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LOT 1290
Exceptional Colt London Model 1851 Navy Percussion Revolver with Case Inscribed to Dr. Waller of the Royal Navy - Serial no. 3242, 36 cal., 7 1/2 inch octagon bbl., blue/casehardened/silver finish, walnut grips. The revolver was manufactured in 1853, the first year of production at the London factory. Demand for Colt revolvers for English officers was heavy following the Great Exhibition in 1851 and continued into the Crimean War. Herbert Houze in “Samuel Colt: Arms, Art and Invention” on page 9 notes that the British Board of Ordnance contracted with Colt for 25,540 Model 1851 Navy revolvers mainly for the Royal Navy, and Colt also sold an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 revolvers to officers. Despite this initial demand, the Adams revolvers and others of English design forced Colt to close his London factory, and the company instead shipped revolvers from Hartford to a sales office in London. The lid escutcheon on the case for this revolver is inscribed “Dr. Waller RN.” This appears to almost certainly be for U.K. Royal Navy surgeon Dr. Edmund Waller, of Peterborough. He was appointed a surgeon in the Royal Navy on August 4, 1854 and became staff surgeon on November 4, 1864, and retired from service on April 1, 1870, and died at the age of 75 in 1907. The revolver has London proofs on the barrel and cylinder, the rounded screw heads used by the London factory, the London barrel address, the London factory iron grip straps, standard Naval Battle of Campeche cylinder scene, “COLT S/PATENT” on the left side of the frame, and matching serial numbers on the loading lever, barrel, frame, trigger guard, back strap, and cylinder. The wedge and arbor pin are blank. The fitted case has a bright red lined interior and contains a spare mainspring, L-shaped combination tool, blued ball/bullet mold, cartridge pack, cap tins, a Sykes capper, and a bag shaped J. Barlow powder flask. CONDITION: Exceptionally fine with 80% plus original bright blue finish on the barrel, 60% original blue finish on the cylinder, 90% plus original vibrant case colors, strong traces of original finish on the grip straps, and minor age and storage related wear. The grip is also very fine and retains 90% plus of the original varnish and has scattered minor dings and scratches. Mechanically fine. The case and accessories are all very fine and have minor age and storage related wear. Provenance: The Norm Vegely Collection. Estimate: 11,000 - 16,000

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