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     Arthur W. Merrifeld
LOT 1094
Arthur William Merrifield’s Historic Special Order Winchester Model 1894 Takedown Lever Action Rifle Attributed as a Gift from Theodore Roosevelt’s Nephews During a Western Hunting Trip with Factory Letter - Serial no. 63434, 30 WCF cal., 26 inch octagon bbl., blue finish, deluxe walnut stock. Included documents show that this rifle, like the items in Lot 1092 and Lot 1093, was owned by Arthur William Merrifield’s family for many years. Norman V. Chatterman first used the rifle on a hunt in 1947 with his uncle John A. McDaniel, husband of Blanche Merrifield McDaniel, Merrifield’s granddaughter. She reported that the rifle had been purchased as a thank you gift for Merrifield hosting members of the Roosevelt family at his ranch and “it had been told to her that the gun was made special order from the Winchester factory to be a duplicate of one that Theodore Roosevelt had.” McDaniel had inherited the rifle from her grandfather
and later sold it to Chatterman in 1990, and he later sold the rifle to Greg Lampe in 1999. According to Greg Lampe, this rifle was likely purchased
by Theodore Roosevelt’s brother-in-law Douglas Robinson on Roosevelt’s recommendation given Roosevelt’s own purchase of a Model 1894 in 1899 in similar configuration, and it was then taken by his sons Stewart and Monroe and given to Merrifield when they came to hunt at his ranch in 1906. Merrifield was injured by a fall during their visit and was unable to take them on a hunt but arranged for others to do so. President Roosevelt personally wrote to Merrifield expressing concern for his injury and again to thank him for hosting the boys. He also wrote to him in 1907 while he was U.S. Marshal for Montana about 16 year old Oliver Wolcott Roosevelt wanting to come out to a ranch to do some hunting and asked Merrifield to contact the boy’s mother about what steps should be taken.
One of Roosevelt’s own Model 1894, serial number 61494, letters as shipped on April 21, 1899, and was a takedown rifle in .30-30 with an octagon barrel, plain trigger, 1⁄2 magazine, folding leaf sight, and standard stock and forearm instead of Roosevelt’s usually preferred shotgun butt. It was returned to
the factory five times, with the last being on September 25, 1916. It was also fitted with a tang mounted peep sight like Merrifield’s rifle although Roosevelt himself did not prefer peep sights. Roosevelt wrote about shooting pronghorn with one of his Winchester Model 1894s in “Good Hunting: In Pursuit of Big Game in the West,” stating that after he had shot
a pronghorn through the flank at 180 yards, Joe Ferris remarked, “I guess that little 30-30 is the ace” to which Roosevelt added, “I guessed so too.” He also owned many other Winchesters and famously took several along with thousands of rounds of ammunition on the Smithsonian-Roosevelt African Expedition in 1909-1911 after leaving the White House.
Merrifield’s rifle letters in .30 caliber with an octagon barrel, plain trigger, checkered stock with pistol grip and rubber shotgun buttplate, Lyman front and rear sights, 1⁄2 magazine, and takedown configuration and is listed as received in the warehouse on June 13, 1899, and shipped the same day in order 29515. A Winchester Model 1876 presented to Merrifield by Theodore Roosevelt displayed at the South Unit visitor center in Theodore Roosevelt National Park also has a checkered pistol grip stock with shotgun buttplate, a peep sight, and a short magazine. The current rifle is equipped with a Sheard front sight, empty rear sight dovetail, tang peep sight, half-magazine, checkered pistol grip stock and forearm, and hard rubber shotgun buttplate and grip cap. It is marked with the two-line address on top of the barrel and “30 W.C.F.” at the breech. It properly lacks the factory “WP” proof which was not adopted yet. The serial number is on the bottom of the frame. CONDITION: Good. The rifle has mostly been worn and cleaned to a smooth gray overall from generations of use by Merrifield and his family. Overall wear is fairly minor and mainly consists of some scratches and light dings. There are still patterns of original case colors visible on the hammer and internals, and the loading gate retains traces of the original niter blue. The wood is also good and exhibits a similar worn but solid condition overall with mostly smoothed but visible checkering, attractive figure on the butt,
a hairline crack on the right at the rear of the upper tang, and a burn type mark on the left of the forearm at the breech. Mechanically excellent. This is a rare, attractive, and historically significant rifle that is part of the Roosevelt family’s long connection to Roosevelt’s hunting partner, ranch foreman, and friend. Greg Lampe acquired this rifle straight from the family, and now it is proudly offered at auction publicly for the first time.
Provenance: Arthur William Merrifield from the Roosevelt Family; Blanche Merrifield McDaniel; Norman V. Chatterman;
The Greg Lampe Collection.
Estimate: 7,500 - 10,000

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