October 25, 2023 The Paul Friedrich Collection of Firearms & Gold Rush
Search By:
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 10/25/2023
This exceptional .38 Super Match is accompanied by a factory letter that lists the gun as a blue finished, pearl gripped, Class B engraved gun with an adjustable sight and shipped to Abercrombie and Fitch in New York on November 27th, 1935; Abercrombie and Fitch subsequently purchased the gun on August 14th, 1936. "Colt's Super .38", Douglas Sheldon's seminal work on the Colt .38 Super, indicates that a scant 23 pre-War Super Match guns were engraved; only 7 blued guns shipped with pearls, and only 6 guns with Stevens Adjustable sights were shipped in the US (9 were made and 3 shipped to Mexico). This gun is further featured in "American Beauty: The Prewar Colt National Match Government Model Pistol" as plate 20 on pg. 21, and again as plates 54 and 55, pg. 43. While unsigned, the engraving has been listed as that of Wilbur Glahn, Colt's factory engraver during the time frame, and the gun compares very favorably with both guns on pg. 419 of "Colt Engraving" by Wilson, a pair of .38 Super Matches shipped to Texas. Features include the scarce Stevens adjustable sight, the early "MATCH" rollmark instead of the "SUPER MATCH" that was first advertised in January of 1935; Sheldon notes that due to the manufacturing process when Colt roll marked guns fairly early in the process, inventories of "MATCH" marked slides would have still been in stock and speculates "MATCH" guns exist into the 18000 range and "SUPER MATCH" was around 19000 and later. Glahn's trademark rolling vinework with accenting punch dot engraving covers approximately 75% of this gun, with interspersed florals and other devices throughout. Factory smooth pearl grips with astounding fire. Small parts include spurred checkered hammer, checkered slide release, checkered thick tab thumb safety, long 1911A1 grip safety, short milled checkered trigger, checkered magazine release, and arched knurled mainspring housing. 2-tone magazine with Colt's .38 Super Auto designation on baseplate. Due to the condition of this gun, we have elected not to disassemble it to check internal markings. Housed in a Colt box with endlabels indicating an Engraved Super .38 with "4394" penciled on bottom and containing a Colt 38 Super brochure in plastic envelope. PROVENANCE: This gun is accompanied by extensive provenance, including a factory letter dated November 15th, 1996 and addressed to T.J. Mullin; a letter from T.J. Mullin describing when the gun came out of Robert Settani's collection when sold at auction in 1992, when he purchased in from Butterfield and Butterfield in 1996, and indicating that he believes it to be one of the finest pre-War factory engraved .38 Super Match pistols and possibly the earliest, and that it was featured in his books "American Beauty" and "Handbook of Handguns"; a scan of the photo of the gun when sold as part of the Settani Collection; scans when sold at Butterfield and Butterfield; relevant scans from Douglas Sheldon's book; copy of Butterfield & Butterfield's 1995 Catalog, where this gun is listed as lot 954; a copy of Rampant Colt, Summer 2013 issue, showing a nearly identical gun with the "SUPER MATCH" rollmark on the cover with a brief article discussing that gun. CONDITION: Overall very fine to near mint, retaining virtually all of the factory bluing with some minor silvering to high edges and a few reciprocating areas; most offensive a single line takedown mark on frame in finger clearance cut. Straps have some mild browning coming up through the blue that does not detract; previous descriptions have listed this gun as 98%, which this author feels is representative. Pearl grips with excellent fire, one minor crack, and some light dings on right scale. Bore is excellent with sharp lands and grooves, possibly unfired. Box is good with some water damage to lid and reapplied "Engraved" sticker; trade label in lid may be a replacement. This is one of the finest engraved Pre-War .38 Super Matches and is truly outstanding.
Barrel Length
.38 Super
FFL Status
Curio & Relic
.38 Super Match
Factory Letter, Information
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $38,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $150,000.00
Estimate: $75,000 - $150,000
Number Bids: 23
Auction closed on Wednesday, October 25, 2023.
Email A Friend
Ask a Question
Have One To Sell

Auction Notepad


You may add/edit a note for this item or view the notepad:  

Submit    Delete     View all notepad items