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.



Provenance:  
Descended directly in the family of General Thomas H. Ruger


Condition:  
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
* Lot of Two Stevens Sporting Rifles,
Lot # 523 - * Lot of Two Stevens Sporting Rifles,
First is a .22 short caliber, 24" barrel, serial number 13302. Blue barrel, nickel receiver, walnut stock. Tip-up model. Second is a Model 44 Rifle with .32 RF caliber, 24" barrel, serial number 35665. Blue finish, walnut stocks. > Item Details
U.S. Military Model 1813
Old Wood  and Wrought Iron Strong Box,
Lot # 370 - Old Wood and Wrought Iron Strong Box,
12"x17"x10" with lock plate (no key). Metal furniture throughout and complete with two iron carrying handles. > Item Details
Percussion Saw Handled Pistols by <i>Joseph Cooper</i>,
Lot # 228 - Percussion Saw Handled Pistols by Joseph Cooper,
.580 bore diameter, 8.75" octagonal barrels. Marked on locks and on top of barrels Joseph Cooper, New York. Forward-action percussion locks. Single-set trigger, steel trigger guard with finger loop. Locks, tang and breech are nicely engraved with two gold bands at breech. German silver tipped and e... > Item Details
Two Japanese Swords: Russo-Japanese Sword & WWII Army Officer's Sword,
Lot # 348 - Two Japanese Swords: Russo-Japanese Sword & WWII Army Officer's Sword,
1st being the Russo-Japanese War Army Officer's sword and scabbard also called Kyu-gunto sword, this example is of the Katana type with longer (8") hilt, total length in scabbard is 37.5", AND WWII Army Officer's sword with 27.25" single-edged Katana steel blade has a beveled top edged and false Mi... > Item Details
Over and Under Percussion Rifle by <i>D. Beck</i> of Bath, NY,
Lot # 223 - Over and Under Percussion Rifle by D. Beck of Bath, NY,
.40 caliber rifled top barrel, .56 caliber smooth bore bottom barrel, 30.25" barrels, brass patch box and star inlay. > Item Details
* Mint Browning FN Custom Made Model B-25 Broadway Trap Over/Under Shotgun,
Lot # 271 - * Mint Browning FN Custom Made Model B-25 Broadway Trap Over/Under Shotgun,
12 gauge, 30" over/under barrels with broad rib and two ivory beads, serial number 52.642-S S-75, chokes full and modified. Very fancy hand-checkered walnut buttstock and forearm in a very fine pattern with teardrop panels on right and left side. Factory installed rubber recoil pad. Frame is finishe... > Item Details
Winchester Model 1873 Rifle, Plus Letter,
Lot # 263 - Winchester Model 1873 Rifle, Plus Letter,
.44-40 caliber, 24.25" octagonal barrel, serial number 306854B. Walnut buttstock and forearm. Included is a copy of the factory letter. > Item Details
Lot of Early Powder Horns & Flask, Plus,
Lot # 573 - Lot of Early Powder Horns & Flask, Plus,
lot of five, includes two powder horns, one ram's horn trumpet type horn, brass powder flask with hound and birds and an old leather money belt. > Item Details
Original Metcalf Cartridge Block,
Lot # 75 - Original Metcalf Cartridge Block,
completely sealed and full. Marked 8 Rifle Cartridges 75 Grains of Powder, 405 Grain Bullet, Made at Frankford Arsenal and dated on one side January, 1875 and on the other side February 1875. > 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
* J. Stevens No. 44 Rifle,
Lot # 521 - * J. Stevens No. 44 Rifle,
.22 lr caliber, 23.75" barrel, serial number 47371. > Item Details
American Bowie Knife by <i>Buck Brothers,</i>
Lot # 202 - American Bowie Knife by Buck Brothers,
7" spear point blade marked at ricasso Buck Brothers Cast Steel. Silver-plated quillon and silver-plated ferrule. Rosewood handle. Leather sheath. > Item Details
Model 1861 Colt Contract Rifled-Musket,
Lot # 89 - Model 1861 Colt Contract Rifled-Musket,
.58 caliber, 40" round barrel, dated on top of barrel 1863. Barrel proofs on left flat. Lockplate dated 1863 in rear. Further marked Colt's Pt F.A. Mfg Co, Hartford, Ct. Barrel bands and all metal parts with sub-inspector's initials and U.S. on bands. Walnut stock with mint cartouches. > 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
M1881 Metcalf Cavalry Belt,
Lot # 143 - M1881 Metcalf Cavalry Belt,
complete with leather belt and leather holster carrier. Leather and canvas cartridge carrier. > Item Details
British Socket Bayonet,
Lot # 80 - British Socket Bayonet,
15" triangular blade, with British markings and dated 1819. > Item Details
Utah Indian Wars Veteran's Medal ID'd to <i>Niels Hansen,</i>
Lot # 139 - Utah Indian Wars Veteran's Medal ID'd to Niels Hansen,
bronze medal with red, white and blue silk ribbon, stamped on reverse Presented by the State of Utah to Niels Hansen. These medals are rare since only a few states issued them for the Indian Wars: Minnesota, Nebraska and Utah. Nothing is known about the recipient. > Item Details
ITEMS 1-20 of 20
SKIP TO PAGE: