June 25-28, 2018 Firearms
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 6/25/2018
This rifle is featured on pages 108 and 109 of "Steel Canvas: The Art of American Arms" by R.L. Wilson. The caption states that this rifle was displayed in an elaborate case in Edwin Forrest's home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania along with matching dueling pistols by Deringer. Edwin Forrest (1806-1872) was probably the most popular American actor of his day. In 1823, according to his memoirs, he became friends with James and Rezin Bowie and at some point was given Jim Bowie’s favorite knife. Whether Forrest in some of his grandiose recollections actually possessed Jim Bowie’s Bowie or not, the knife along with this Deringer rifle, are among spectacular arms that he did own in the mid-19th century. As Mr. Forrest had no heirs, he established the Edwin Forrest Home near Philadelphia as a retirement home for old actors. In an arms display case were various arms belonging to Forrest along with his other effects that the Board of Governors of the the Edwin Forrest Home sold in 1988. Regardless of any history this is no doubt among the most beautiful Henry Deringer rifles extant. The rifle features an octagonal rifled steel barrel with steel underib and ramrod ferrules and a decorated muzzle face. The patent breech is scroll engraved and signed "H/DERINGER/PHILA".The rifle features target sights and an additional dovetail with a steel placeholder towards the breech. Back-action percussion lockplate and hammer are finely scroll engraved and tail inscribed "Deringer" in Gothic lettering. Features double set triggers. Finely engraved silver furniture includes a four piece patchbox with five piercings and horn release button on toeplate. Trigger guard, buttplate, toeplate and nipple reservoir behind trigger guard are all chased with ornate scrollwork. Unengraved silver barrel key escutcheons, small trident-shaped sideplate and small vacant wrist escutcheon. Highly figured burl walnut halfstock with checkered wrist and engraved silver endcap. Complete with steel-tipped wooden ramrod. Fine condition, overall. Barrel and lock retain a smooth grey metal surface with scattered minor blemishes. Trigger guard with a professional repair. Markings and engraving are crisp. Stock shows a few scattered dents and scratches and a few short cracks to burl from age. Wrist has a minor crack from rear of lock through escutcheon and to trigger plate and from below hammer and under triggerguard, stopping short of breech. This is an extraordinary and rare Deringer rifle with great provenance!
Barrel Length
39 - 1/2"
.50 Rifled
FFL Status
Henry Deringer
Percussion Rifle
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $18,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium:
Estimate: $35,000 - $55,000
Number Bids: 2
Auction closed on Thursday, June 28, 2018.
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