.22 Winchester auto caliber, 20" round barrel, serial number 7990. Blued finish with select walnut buttstock and forearm. Left side of frame with factory presentation inscription, To Aaron Sullivan from Col. William F. Cody "Buffalo Bill" 1904.
Aaron Sullivan was 14 years old at the time this rifle was given to him by Buffalo Bill. In 1886, Aaron L. Sullivan, Sr., a long time resident of Lincoln, Nebraska, organized the importing, "Draft Horse Company" (later the "Lincoln Importing Horse Company") and was the manager and secretary of the enterprise until his retirement in 1911. The company imported German Coach Horses, Percherons, and Shires, some of which were sold to William Cody as draft and coach horses for his Wild West Show.
Indicative of Aaron L. Sullivan's ongoing acquaintance with Cody are two of the items at auction with the rifle. A free box seat pass to Cody's Wild West Shows Good Forever to Aaron L. Sullivan, his family and Friends, and a copy of The Last of the Great Scouts: The Life Story of Colonel William F. Cody, "Buffalo Bill", as told by his sister, Helen Cody Wetmore, autographed to Aaron L. Sullivan on 22 August, 1904 by Cody in Arboath, Scotland, a location where the Wild West Show was performed during its final European tour. A second autograph pasted in the book is inscribed to Aaron Sullivan as The Nebraska Kid. Also included is 15 full boxes of Yellow Label Winchester .22 Automatic Cartridges. The lot further includes a Deputy Sheriff's badge from Lancaster Co., Nebraska. This was given to the father of Aaron Sullivan so that he could police the horse ranch. In addition, a 14K gold railroad pocket watch, made by Hamilton Watch Co. The back of watch is inscribed to A.L Sullivan from his wife and son and dated 1898. The watch is in the original cardboard box. PLUS, a walking cane with gold "L"-shaped handle with his name engraved in the handle. Along with the rifle comes a signed affidavit attesting to family ownership along with a photograph of A.L. Sullivan. A factory ordered Winchester Rifle presented by Cody is seldom encountered in the market. Included is a factory letter attesting to the inscription on this firearm.
Ex. The Sullivan Family
Condition: Rifle retains ca 90% original blue finish, the bottom of frame is fading and turning to a plum color. Left side of frame has a small area ca .25" by .25" of light pitting. Back of frame where the buttstock is joined to the frame, there is an area of light pitting. Buttstock and forearm have most of the original varnish with some scratches and dings.