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The other remaining dates of 1896 and 1897 remain ambiguous. There are, however, a few
possibilities. The Great Industrial Exposition of Berlin 1896 was held from May 1 to October
15, 1896 in the Treptow borough of Berlin. Around 3,040 international companies had displays.
The Brussels International Exposition of 1897 was a world’s fair held from May 10 to November 8,
1897 in Brussels, Belgium. Twenty-seven countries participated. Keeping it closer to home, the Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition was held from May 1 to October 31, 1897 in Nashville. The exposition celebrated the 100th anniversary of Tennessee’s entry into the Union.
Finding a deluxe Model 1873, especially a first model, in any condition is becoming increasingly difficult, let alone a well-seasoned exhibition gun like this example. For the typical Winchester customer special features such as deluxe wood were generally considered too costly and unnecessary for those looking for a reliable “working man’s gun.” Noted Winchester expert and author George Madis pointed out, “Early models with special features are harder to find than later models, due to the fact that often Winchester was so busy with the new production that there was no time to promote special features” (“The Winchester Book,” page 132). The rifle is fitted with a combination Beach front sight and an elevation adjustable rear sight. The top barrel flat has the two-line Winchester legend ahead of the rear sight. The upper tang is marked “MODEL 1873.” The rifle correctly lacks a caliber marking. As stated, the rifle has a full factory gold plating, including the loading gate, hammer, and lever. The checkered forearm and straight grip stock
     are highly figured deluxe walnut. The buttstock is fitted with a trapdoor crescent buttplate (cleaning rod not included).
CONDITION: Fine as an exquisite, historically significant piece of Winchester exhibition history displayed at the Philadelphia Centennial International Exhibition of 1876. The rifle retains 85% plus radiating factory refurbished gold plating from its many years as an exhibition display gun. The restored highly figured wood is very fine with some scattered minor handling marks, a small chip on the forearm at the cap (left side), much of the high polish varnish remaining, and overall crisp checkering. Mechanically excellent. This is a rare opportunity to acquire one of only a limited number of known 19th century Winchester exhibition pieces.
Estimate: 35,000 - 55,000

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