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         LOT 407
Historic Documented First Year Production Three Digit Serial Number C167 Colt Government
Model Semi-Automatic Pistol Inscribed to
Famous American Hunter and Volunteer of the
Royal Flying Corps, Gerrit Forbes with Factory
Letter - Serial no. C167, 45 ACP cal., 5 inch round
bbl., blue finish, walnut grips. Manufactured in 1912,
the first year of production for the commercial Government Model. This early, three-digit serial number pistol represented the cutting edge of firearm technology and was one of the early pistols that established a reputation for striking power and a lineage of dependability that has carried the model through more than a century in military and civilian hands alike. The right side of the slide on this example is inscribed
“G. FORBES/R.F.C.”, which an included bill of sale from Thomas Forbes indicates is for Gerrit Forbes, his father.
Gerrit Forbes graduated from Harvard in 1904, and in 1907 he embarked on a series of African hunting expeditions, during which
he met the famed hunter W.D.M. Bell. Forbes was a cousin of Franklin Roosevelt, and it is claimed in an included copy of his obituary that Theodore Roosevelt said he was the only hunter better than himself. The obituary also states that Forbes’ sense of adventure carried him to Mexico, where his
marksmanship skills were put to use in the service of Pancho Villa as a sharpshooter during the Revolution of 1911. With the outbreak of World War I in
1914, both Bell and Forbes joined the Royal Flying Corps and were both sent back to Africa on a special mission by the War Office. Both eventually returned to serve in Europe, Bell notching multiple confirmed air kills and Forbes joining the aviation section of the American Expeditionary Forces when the United States entered the war in 1917. It is claimed
that Forbes shot his last elephant at the age of 80, before his death in Zurich, Switzerland at the age of 84. The slide bears the two-line, two-block address and patent markings on the left
side of the slide with the circled Rampant Colt behind the serrations. “VP” and “K” are on the trigger guard, and “GOVERNMENT MODEL” is on the right side of the frame in the early production, forward position. The early three-digit serial number is located on the left of the frame, which was only standard on the first 2,250 Government Models. There are British proofs on the left rear
of the frame and slide. The much later production replacement military contract barrel has a brush blue finish and is marked “HS” and “P” on the lug. A rich, fiery niter blue finish is present on the checkered wide hammer, checkered thumb safety, slide catch, the magazine catch, and the long smooth trigger. Fitted with a lanyard ring on the butt, a set of diamond pattern checkered grips, and an unmarked, two tone, pinned base magazine with lanyard loop and an extra magazine of the same configuration. The included factory letter confirms the current configuration (grips not listed), as well as shipment to Colt’s London office on 6 August 1912 in a shipment of 50 guns. Copies of Forbes’ obituary, college diploma, and a World War I pass are all included.
CONDITION: Very fine, retains 75% of the bright original high polish blue finish and 80% of the original nitre blue on the hammer, thumb safety, and slide stop with the balance having thinned to a smooth grey patina, primarily in the form of holster wear, and some scattered light handling marks. the
barrel and trigger are World War II era replacements. The grips are also very fine with a few scattered
light handling marks in the otherwise crisp checkering. Mechanically excellent. A very fine, first year
production Colt Government Model pistol with a very interesting World War I inscription to one of the
most famed American big game hunters and adventurers, Gerrit Forbes!
Estimate: 8,500 - 13,000
LOT 408
Documented Pre-World War II Colt Super .38 Semi-Automatic Pistol with Factory Letter Attributed to Sanford, Florida
Police Chief, Roy G. Williams - Serial no. 11598, 38 super auto cal., 5 inch round bbl., blue finish, walnut grips. Manufactured in 1931, these Super .38 pistols
were first shown to the public at the August 1928 Camp Perry National Matches and were available for purchase by the start of 1929. The included factory
letter confirms the current configuration (grips not listed) as well as shipment to the City of Sanford, Florida, specifically to Roy G. Williams, who was the chief
of police from the 1920s to the 1960s. Williams became well-known in 1946 for an incident involving the baseball legend Jackie Robinson, who in known for
breaking the segregated color barrier in the sport at the time. Williams reportedly entered the dugout of the Montreal Royals (Robinson’s team before joining
the Brooklyn Dodgers) and told the Royals manager that Robinson would have to leave or the game would be called off. Robinson went on to be the first African American inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. The left side of the matching numbered slide is marked with the two-line address and patent dates, while the right side bears the model/caliber marking along with the Rampant Colt. The serial number is on the right of the frame. The left of the trigger guard is marked “1” over “VP”, and the right is marked “60”. The correct barrel is marked “COLT SUPER 38 AUTO” on the left side of the chamber area. The barrel bushing is oversized and appears
to be for a .45 caliber barrel. Fitted with blade and notch rear sights, wide checkered hammer, long grip safety, arched checkered mainspring
housing, checkered grips, and a two-tone .38 Super Auto magazine. Also included is some printed information regarding the incident between
Williams and Robinson.
CONDITION: Very fine, retains 98% plus of the professionally restored factory quality blue finish with some light edge wear and the markings
remaining crisp overall. The replacement barrel bushing is oversized (see above). The grips are excellent with only the slightest handling marks and
crisp checkering. Mechanically excellent.
Estimate: 3,000 - 4,500

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