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 LOT 3367
Presentation Cased Colt Model 1862 Police Percussion Revolver with Inscription from Lewis Lippold to Edwin Merritt - Serial no. 22949, 36 cal., 4 1/2 inch round bbl., blue/casehardened/silver finish, walnut grips. This revolver was manufactured in 1863 per Colt and has some unusual features: the loading lever arm has knurling with engraved borders, and the frame has no “COLT/PATENT” marking. The revolver may have originally been intended to be factory engraved given the loading lever and that some engraved Colts had the patent marking hand inscribed instead of stamped. The back strap is inscribed “Edwin Merritt/With compliments of Lewis Lippold.”The inscription is almost certainly factory given it is the same style found on Colt presentation revolvers in the period. The barrel has a cone front sight and the one-line New York address. Matching serial numbers are visible on the barrel, frame, trigger guard, and back strap. The rosewood case has purple lining, an Eley Bros. cap tin, cartridge pack, flask, key, and blued ball/bullet mold with “36 P.” marking.
The presenter was gunsmith Lewis Lippold (1820-1904) of Colt factory’s hometown
of Hartford, Connecticut. A pair of factory engraved and gold inlaid Colt Model 1861
Navy revolvers (17239 and 17240) were presented to Lippold and are shown at the
bottom of pages 22 and 150 of “The William M. Locke Collection” by Frank Sellers.
The caption states: “These guns were presented by Colt to Lewis Lippold at the time
Lippold was appointed ambassador to Belgium. Lippold was one of the workmen
who assisted Anson Chase in the manufacture of the very early Colt revolvers in
Hartford in the 1830s.”They were presented by Colt President Elisha K. Root c. 1865
and are also shown or discussed in “Samuel Colt Presents,”“Colt Engraving”, “The
History and Art of the American Gun,” and others by R.L. Wilson, “Colt Firearms, 1836-
1954” by Serven on page 135, and in the Hartford Courant discussion of the Locke
Collection on August 6, 1961. Their attribution as to who Lippold was is clearly wrong
given Elisha Y. Fair was the U.S. Minister resident to Belgium in 1858–1861 followed by Henry Shelton Sanford in 1861–1869 and then Joseph Russell Jones 1869–1875.
His first name is spelled “Louis” in some sources, and some have his last name as “Leppold” or “Lippoldt.” Census records reveal he was
born in Germany and was a gunsmith. The first reference we have found is for him working as a machinist at 216 Law and as living
at 7 Oak Street in Geer’s Hartford City Directory for 1843. The earliest reference we have located for him working as a gunsmith is the
Hartford Courant on October 24, 1854, noting “L. Lippold, Hartford” won a silver medal at the county fair for a “Sharp’s Rifle made by hand,
fine workmanship.” His naturalization records indicate he was born in Saxony was naturalized on March 24, 1855. Geer’s Hartford City Directory for 1855-1856 list him as a pistol maker living on Fairmont Street. The next
year they list the same occupation but an address of 5 Van Block Avenue, and August Lippold is also listed as a pistol maker there and was likely his brother. August is listed as one of incorporators of The People’s Trading Company in Hartford along with Elisha K. Root, Rollin White, and others connected to Colt. Lewis Lippold was involved in German organizations in Hartford, including the German-English Society, Hartford Turner & Singing Society, and the German Union Club and was the head of the latter in 1863. He was also involved in Republican politics. Geer’s Hartford City Director for 1867-1868 lists “Lippoldt, Lewis” as a gunmaker with a home on Asylum Street. When his wife Henriette (Henrietta in some sources) died in 1901, their home was noted as 7 1/2 Oak Street in Hartford. She came to Hartford around the 1850s from Germany as well and had been committed to the Retreat for the Insane in the 1890s.
The recipient was most likely Edwin Merritt Sr. (1808-1891), a prominent man in Hartford. Merritt was a master builder and had properties at 69 Webster Street around 1 1/2 miles to the west of the Colt Armory and another nearby on Benton Street. His estate was valued at $12,926. He is noted as a member of Deluge Fire Company No. 2 and as elected their foreman back in 1839 and was also involved in the raising of cattle at Colt’s Meadow and was listed as the superintendent of Colt’s Farm in directories from the 1860s. Earlier directories and the 1850 Census list him as a joiner. The 1860 Census list him as a master builder, and the 1870 and 1880 Census lists him as a farmer. There was also Brigadier General Edwin Atkins Merritt (1828-1916) of New York, but if presented to him you would expect to find his military rank at the time included.
CONDITION: Very fine with 70% plus bright original high polish blue finish, 60% plus original case colors, 90% plus of the age darkened
original silver plating, and crisp inscription. The grip is excellent and has nearly all of the original “piano” varnish remaining and only some light handling marks. The case has some slivers absent and a few cracks, but the case and accessories are otherwise very good with mild age and storage related wear. Overall, this is a very attractive and interesting cased Colt Model 1862 Police revolver with a great factory inscription connected to the Colt factory’s hometown and a man who received one of the finest pairs of percussion Colts ever crafted.
Estimate: 8,500 - 13,000
LOT 3368
Exceptional and Highly Desirable “Wells Fargo Model” Colt Model 1849 Pocket Percussion Revolver - Serial no. 140200, 31 cal., 3 inch octagon bbl., blue/
casehardened/silver finish, walnut grips. Manufactured in 1858. This is a scarce example of a Colt Model 1849 Pocket Model variation with a three inch barrel without
provisions for a loading lever, a solid lug without loading slots, and otherwise standard Model 1849 markings and features including matching visible serial numbers on the barrel, frame, trigger guard, butt, wedge, cylinder and cylinder pin.
CONDITION: Exceptionally fine, retains 60% original blue finish on the barrel with smooth brown patina on the balance, smooth gray patina on the cylinder with a distinct scene, 75% vivid original case colors, and 70% original silver plated finish on the brass. Grip is very fine with some mild edge wear, some scattered light scratches, and most of the original varnish finish. The hammer requires manual assistance in order to release with the trigger. This desirable “Wells Fargo Model” Colt Model 1849 Pocket revolver is in a high level of condition when compared with the surviving examples today. Estimate: 6,000 - 8,000

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