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
Large English Arborist's Folding Three-Blade Knife,
Lot # 208 - Large English Arborist's Folding Three-Blade Knife,
6.25" blade, 6.75" spear point blade, 6.5" saw blade, and 3.75" small blade. One blade is marked Taylor and eye symbol and Witness. Horn handles with silver escutcheon plate marked Richard Chambers. > Item Details
Four Photographs from the Gardner Gun Trials,
Lot # 122 - Four Photographs from the Gardner Gun Trials,
10" x 7.5" albumen photographs depicting two British soldiers and Gardner machine gun. One 6.5" x 4" cabinet card with photograph of Mr. Gardner demonstrating his gun. > Item Details
37 Star Machine-Sewn and Hand-Sewn U.S. National Flag,
Lot # 150 - 37 Star Machine-Sewn and Hand-Sewn U.S. National Flag,
70" x 118", with canton pattern in 8-7-7-7-8, hand-sewn cotton five-pointed stars, machine-sewn fly and hand-sewn canvas sleeve-type hoist with original braided jute rope. Hoist inscribed in ink Reed/ Iowa. 1867-76, Nebraska. > Item Details
Model 1914 Cavalry Bandolier,
U.S. WWI Victory Medal with Siberia Bar,
Lot # 177 - U.S. WWI Victory Medal with Siberia Bar,
as issued to 27th and 31st U.S Infantries who served in Siberia during WWI. > Item Details
War Hammer,
Lot # 386 - War Hammer,
6.5" crecsent shaped blade. 12.5" wood haft. > Item Details
* Smith & Wesson Model 27 Revolver,
Lot # 254 - * Smith & Wesson Model 27 Revolver,
.357 caliber, 8.375" barrel, serial number S209540. Blue finish, smooth walnut stocks, target trigger, target hammer, white outline rear sight, red ramp front sight, and four screw frame. > Item Details
Irish Flintlock Blunderbuss by <i>Dobson</i> Presented to <i>D. Peet, Newton,</i>
Lot # 304 - Irish Flintlock Blunderbuss by Dobson Presented to D. Peet, Newton,
ca 1790. 1.5" muzzle diameter, 14.5" three-staged octagonal-to-round barrel. Top flat engraved Dublin. Left side of flat engraved Gift of Mr. Wm Nunn, Senr. Right side of flat with script letters To D. Peet Newton. A lightly engraved rounded lock with a pointed tail signed Dobson. The cock is line e... > Item Details
Pair of American Eagle Pommel Bookends,
Lot # 588 - Pair of American Eagle Pommel Bookends,
triangular wood blocks with brass eagle head inserted into each block. > Item Details
L.C. Smith Double Barrel Hammer Shotgun,
Lot # 536 - L.C. Smith Double Barrel Hammer Shotgun,
12 gauge, 23.5" barrels, no serial number. Blued finish with walnut stock and forearm. > Item Details
Percussion Double Barrel Rifle by <i>Devisme</i>,
Lot # 308 - Percussion Double Barrel Rifle by Devisme,
.70 caliber, made by Devisme. 25" double octagonal barrels, bottom of barrels have proof marks with an oval with crown over DR, and one barrel is marked Canon de Paris and numbered 1477. The other barrel with same proof and is marked Fait par Devisme. Top of barrel marked on flat Devisme 36 Roulevar... > Item Details
Lot of Two Scottish Regimental Dirks,
Lot # 359 - Lot of Two Scottish Regimental Dirks,
ca 1879. 11.75" blades are notched on the back edges, edged with thistle foliage and maker's details Robt Mole & Sons, Birmingham. Wood grips carved with a basket weave pattern with brass nails at the intersections. Pommel caps are of iron with cast raised crowns. Further marked with a double R back... > Item Details
Scale Model of a Confederate Steam Gun,
Lot # 116 - Scale Model of a Confederate Steam Gun,
possibly either a prototype or patent model. Marked on the left side of carriage Ross Winans Steam Gun. Originally conceived of and designed by Charles S. Dickerson of Baltimore. At least one of these novelty weapons was manufactured at the factory of Baltimore locomotive magnate Ross Winans. Alth... > Item Details
Pair of Dress Epaulets and Shoulder Straps in Original Tin Worn by Major General Thomas H. Ruger,
Lot # 25 - Pair of Dress Epaulets and Shoulder Straps in Original Tin Worn by Major General Thomas H. Ruger,
19" x 23", Civil War - Indian War period. Housed in their original japanned tin carrying case. Includes a large silver gelatin photograph of the General wearing these epaulets. > 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
Percussion Pistol,
Lot # 555 - Percussion Pistol,
.44 caliber, 11" round barrel, maple stock. Left handed back-action percussion lock. > Item Details
Fraternal Kepi,
Lot # 414 - Fraternal Kepi,
blue wool body with gold embossed KY 10 and wreaths. > Item Details
Field and Staff Officer's Sword,
Lot # 377 - Field and Staff Officer's Sword,
30" blade with etched military panels, leather handle with brass wire wrapping. Brass knuckle bow with counter guard marked G.A.R. No scabbard. > Item Details
English Bowie Knife by <i>Corsan Denton,</i>
Lot # 203 - English Bowie Knife by Corsan Denton,
5" spear point blade marked on ricasso Corsan Denton, Burdekin & Co. Silver pommel and quillon with pearl handle. Leather sheath embossed with gold and marked Faith. German silver tip and throat. > Item Details
Lot of Three Reproduction Tomahawks,
Lot # 385 - Lot of Three Reproduction Tomahawks,
first is a Colonial period tomahawk 19.5" in length with German silver escutcheon and aluminum bands. 7" brass blade with contemporary engravings. Other two 20.5" tomahawks are both Plains style; one with German silver mounts and the other with brass tacks. > Item Details
ITEMS 1-20 of 20
SKIP TO PAGE: