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LOT 1064
Historic Documented Factory Engraved Marlin Deluxe Model 1881 Lever Action Rifle Inscribed to a Western Settler and Mayor of Sacramento with Malcolm Telescope on a Slotterbek Mount and Factory Letter as Pictured in “Marlin Firearms” - Serial no. 7043, 40-60 Marlin cal., 28 inch octagon bbl., blue/casehardened finish, fancy checkered walnut stock. The Model 1881 was the first lever action rifle design by Marlin, and it proved to be very popular with many customers out west. Per “Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms”, only around 20,000 Model 1881s were manufactured by Marlin in 1881-1892. About 6,261 of this model were chambered in .40-60 caliber. Very few left the factory in deluxe configuration, and even fewer were factory engraved let alone inscribed. The added costs for special features were considered too much for the general customer looking for a “working man’s gun.” This fine factory engraved deluxe example is inscribed to a distinguished western settler, is equipped with factory double set triggers and a period 30 1/2 inch long Malcolm telescope on a Slotterbek mount, and is pictured in William Brophy’s “Marlin Firearms” on page 678. This Model 1881 certainly has it all!
This Marlin is inscribed to Clinton L. White. After graduating Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, Iowa, in 1874, Clinton L. White (1850- 1925) came to California. In the fall of that year he earn his teacher’s certificate and taught for eight months in Placer County and then entered the law office of George Cadwalder in Sacramento as a clerk for the next two years. In 1877 he earned his license to practice law and was met with great success. He had his “name on the wall” to several well respected law firms. In 1879 he published a book on criminal law which was well received by his peers. He was secretary of the Judiciary Committee of the California State Senate in 1880 and 1881. From 1881 to 1882 he served as deputy attorney general of California and argued cases in front of the state supreme court. For 10 years he served with the California National Guard, reaching the rank of major and judge advocate. He was mayor of Sacramento for a two year term. In the “History of Sacramento County,” White’s contribution to California is summarized as the following: “Among the oldest and most distinguished members o the California Bar, widely and favorably known throughout and beyond the confines of Sacramento County, is Clinton L White, who has gained an enviable place as a counselor and attorney, having acquired, during his long years of practice, a clientele highly appreciative of his knowledge of the law, his keen interpretation of legal questions, and his straightforwardness in giving the most conscientious and dependable advice.” Consignor research related to Clinton L. White is provided.
The receiver is wonderfully engraved with a factory pattern established by famed master engraver Conrad Ulrich, who worked at Marlin from 1881-1910 and was performing most of the engraving for Marlin when this rifle shipped. Ulrich designed the engraving patterns that would be the standard for Marlin high end finishes. As identified by William Brophy, the right side of the receiver has the “typical engraving of the Model 1881 rifle period” consisting of plain borders, floral scrollwork on punch dot background, and a circular vignette of a running whitetail buck. Matching scrollwork and borders carry over to the left side of the receiver along with an inscription banner featuring the name “Clinton L. White.” A deer bust in a circular panel is engraved on the bolt. The barrel is fitted with a Marble Sheard gold bead blade front sight and an elevation adjustable full buckhorn rear sight and has a top flat marked with the two-line Marlin legend ahead of the rear sight and “40 CAL” at the breech. The Malcolm scope has a nickel silver eyepiece and is mounted to the rifle by an adjustable Slotterbek and Lakeport marked base attached to the left side of the receiver over the engraving and an additional dovetail mounted on the top barrel flat towards the muzzle. William Malcolm of Syracuse, New York, listed his highly advanced telescopes for Marlin Model 1881s with the telescope mounted on the left side, which allowed for the regular sights to be used at the same time.

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