Lot 14    

Colt Single-Action Army Revolver Presented to General Thomas H. Ruger as Superintendent of West Point,
2009, Spring Firearms Sale, April 29th
.45 caliber, 7.5" barrel, serial number 1504. German silver front sight, early italic barrel address, two-line patent markings on left side of frame; with an obviously incorrect.22cal stamped on frame at rear of trigger guard. Varnished deluxe burled walnut grips. Blued barrel, ejector, cylinder, backstrap, triggerguard and trigger. Hammer and frame are case colored. The revolover is housed in a mahogany factory casing that is partitioned and lined in purple velvet with wood cartridge block holding 56 original cartridges. All cartridges unspent.

This lot is further accompanied by a January 7, 1874 letter on Colt factory letterhead to Ruger as Superintendent of the United State Military Academy at West Point, from W.B. Franklin, Colt Firearms Vice President :

My Dear General, I have intended to send you one of the new Army pistols for a New Year's gift, but I could not get it ready until yesterday, when I sent it to Gen. K.O. Tyler of New York, to be sent from there to you. I hope that you will be able to give it a good test and develop all of its weak points, which however I hope are few. Certainly Your Friend, W.B Franklin

We interpret Franklin’s admonition for Ruger to “give it a good test” to be a sort of inside joke from one friend and seasoned vet to another. Both Franklin and Ruger had been career military men, thoroughly familiar with the arms of the Federal government. For Ruger to have missed the stamping .22cal would have been inconceivable. In addition, at the time of the gift, the U.S. Army Quartermaster had just signed a contract with Colt for 3,000 of the new single-action .45 caliber pistols.

More than likely Ruger never fired the revolver; it appears to be in untouched condition. An outstanding, and historically important weapon.

Descended directly in the family of General Thomas H. Ruger

Barrel and ejector rod housing retain ca 97% original blue with some light wear at left side of muzzle and scattered very light pinprick-size brown spots. Cylinder finish is a pleasing mixture of blue thinning to brown. Backstrap and triggerguard retain ca 95% original blue with some very minute flaking. Frame and hammer retain ca 98% original case color. Grips retain most of the original varnish with some tiny nicks on the bottom. Top of case lid has an age crack. Left side of case has some dings. Case still retains most of the original finish. The heirs pried the lid open to find what was inside. Since they did not have a key, there is evidence of their actions. The top latch pulled way and could be easily restored. The interior is in excellent condition. The outline of the revolver shows and the hammer has cut into the lining. The outline of the cartridges can be seen inside the lid.
Sold: $143,750.00
Price includes
Buyer's Premium
      Ask a Question

All Images

don't miss

an opportunity to bid. You can't win if you're not in.

sign up to bid

what's it worth?

ask the experts

sell your item

start selling
Victorian Era Basket Hilt Scottish Highland Officer’s Broad Sword,
Lot # 352 - Victorian Era Basket Hilt Scottish Highland Officer’s Broad Sword,
33" blade with narrow fuller that is 17" long. Sergeant's pattern iron hilt. Red fabric lining the leather with silver edging. Black leather grip bound with spiraled wire wrap. The ricasso is marked with the letters EC. > Item Details
* Springfield Model 1901 Carbine,
Lot # 66 - * Springfield Model 1901 Carbine,
.30-03 caliber, 22" round barrel, serial number 29, marked on top of receiver in five lines US Springfield Armory 1902 29. Behind triggerguard is marked with stock makers initials AL. Blued barrel; case harden receiver finished in a blue-grey mottled finish. Walnut stock and handguard, 1902 rear s... > Item Details
Model 1899 Tunic,
Lot # 416 - Model 1899 Tunic,
khaki tunic with two breast pockets and five buttons. > Item Details
Lot of German Cards <i>Das Neue Deutlchland,</i>
Lot # 510 - Lot of German Cards Das Neue Deutlchland,
5.5 x 3.5 x 1.5" with images of high ranking German officers and political rallies. > Item Details
Two White U.S. Navy Tunics,
Lot # 443 - Two White U.S. Navy Tunics,
first with seaman's knot and label marked Tailored by the Knickerbocker MGG Co. Cynthiana, KY. Right sleeve with embroidered chevrons. Second tunic is void of any markings. > Item Details
UMC Shotshells and Cartridges Advertising Poster,
Lot # 292 - UMC Shotshells and Cartridges Advertising Poster,
image of a balloon with shotshell bucket. Advertising cartridges for all makes of rifles. Shotshells for all makes of guns. Union Metallic Cartridge Company, Bridgeport, Conn. No bands. Lithograph has been laid down and backed with china paper. Lithograph is 16 x 26"; mount is 18.5 x 29". > Item Details
WWII Kid's Helmet
Lot # 512 - WWII Kid's Helmet
painted silver with a fighting squadron decal on the front. > Item Details
British Socket Bayonet,
Lot # 80 - British Socket Bayonet,
15" triangular blade, with British markings and dated 1819. > Item Details
* Winchester Pre-War Model 70 Rifle,
Lot # 270 - * Winchester Pre-War Model 70 Rifle,
ca. 1940. .270 caliber, 25" barrel, serial number 27972. Walnut stock, Weaver scope with thin crosshairs and dot reticle. > Item Details
Cottontails WWII Bomber Jacket, PLUS Book,
Lot # 193 - Cottontails WWII Bomber Jacket, PLUS Book,
brown leather, size 40 jacket with functional zipper and two front pockets. Left breast embossed with wings and a bomb. Left breast with cloth insignia of stylized yellow eagle superimposed upon a grey cloud and blue sky background with 19 silver bombs and red lightning bolt. Verso with white letter... > Item Details
Spanish Miquelet Pistol,
Lot # 338 - Spanish Miquelet Pistol,
.675 bore diameter, 10" octagonal-to-round barrel. Miquelet-style lock marked HI. Wood stock with brass furniture and a belt hook. > Item Details
Russian Rail Service Overseas Enlisted Cap,
Lot # 448 - Russian Rail Service Overseas Enlisted Cap,
officer's darkened R.R.S. device on enlisted overseas cap. Soiled sweatband marked with British War Department stamp. > Item Details
Unissued Mounted Cavalry Trousers,
Lot # 446 - Unissued Mounted Cavalry Trousers,
ca 1930. Three original cloth tags still affixed to waistband including size 34, and two maker's tags; B. Kremen & Co.669-671 Roosevelt Row Chicago, Ill. > Item Details
<i>Jacob Orcutt Jacob Orcutt Roxbury, Massachusetts </i> Revolutionary War <i>1775</i> Engraved Powder Horn,
Lot # 1 - Jacob Orcutt Jacob Orcutt Roxbury, Massachusetts Revolutionary War 1775 Engraved Powder Horn,
22" length, with engrailed edge and raised ring. Wood plug with wood pins. Deep yellow-to-brown color. Heavily engraved with buildings, trees, cannons, ships, cannons firing at other ships, birds, and military figures. Horn is inscribed Jacob Orcutt His Horn Which He Gives a Present To His Brother J... > Item Details
Russian Military Sword,
Lot # 624 - Russian Military Sword,
34" blade, single fuller, spiral wood handle with brass knuckle bow and pommel. Leather covered wood scabbard with brass fittings. Quillon stamped 1908. > Item Details
Allen's Pepperbox Revolver,
Lot # 229 - Allen's Pepperbox Revolver,
.31 caliber, 4" round non-ribbed barrels. Marked on bar hammer Allen's Patent. Marked on barrels Patented April 15th, Worcester, MA. Nickel-plated finish. Wood grips. > Item Details
ITEMS 1-20 of 20