Page 109 - 4090-BOOK2
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  LOT 1112
Documented Fort Worth, Texas Shipped Factory Engraved Antique Black Powder Colt
Single Action Army Revolver with Desirable Documented Factory Relief Carved Bull’s
Head Grips and Factory Letter - Serial no. 95927, 45 Long Colt cal., 4 3/4 inch round bbl.,
nickel finish, antique ivory grips. There are few firearms that exude the character, grit, and style
of the American frontier like the Colt Single Action Army revolver. The revolver found itself almost immediately popular as a sidearm upon its release in the mid-late 1800s, and that popularity continued well into the 20th century among those with a desire for unwaveringly reliable firepower. This documented factory engraved example with factory bull’s head carved grip certainly shows a certain flair that is often associated with the “wild west”, having the look of a gun that is not hard to imagine in the hand of a flamboyant Texas gunslinger. Adding credence to this revolver’s potential former life, is the fact that the included factory letter lists it as having shipped to A.J. Anderson of Fort Worth, Texas. The legendary Fort Worth wholesaler A.J. Anderson was born in Norway in 1855 and arrived in America in 1873 at Galveston, Texas. In 1877 he established his own retailer business in Fort Worth. As reported by the “History of Texas: Fort Worth and the Texas Northwest Edition,” the A.J. Anderson Company was “one of the oldest commercial concerns in Fort Worth.” Closing its doors in 1964, the A.J. Anderson store lasted for nearly 90 years in downtown Fort Worth. It has been estimated that Anderson supplied around 500 Sharps buffalo rifles to hunters a year. For $100 a buffalo hunter could purchase a rifle, loading tools and ammunition. Originally intended as a side business, Anderson became the biggest buffalo hide dealer in the state and possibly in the entire country. In 1878, for instance, around
200,000 hides went through Anderson. One day outlaw Sam Bass walked into the store and purchased Anderson’s entire lot of pistols and rifles with $20 gold pieces. The transaction earned Anderson a profit of $360. Bass’ most infamous notable crime occurred on September 18, 1877 when he and five others robbed the Union Pacific Railroad gold train from San Francisco. The gang walked away with over $60,000, around $1.79 million in today’s money. In 1884, outlaw Longhair Jim Courtright outwitted three lawmen while eating at a Forth Worth restaurant. Courtright surprised the lawmen by pulling out two pistols taped to the bottom of a table. It was said that the pistols were purchased at Anderson’s store by one of Courtright’s friends.
Along with this shipment information, the factory letter confirms the 4 3/4 inch barrel
in .45 caliber, nickel finish, grip material, “Bulls head motif” carved grip, and factory
engraving. On page 333 in “The Official Record of the Colt Single Action Army Revolver
1873-1895,” the authors accounted for only 61 factory engraved SAAs in the 1-164100
serial number range in this configuration (4 3/4 inch barrel, .45 caliber, nickel finish, grip
material). Bull head carved grips are one of the rarest special order features to appear in the
factory ledgers. The relief bull’s head on this revolver appears on the right side of the grip.
The scroll engraving is indicative of patterns used by Colt master engraver Cuno Helfricht and
his shop. Fan pattern decorate the recoil shield and loading gate, scrollwork and flower blossom patterns alternate on the cylinder chambers, and zig-zag line motifs are seen throughout. The top of the ejector rod housing has a zig-zag line, dot and star pattern. The barrel has the two-line Colt Hartford address. The three-line patent date marking (faint) is stamped on the left side of the frame. The left side of the trigger guard is marked “45 CAL.” Matching serial numbers appear on the frame, trigger guard, and back strap.
CONDITION: Very good, showing the well worn look a Texas frontier companion as it displays a smooth gray patina associated with a well traveled sidearm that spent a lifetime in a challenging environment with 20% original nickel finish remaining in and around the sheltered areas. Most of the engraving remains crisp. The grip is fine with typical age lines on the butt and overall crisp carving. The safety notch does not engage, otherwise action functions properly. A desirable, factory documented factory engraved and bull’s head carved stocked Colt SAA shipped to a legendary Fort Worth, Texas retailer has all the appeal of a frontier survivor with some stories to tell.
Estimate: 18,000 - 27,500

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