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This incredible rifle is unpublished and was only recently discovered. It is a stunning testament to Winchester craftsmanship in the decorative arts on the eve of the First World War. Manufactured in 1913, this beautiful rifle features factory No. 1 engraving and gold inlay patterns. The “Highly Finished Winchester Rifles” catalog listed the Style No. 1 engraving for $250 and stated this grade of “ornamentation embraces inlaying, engraving, damaskeening, and hand carving.” On this stunning rifle, a bear, tiger, and leopard are inlaid in solid gold on the receiver and engraved in fine detail. They represent three dangerous animals that are sometimes “man eaters” and were suitable to be this rifle’s quarry. The receiver, upper tang, bolt, takedown collar, hammer, lever, and barrel breech are engraved with arabesque scrollwork and artistic borders. The scrollwork and engraved borders are accented with numerous gold inlaid borders. Gold inlaid bands appear on the barrel at the muzzle and breech. Although period catalogs advised that the box magazine would remain unadorned, this rifle is an exception and features additional arabesque scrolls and lined borders. The deluxe, fancy grade walnut stock and forearm feature Winchester Style B, relief carved scroll and vine designs and a rich oil finish. Perhaps the most famous of the factory No. 1 engraved and inlaid Model 1895s is no. 88044 chambered in .30-06 and inscribed to famed American author Zane Grey, which we were honor to sell in May 2023 (Lot 15, price realized $440,625). This recently discovered masterpiece predates that rifle and is certain to reach fame of its own. The express rear sight fitted on this rifle is appropriate for big game hunting. In addition to the express sight, the barrel is fitted with a Lyman beaded blade front sight, is marked with the two-line nickel steel marking and “405 WCF” on the left side, and is import marked under the forearm. The left side of the receiver has the two-line New Haven/patent dates marking. The Winchester factory oval proof is stamped on both the barrel and receiver at the breech. The buttstock is fitted with a Winchester hard rubber shotgun type buttplate. The rifle is accompanied by a contemporary takedown case.
While the Model 1895 was offered in a variety of military cartridges, including .30-40 Krag, .30-03, and .30-06 Springfield, it has been the Winchester Model 1895s in .405 Winchester like this one that have really captivated collectors. Theodore Roosevelt famously called his own Winchester Model 1895 in .405 his “medicine gun for lions” and used it extensively for big game during the famous Smithsonian–Roosevelt African Expedition. The .405 was the most powerful cartridge ever designed by Winchester and is suitable for hunting dangerous game in North America, Africa, or Asia. With its power and historical connections, the Model 1895 in .405 has gained an impressive following with collectors. This newly discovered rifle the artistry, firepower, and rarity to truly become an icon of Winchester collecting.

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