October 25, 2023 The Paul Friedrich Collection of Firearms & Gold Rush
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 10/25/2023
This gun is a legend in the Colt collecting community, and the list of owners is outstanding: Eric Vaule, Herb Glass Senior, Richard Prosser Mellon, Warren Anderson, Charles Schreiner II, Michael Zomber, Kurt House, and Paul Friedrich. Per the included factory letter, this gun shipped to Cornwall & Smock on July 30th, 1892, as a .45 Colt with 5 - 1/2" barrel, blue finish, checkered wood, factory engraving, including "P.G." engraved on backstrap, and a special notation for a "50 Yard sight". The gun is nearly completely covered in extremely tight well executed scroll cut by Helfricht with a finely executed punch dot background. Stunning geometrics fill in negative space where scroll would not fit, and rocker engraving and dressed edges are used to accentuate borders. Left side of the frame has a masterfully executed 2-tier starburst around the central screw, which is repeated with 1 tier on the right side. The cylinder is engraved en suite with rocker engraving and punch dots decorating the rear of the cylinder, with the balance filled with explosive geometrics and linework. Even careful attention has been paid to the ejector rod, with a single line of wrigglework accented by punch dots and encapsulating a single floral, the front sight, which has been dressed about the perimeter, and the trigger guard, which has geometric work throughout. 2 piece checkered walnut grips, rotatable lanyard loop on stud. The gun has also been well documented, appearing in the Roll of Honor in Volume 26, No. 5, 2004 edition of Man at Arms, on a 2 page spread; a physical copy of the magazine is included and signed "For my friend Paul Freidrich Kurt House" and dated 3-12-11, probably when Paul purchased the gun. A letter from the Connecticut Historical Society addressing possibles for who Cornwall & Smock refers to and associated names, with no luck; a second letter from Dean Nelson, curator at the Museum of Connecticut History indicates that Cornwall & Smock may be a reference to H.C. Cornwall, who may have worked for Colt. A letter from Michael Zomber shares that Eric Vaule, John Gangel, Robert Berryman, and Greg Martin, among others, consider this gun to be the most elaborate and beautiful factory engraved and blued 1878 known. Michael notes that the engraving is undoubtedly Helfricht's, and amongst his finest works as it exhibits tighter scroll and features not normally seen. CONDITION: Outstanding, retaining approximately 90% of the factory bluing with typical age-related silvering to high edges and a few very minor areas of patina, mostly on cylinder and tip of loading gate. Straps, rear of trigger guard, and face of trigger blade with larger areas of dove grey consistent with use. Grips are excellent with the majority of their varnish intact and sharp checkering, only one area of rubbing on left side (incidentally, where it would rub against a belt while holstered). Only a phantom of a turn line. Mechanically fine, bore is excellent. This is one of the finest engraved Colt cartridge revolvers and one of the finest engraved Colt firearms period.
Barrel Length
5 - 1/2"
.45 Colt
FFL Status
1878 Frontier
Factory Letter, Information
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $38,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $120,000.00
Estimate: $75,000 - $125,000
Number Bids: 18
Auction closed on Wednesday, October 25, 2023.
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