Page 40 - 4090-BOOK2
P. 40

LOT 1037
Desirable Ulrich Attributed Factory Game Scene Engraved Winchester Model 1866 Lever Action Rifle with Factory Letter - Serial no. 128866, 44 RF cal., 24 inch octagon bbl., blue/silver finish, walnut stock. This Winchester Model 1866 lever action rifle has a beautiful factory engraving. The factory letter indicates this rifle was engraved and silver plated, was received in the warehouse on January 15, 1876, and shipped on January 16, 1876, in order 2654. The Ulrich family created some of the most spectacular masterpieces
of American firearms art. Brothers John and Conrad F. Ulrich engraved for Winchester in the late 19th century and they were certainly two of the finest firearms engravers of the period as the beautifully laid out and executed scrollwork on this rifle demonstrates. The rifle features scrollwork with beaded backgrounds on the silver plated action, forend cap, and buttplate along with a circular vignette of a majestic elk standing in an open field on the left side plate. In “Winchester Engraving,” R.L. Wilson identifies three Model 1866s as “Ulrich engraved” and feature embellishments comparable to this Model 1866 (page 95). An additional example, no. 131377, as pictured in Wilson’s “The Book of Winchester Engraving” (page 52), features very similar scrollwork and was identified as having scrolls “in a style similar to certain work by the Ulrichs of the period.” The rifle is a third model with the serial number stamped in block numeral behind the trigger and the distinctive brass receiver has the more moderately curved shape at the rear when compared to the earlier first and
second models. The rifle is fitted with a dovetail blade front sight (most of blade is absent) and a folding ladder rear sight graduated to 900 yards. The barrel is stamped with the two-line Winchester legend ahead of the rear sight. The rifle also features a smooth straight wrist stock and forearm, sling swivels mounted on the forend cap, provisions for a sling swivel on the buttstock, and an empty compartment in the stock. The stock inlet and buttplate have the matching partial serial number “8866.”
CONDITION: Very good displaying the characteristics of a working gun that saw use in a challenging environment. The receiver retains 50% plus original aged darkened original silver plating, the forend cap retains 30% original silver and the buttplate retains traces of original silver with attractive mellow appearance on the exposed brass. The engraving is crisp. The barrel and magazine have
an overall smooth gray patina with evidence of being cleaned. The wood is good showing a lifetime of hard use with the buttstock cracked at both tangs and a sliver absent from the forearm. The rimfire firing pin is partially absent, otherwise the action functions fine. As one of the earliest and most widely used repeating rifles in the American West, the Model 1866 was a working gun in the hands of settlers, Native Americans, outlaws, lawmen, and hunters. This Model 1866 certainly has a been there, done that appearance, proving that not all art hangs on the wall.
Estimate: 20,000 - 30,000

   38   39   40   41   42