for Colt and S&W, later to go on to be "the" engraver for Merwin, Hulbert & Co.

The overall finish is about 55-60% original nickel plate, the balance a soft gray untouched natural patina. There is a 95% dominant amount of factory blue remaining on the trigger guard and top latch. The hammer and trigger have 100% of their case hardening colors present. All screw heads are clean and NOT damaged. ALL factory applied markings ; barrel address etc...are clear and present. Mechanically this Model of 1881 operates PERFECTLY on ALL working actions, both DA and Single Action. Plus it breaks open ejects, and closes flawlessly. The Model of 1881 is further decoratively enhanced by Pearl Grips. These are the original grips to the revolver, and are in excellent condition with radiant colors. This is a very unique and early Model of 1881, New York engraved and in excellent working order. This Model is seldom seen this embellished, and would be a fine addition to any collection.

PRICE $3,800

SMITH & WESSON, 3rd MODEL .44 RUSSIAN REVOLVER @ 1878...MANUFACTURED BY ...ORBEA HERMANOS, EIBAR SPAIN...

Located in the Basque region of Spain, Eibar is home to Orbea Brothers Firearms Manufacturers, from 1840 - 1929. They had a long and successful run of manufacturing, mostly with exact  (or near exact) copies of the Smith & Wesson line. This No. 3 Russian is MAGNIFICENT ! It is FULLY, and I mean FULLY exhibition level engraved, to include the stock attachment, all matching. Serial No. 227X still has the original stock, and most rare, the original Lanyard Cord. OB had a long history of "presentation" revolvers to high level dignitaries, persons etc.. in Europe and the Mexican/ Latin countries. There is no doubt that this 3rd Russian was a presentation engraved specimen. The oral history that came with this stocked revolver was it belonged to a wealthy Mexican Rancher and land owner. Currently, it has about 90% of the original nickel plating present, the balance light gray patina, with some darker gray blended in the finish. the frame finish is exceptionally strong, with most patina on the barrel.  The face of the cylinder is very clean, indicating limited firing. I believe most finish loss was from inadequate storage for 139 years. The grips are a checkered black hard rubber, with OB in the circle at the top. They are in perfect condition ! This Russian is FULLY covered by engraving, on all physical surfaces of the revolver, exquisitely executed! Mechanically, it operates 100% correctly: opening, ejecting cartridges, closing cocking, indexing, locking tight, and releasing to fire.

All the case hardening colors are present on the hammer, and most of the blue on the trigger.( darkened somewhat). The Walnut stock in exceptional condition, no damage or brakeage, with a smooth antique patina finish. Most important, the metal areas of the stock ( attachment) are fully engraved, and MATCHING the revolver!

 

This is an incredible specimen, a 3rd Russian, by Orbea Hermanos, an 1878 PRESENTATION revolver to a "muy importante" person. In addition, in reading on company history, it seems they came into possession of S&W blueprints ! A multi faceted interesting revolver. PRICE $7,150

 

 

 

 

Theory: Above is a known example of engraving from the Studio of Gustave Young...maybe the master himself. Please note the almost identical similarity in engraving as on the No.3 Russian. Could this , after purchase have been engraved by Young ? for presentation, or ordered by the new wealthy owner?

 

S&W FACTORY LETTER...Special Factory Features... NEW MODEL No.3 , TARGET MODEL .44 Russ.

S&W introduced the New Model No.3 in 1878, as a direct competitor to the Colt Single Action. The  New Model was readily accepted, and used by famous Frontiersmen, like Virgil Earp, Wyatt for a time, and many on the side of the law, and many on the other side.  Manufactured up until 1898, and the warehouse sold them out until a little past 1900. A six shot revolver chambered in the .44 Russian caliber, with a QUICK break open eject and re-load system.  This revolver, Serial No. 2774X, is the Target version.  The factory letter describes it as you see it, 6-1/2 inch barrel, Blue, Target front and rear sights. One other very unique feature,  a Factory Checkered Trigger ! ** It was a factory Special Order of  ONLY  2 units !  even more interesting, it was shipped in April 1892 to a major Colt distributor, Schoverling , Daly & Gale Co. ,NY. NOT the usual M. W. Robinson distributor of S&W.  The No.3 has about 65% of all the original bright high polish factory blue finish. The balance is a natural blending patina. The hammer and trigger guard have LOTS of case color remaining. the grips are the logo checkered black hard rubber grips, in excellent condition exhibiting little to no wear. Mechanically, this No.3 functions 100% correctly on ALL working actions, every time ! ALL assembly/ Serial Numbers are matching, and ALL factory applied markings s are clear and present, barrel address etc... A scarce and highly collectable S&W, with VERY unique features, including the Letter !

PRICE $ 3,650

 

Factory Checkered Trigger, a rare feature on a 2 unit Special Factory order in 1892.

S&W, "OLD, OLD" MODEL .44 RUSSIAN REVOLVER...44Russ. W/ORIGINAL @1870 STYLE FLAP HOLSTER..

In 1869, S&W was limited to the biggest revolver being manufactured by them , a .32RF No.2 Army. D. B. Wesson recognized they must have a large caliber Frontier revolver, to the drawing board they went. Simultaneously the Russian Government was interested in a .44 caliber revolver for their Army. This confluence of events gave us the first .44 caliber S&W revolver from S&W. The 1st Model ,.44 Russian, simultaneously the S&W American revolver, in .44 American caliber. Both were break top, 8 inch barrel, heavy style Frontier revolvers, S&W was in the new market ! This 1st Model Russian, a.k.a. the "Old, Old Model Russian has the 8 inch barrel and is finished in the blue. Today about 35%++ of the original blue is present, and the balance is a soft blending natural occurring plum patina. ALL factory applied markings: barrel address etc.. are present and clear. ALL parts are original to this revolver. The break open action works 100% correctly, each and every time. The working action: cocking, indexing, and locking are also perfect , every time they are worked. This Old Old Russian, is Serial No. 1158X, early in the second run with improved trigger pin bulge of metal for stability, therefore a 2nd Model. Probable production, 1872. Which meant ! these revolvers were in the hands of Frontiersmen, like Bill Cody, Texas Jack, and other men on the raw western frontier, almost 3 years before the Colt SAA. Quite an accomplishment. The Walnut grips are in fabulous condition, free from any damage.

NOTE: It was with a Russian like this that John Wesley Hardin shot Sheriff Webb in Comanche Texas . Putting him on the run for the rest of his free life! A CLASSIC revolver of the earliest cartridge revolvers on the Frontier. PRICE $4,275

 

19th Century Holster, @ 1881 -1895. for S&W Double Action, 1st Model, in .44 Russian or 44/40, with five inch barrel.

This holster is of the more protective type, known as a "flap holster". It is a very nice russet brown color, with a distinct  chain and flower, border stamping. The rear belt loop is not damaged, and there are no breaks in the stitching.

A very well made holster, with Chamois lining. Someone who wanted to carry and respect his new S&W DA   PRICE $350

The holster is clearly marked, 44 5 designating caliber and barrel length. It fits the 44 DA S&W of 1881, 44R or 44WCF perfectly

SMITH & WESSON, 2nd MODEL AMERICAN .44, .........1873...Cut for Stock..

In 1870 S&W introduced the FIRST practical Metallic Cartridge Revolver, and it was an immediate success. Quickly, small design changes were implemented, and the 2nd Model was the result. It had a little more "metal" around the trigger pin, and a slotted hammer to insure a tighter lock of the top strap. Otherwise, same as the 1st Model. The American chambered the .44 American cartridge, and had an 8 inch barrel. It found immediate acceptance due to its quick ability to load and unload cartridges, and time was IMPORTANT ! This 2nd Model, Serial No. 1413X, is a totally correct example. It has all the factory applied markings, barrel address etc...and ALL parts are original to the revolver, and are matching in serial   (assembly) numbers. The working actions are 100% perfect in all phases and functions. The Walnut grips are smooth, show minimal hand use, and have a fine antique luster and patina. Many famous celebrities of the Old West used this Model, such as : Wyatt Earp  (he actually carried a 2nd Model American engraved to the OK Corral fight), Texas Jack Omohundro, Buffalo Bill, Cole Younger, Belle Starr, Dallas Stoudenmire, just to mention a few ! It was a stout reliable revolver, and "FAST" to operate and fire. This one has a unique feature, the back strap is cut for a detachable shoulder stock. The stock used in this case was a " Key Hole" stock. The attaching end was cut like a key, inserted into the opening, side ways, then turned to lock it into position.

Unfortunately, the stock and American have become separated over the last 140 years. An excellent choice for a collection, a BIG S&W Frontier revolver, and THE FIRST on the Frontier !!  PRICE $4,350

This 2nd American has about 90%+ of all the original nickel plating, with the majority of the loss at the cylinder face, and breech end of the barrel. This makes perfect sense because, this is where the firing blast exits, plus the end of the barrel. Black powder was corrosive. The balance of the American is superb, with all the nickel plate present. There were really, despite their success, not that many made, ONLY 29,000 total between both Models. So, a high condition American is a scarce commodity.

1889 HARTLEY & GRAHAM ADVERTISEMENT, FEATURING THE S&W, NEW MODEL No.3 TARGET REVOLVER

Price $ 50

**Interesting to note, on the reverse side, are the Newspaper Clippings regarding the Court Martial of a Cavalry Officer, and his "physical confrontation" with another Officer.

DECEMBER 30, 2018

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