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 LOT 141
Pair of Custom Engraved and Silver and Gold Plated Antique Colt Frontier Six Shooter Single Action Army Revolver with Texas Ranger Tom Mayfield Display Mount -A) Colt Frontier Six Shooter Revolver - Serial no. 170166, 44-40 WCF cal., 4 3/4 inch round bbl., silver/ gold finish, antique ivory grips. These revolvers were both manufactured in 1897 and feature matching scroll engraving with punched backgrounds covering the vast majority of the visible portions of the metal. They are finished primarily with silver plating and have gold hammers and triggers and smooth grips (the pair on A numbered “224496,” and the pair on B numbered to the gun). Aside from the one set of grips, both revolvers have matching serial numbers. They have standard markings, including the classic “COLT FRONTIER SIX SHOOTER” designation in banners on the left side of the barrels. .44-40 chambered Single Actions were popular because they could share the same ammunition as Winchester and Marlin rifles and carbines. The pair comes with
a display stand in the shape of Texas with a plaque inscribed “TOM MAYFIELD/TEXAS RANGER/ DECEASED/SAN JUAN, TEXAS.”
Tom Mayfield (1880-1966) was a Texas lawman in South Texas during the incredibly violent era of the Mexican Revolution and related Bandit War and La Matanza in 1910-1920 and on into the 1960s. Like many Texas Rangers of the era, he had a reputation for brutality that was lauded
by some and decried by others. He is recorded as having left his family’s farm in Gonzales County, Texas, in 1898 to buy horses for Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders. He was a city marshal, a Texas Ranger, Hidalgo County deputy sheriff, San Juan police chief, constable, and private investigator and security agent. Various sources record him as “a legendary South
Texas lawman,”“revered and feared by local residents,” and “a tough hatchet-faced officer.” In “Pharr,” Rome Rosales Jr. notes that Mayfield was “notable and notorious...He was a former Texas Ranger and a towering man known to instill fear in the eyes of many of the Mexicans and Mexican Americans” and “killed an unknown number of Mexicans.” In “War Along the Border: The Mexican Revolution and Tejano Communities,” Deputy John Peavey is recorded
as saying Mayfield was a “brute of a man. If he arrested a man he’d beat him all to death with a gun before he put him in jail.”
Mayfield is most famously remembered for arresting Basilio Ramos under the instruction of notorious former ranger and then Hidalgo County Sheriff A.Y. Baker in 1915. Mayfield found documents on Ramos including the “Plan de San Diego” which outlined a Mexican-German plot against the white residents along the border with the
intent of establishing an independent republic for
the Apache, African-Americans, and Mexican residents
and keeping the U.S. government preoccupied in the
southwest instead of lending support to Germany’s enemies
in Europe during WWI, similar to the later plans found in the
infamous “Zimmerman Telegram.” The discovery of the plan and
Mexican raids that followed intensified the racial violence in South
Texas and lead to violent clashes and lynchings. Many suspects were
found dead, some just after having been “released” from custody. State
officials threatened to declare martial law to stop the violence and launched investigations, downsized the Texas Rangers, and later disbanded them. Nonetheless, Mayfield and others accused of murder and other crimes, such
as Frank Hamer, generally continued their careers simply wearing different badges. After the Mexican Revolution finally ended, Mayfield worked as a guard for the American Oil Company in Mexico. Reports published back in Texas indicated he had been executed by a firing squad at Tampico, Mexico, but he actually escaped, and the man that hard ordered his execution was later
found riddled with bullets. Mayfield was known as “Whispering Tom.”
Some sources have claimed he had his throat cut in a fight in Mexico in
a catina just after escaping the firing squad, damaged when bandits tried
to string him up, or was tortured while captive in Mexico, but others say
he had a laryngectomy due to throat cancer. When he returned to Texas,
he returned to work as a lawman. Texas Monthly from April 1984 noted
that later in life that “the local constable, ‘Whispering Tom’ Mayfield, a
tall and tough old relic of a former Texas Ranger...wore a nickel-plated
Colt .44 hooked inside his belt by its loading gate and whiled away most evenings leaning against his 1948 black Oldsmobile coupe...” He retired in
1963 and died in 1966 in San Juan, Texas.
CONDITION: Fine as custom embellished
with 95% plus of the lightly aged silver
under the plating, otherwise mostly minimal overall wear, crisp engraving, and mostly crisp markings. The grips are very good and have attractive aged tones, natural variation, and minor age cracks. Mechanically fine. The display stand is fine with generally only minor age and storage wear aside from one of the horns broken off of the longhorn and absent nuts for the longhorn and ranger.
B) Colt Frontier Six Shooter Revolver - Serial no. 170576, 44-40 WCF cal., 4 3/4 inch round bbl., silver/gold finish, antique ivory grips. See “A.”
CONDITION: Very fine as period refinished with 95% plus of the lightly aged silver and gold plating remaining, fairly minor wear mainly, some pitting under the finish, crisp engraving, and distinct markings. The grips are also very fine and have attractive aged tones, natural variation, and minor age cracks. Mechanically fine. A highly attractive pair and display commemorating a Texas Ranger active during one Texas most violent periods.
Estimate: 7,500 - 12,000
  Texas Ranger Tom Mayfield
   170 and gold plating remaining, some pitting

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