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
Bavarian Limestone Sword Lithograph Stone from the Ames Sword Company,
Lot # 101 - Bavarian Limestone Sword Lithograph Stone from the Ames Sword Company,
20" x 14" x 3.5" and weighs 85 lbs. with 10 panels, each illustrating blade motifs. Stone comes with a copy of a notarized signature attesting that it was from the Ames Sword Company in Chicopee, MA. This tablet was found in the attic of the factory in the 1930s by the document signer's grandfather.... > Item Details
Lot of Three Waffen SS Items,
Lot # 502 - Lot of Three Waffen SS Items,
including field cap eagle of Nazi Waffen SS, silver bullion sleeve eagle of Nazi Waffen SS, and silver Germanic Proficiency badge stamped on back RZM. > Item Details
English Flintlock Trade Rifle,
Lot # 302 - English Flintlock Trade Rifle,
.50 smoothbore, 20" round barrel with Birmingham proofs on left side of barrel. Wood stock with brass buttplate, triggerguard and sideplate. > Item Details
Colt Model 1849 Pocket Revolver,
Lot # 232 - Colt Model 1849 Pocket Revolver,
.31 caliber, 4" octagonal barrel, single-line New York address, five shot. Serial number 32241. Brass backstrap and triggerguard. Walnut grips. > Item Details
Two Pairs of Indian Model 1911 War Era Spurs,
Lot # 453 - Two Pairs of Indian Model 1911 War Era Spurs,
one pair with leather straps, the other pair is missing the straps. > Item Details
* Stevens Model 620 U.S. Marked Trench Gun,
Lot # 185 - * Stevens Model 620 U.S. Marked Trench Gun,
12 gauge, 20" barrel, serial number 27330. Bayonet attachment, marked U.S. on left side of frame and at the top initials TP on both sides of frame and on the bottom of pistol grip. Walnut buttstock and fore end. Metal buttplate. > Item Details
Bedford County-Style Percussion Rifle by  <i>Wm. Border,</i>
Lot # 218 - Bedford County-Style Percussion Rifle by Wm. Border,
.40 caliber, 38.75" octagonal barrel, forward-action percussion lock marked W. B. Brass furniture and patchbox and maple stock. > Item Details
35 Star  Civil War Printed and Machine-Sewn U.S. National Flag,
Lot # 113 - 35 Star Civil War Printed and Machine-Sewn U.S. National Flag,
58" x 94", cotton with printed canton pattern having five rows of seven stars (35), machine-sewn to fly with machine-sewn stripes, linen hoist. > Item Details
American Skinning Knife by <i>Robeson,</i>
Lot # 592 - American Skinning Knife by Robeson,
5.75" spear point blade stamped Robeson Cutlery Co. Rochester, NY. Wood handle with pewter inlays. Leather sheath. > Item Details
Stained Glass Transom Window from the Smith & Wesson Factory Building,
Lot # 149 - Stained Glass Transom Window from the Smith & Wesson Factory Building,
39lbs, 44" length, 43" height and 2.25" thick. Centered with S&W logo. Consignor relates that this window came from the Smith & Wesson Factory Building on Stockbridge Street in Springfield, Mass. The building was torn down by eminent domain in the early 1970s. The only thing removed from the buildin... > Item Details
* Winchester Model 1917 Rifle,
Lot # 69 - * Winchester Model 1917 Rifle,
.30-06 caliber, 26" barrel length, serial number 374309 and marked Winchester, barrel marked behind front sight W flaming bomb 7-18. Bolt marked with an R and flaming bomb. > Item Details
Lot of Three Knives,
Lot # 611 - Lot of Three Knives,
two with spear point blade, one is 6" and other is 7". Third knife has a 5.25" curved "hawk bill" style blade. > Item Details
Lot of Five Double Barrel Shotguns,
* Winchester Model 12 Shotgun,
Lot # 529 - * Winchester Model 12 Shotgun,
ca 1924. 12 gauge, 30" full choke nickel steel barrel, serial number 375061. Walnut stocks. > Item Details
Fine UCV Flag,
Lot # 114 - Fine UCV Flag,
43.5" x 48.5" machine sewn linen with canvas hoist with two brass grommets. > Item Details
U.S. Artillery Militia Sword,
Lot # 12 - U.S. Artillery Militia Sword,
ca 1820-1840. 28" pointed blade with military motifs etched in blade. Brass pommel, knuckle bow, quillon with eagle, crossed cannons, and cannon balls embossed on blade. Checkered handle, metal scabbard. > Item Details
Large Lot of Military Headgear,
Lot # 495 - Large Lot of Military Headgear,
10 caps, five hard shell helmets, canteen, leather aviation cap plus a few overseas caps. Some items may be reproductions. > Item Details
<i>Admiral Dewey </i>Electric Trench Art Lamp,
Lot # 433 - Admiral Dewey Electric Trench Art Lamp,
copper shell with image of the Maine on one side and Remember the Maine amidst a panopoly of flags on opposite side. > Item Details
Colt Single-Action Army Revolver,
Lot # 238 - Colt Single-Action Army Revolver,
.32-20 caliber, 5.5" round barrel with single-line address, serial number 272561. Simulated pearl grips. Chrome plating. > Item Details
ITEMS 1-20 of 20