Page 88 - 4090-BOOK2
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 LOT 1092
Extraordinary and Historic Theodore Roosevelt Presentation Factory Panel Scene Engraved Third Model Merwin, Hulbert & Co. Army Single Action Revolver in .44-40 Inscribed for Roosevelt’s Friend and Ranching Partner William Merrifield with Pearl Grips, J.S. Collins Holster Rig, Roosevelt Presentation Gold Tiffany Pocket Watch, and Extensive Documentation - Serial no. 21328, 44-40 WCF
cal., 7 inch round bbl., nickel finish, pearl grips. This extraordinary set includes an engraved Merwin, Hulbert & Co. 3rd Model Army revolver with “William Merrifield’’ inscribed on the back strap, a J.S. Collins double loop holster and money/cartridge belt rig, and a Tiffany & Co. pocket watch with 18k gold double hunter case with “If it’s a black bear I can tree him,
if it’s a grizzly, I can bay him.” inscribed inside the front cover. Noteworthy collector Greg Lampe indicated these items were all presented by Theodore Roosevelt to Arthur William “Bill” Merrifield in the mid-1880s. The two men were friends, and Merrifield served as Roosevelt’s hunting guide in his early days in the West in the 1880s, including his first grizzly hunt, and was also the foreman/manager and one of the ranch partners with Roosevelt in the Dakota Territory. Additional items belonging to Merrifield are also featured in following lots with connections to Roosevelt.
The revolver, holster rig, and Merrifield’s Montana U.S. Marshal badge
from Lot 1093 that accompanies his Colt Model 1903 and holster rig
are pictured and discussed on pages 54 and 55 of “Theodore Roosevelt: Hunter-Conservationist’’ by R.L. Wilson who notes, “One of the most fascinating discoveries in researching TR and his arms interests was the Merwin Hulbert & Co. engraved, inscribed, nickel-plated and pearl-gripped Single Action presentation revolver.” Page 56 of Wilson’s book shows the Tiffany & Co. pocket watch and states “A gold Tiffany & Co. pocket watch accompanied by the presentation Merwin Hulbert & Co. revolver set, also a TR gift for Merrifield.” The caption also notes the inscription and states, “TR offered Merrifield a gold watch or $150, in appreciation for taking the
86 first grizzly bear; Merrifield opted for the watch.” Page 51 also shows the
illustration “Close Quarters with Old Ephraim’’ by A.B. Frost from Roosevelt’s “Hunting Trips of a Ranchman’’ of Roosevelt taking aim at a grizzly bear while Merrifield stands by, and page 57 shows the Winchester Model
1876 with presentation inscription to Merrifield and the date September 13, 1884, identified as “commemorating the day Merrifield guided TR to
his first grizzly bear.” That rifle is now on display at the South Unit Visitor Center in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. The revolver and holster rig are also featured in Wilson’s book “The Peacemakers: Arms and Adventure in the American West” on page 222 where the revolver is incorrectly listed as gold plated due to the effects of lighting in some of the photos taken of the set back in the early 1980s. The watch is also noted in that caption. Lot 1094 features Merrifield’s special order Winchester Model 1894 that was presented to him by Roosevelt’s nephews during a ranch visit and hunting trip.
The watch, revolver, and holster rig are also featured in the article “The Roosevelt-Merrifield Connection” by Richard Rattenbury in the November/ December 1982 issue of “Man at Arms.” The revolver and holster rig appear to be being worn by Merrifield in a photograph of him and Sylvane Ferris on horseback taken around 1919 in the Theodore Roosevelt Collection at the Harvard University Library, and the revolver, holster, and watch are also shown in photographs with Blanche McDaniel taken by S.P. Stevens in the 1980s. Photographs of Roosevelt taken during the round-up in 1885 show him wearing a similar holster rig with his revolver worn in cross-draw style on his left side.
The revolver has extraordinarily high coverage factory engraving in the classic Merwin, Hulbert & Co. style with mainly floral patterns, a panel scene of a reposed buck and standing doe on the side plate, and “William Merrifield’’ inscribed down the back strap. It has a round barrel with an integral half-moon blade front sight, the one-line Merwin, Hulbert & Co. address and patent marking ending in “Mar. 6. 77.” on top, the Hopkins & Allen address on the left, solid top strap with a groove rear sight, and the assembly number “33” on the back of the lug. The six-shot, fluted cylinder
has the matching assembly number on the back. The frame has “CALIBRE/ WINCHESTER 1873” (.44-40 W.C.F.) on the left side, a lanyard ring on the butt, and serial number “21328” behind the ring. It has a nickel plated finish on the barrel, cylinder, and frame; the hammer and trigger guard are casehardened, and the trigger is niter blue. It is fitted with a pair of smooth pearl grips.
The russet leather double loop holster has a shield shaped maker’s mark with “CHEYENNE” over a “JSC” monogram. The toe plug is absent. Greg Lampe indicated this was done so the holster could also fit Merrifield’s
7 1/2 inch barreled Colt Single Action Army which would have been his daily revolver rather than the fancy Merwin, Hulbert & Co. which was
a keepsake. The 3 inch money belt is marked “45” and “J.S. COLLINS & CO./CHEYENNE, WYO.” It has a bright buckle and 35 loops for revolver cartridges.
The watch has an 18k gold double hunter case with plain exterior, “If it’s a black bear I can tree him, if it’s a grizzly, I can bay him.” inscribed inside the front cover along with “WARRANTED/18K’’ in an oval and “22910” below, white watch-face with black Roman numerals and “Tiffany + Co’’ in script, and “WARRANTED/18K’’ in an oval and “22910” repeated inside the back cover. The movement is marked “No 22910/Jules Monard.” Jules Monard was a noted Swiss watchmaker in Geneva in the 1880s to early 20th century.
The revolver, holster rig, and watch along with numerous other artifacts and documents were passed down from Arther William Merrifield (1855- 1929) to his grand daughter Blanche Merrifield McDaniel (1918-1997), daughter of Benjamin Franklin Merrifield (1879-1972). They were later
sold to family friend Stephan A. Grove when she became ill, and he subsequently sold the items at auction in May 1999. They were purchased at auction by Greg Lampe who then conducted his own research of the set in addition to the information that had been passed down from the family.
It was Merrifield who took Roosevelt on some of his first hunts in the West, including his first grizzly bear hunt in 1884 in the Bighorn Mountains, during which Merrifield tracked the first grizzly Roosevelt shot. The bear was reported to be nine feet and over 1,000 pounds. Roosevelt offered him $150 or a gold watch in return, and Merrifield selected a watch, the very watch in this lot which is inscribed with a quote from Merrifield during the hunt:
“If it’s a black bear, I can tree him. If it’s a grizzly, I can bay him.”

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