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gold inlaid. The second Colt arm that shares a similar embellishment is a Colt Single Action Army Revolver serial no. 352655 Rock Island Auction had the pleasure of selling in May 2022 (lot 199, $411,250). The SAA has a more elaborate and profuse engraving, but the four gold inlays are very comparable to the floral petal design featured on this revolver. Like its Police Positive no. 223102 counterpart, it too letters as factory engraved and gold inlaid. Both the Police Positive and SAA were shipped to Buenos Aires, Argentina, retailer Alfredo Gottling. Gottling’s shop, “La Portena,” catered to the elite in Argentina and thus was a key buyer of some of the most extravagant Colt revolvers and other fine arms and in fact received a large portion of the known factory engraved and gold inlaid Colt revolvers. While these two revolvers made it to international customers, our subject revolver stayed in the states.
  LOT 142
Phenomenal, Exceedingly Rare Wilbur Glahn Factory
Master Engraved and Gold Inlaid Colt Police Positive
Special Double Action Revolver with Factory Pearl Grips and
Factory Letter - Serial no. 378539, 38 Special cal., 4 inch round bbl., blue finish,
pearl grips. With the factory engraving from Master Engraver Wilbur Glahn, six gold inlays, and
pearl Colt medallion grips, this Colt Police Positive Special DA revolver makes for a striking, highly sought after, and rare pre-World War II decorative arm. According to noted Colt historian R.L. Wilson, Colt factory records account for about 325 Police Positive Special revolvers engraved and less than 20 of this model had gold inlay.
The revolver has Glahn’s distinctive style of engraving with panels of scrollwork on the barrel, frame, cylinder, trigger guard, and back strap. The six gold inlays are floral petals equally divided on each side of the frame. These are unusual and rare features, in terms of
the existence of gold inlays at all and based on what and where the gold inlays are. Colt generally restricted gold inlay to barrel bands and inscriptions. The accompanying factory letter states the revolver was shipped to Colt’s loan account, c/o E.F. Mitchell and then
sold to Von Lengerke & Antoine of Chicago, Illinois, in April 1929. This was a two gun shipment. The letter confirms the 4 inch barrel in .38 caliber, blue finish and pearl stocks, and while the engraving and gold inlay are not among the features listed in the letter, the
embellishment is most certainly factory. In fact, there are other known Colt arms similarly adorned with Glahn’s most distinctive and rare embellishment.
First, there is Police Positive revolver serial number 223102. The engraving is nearly identical to the pattern featured on this revolver, including the scroll flourishes on each cylinder chamber. The differences are in the number and styling of the inlay. On the Police
Positive eight “V” shaped inlays replace the six floral petals adorning this revolver. The Police Positive letters as factory engraved and

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