April 27-30, 2021 Extraordinary Firearms & Militaria
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/27/2021
Accompanying this historic rifle is a handwritten letter dated July 24, 1875 by Captain E.M. Coates of Fort Fetterman Wyoming to Sharps Rifle Company ordering the rifle to his specifications. Also included is a return letter (photocopy) from Sharps Rifle Company dated August 10, 1875, to Captain Coates acknowledging the order. In addition to these historic letters is a Sharps archival letter written by Dr. R.L. Moore dated May 15, 1984 documenting the rifle's configuration as a Sharps Model 1874 Sporting Octagon Rifle, .45 caliber, 28" barrel, double set triggers, globe and peep sights. Letter further documents invoicing to Captain Coates on October 19, 1876 and shipment of the rifle along with 300 .45 2-7/8" cartridges, four pounds of powder, 500 wads, 500 primers, and one rifle shaped stiff leather case for a total price of $90.30 Captain E.M. Coates served with Reynolds during General Crooks campaign against the Sioux & Cheyenne in March 1876. The ensuing battle is considered the precursor to the battle of the Rosebud and Custer's stand at the Little Big Horn. Also included is the book titled: "THE REYNOLDS CAMPAIGN ON POWDER RIVER" written by J.W. Vaughn. Coates died in 1913 as a retired Brigadier General and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Recently discovered Sharps Archival information provided by Richard J. Labowskie, in a letter dated October 12, 2020 from Labowskie to Morphy Auctions. Captain E.M. Coates actually ordered two Model 1874 Sharps Rifles to the same specifications as defined in the July 24, 1875 handwritten letter. Sharps Rifle serial number 154753 was shipped to E.M. Coates on September 29, 1875 and the second rifle (the one offered in this sale) serial number 159026 was shipped to E.M. Coates, Fort Fetterman Wyoming on October 19, 1876. Both rifles serial number 154753 and 159026 were built to the specifications of Captain E.M. Coates July 24, 1875 letter to Sharps Rifle Company. CONDITION: Fine overall with traces of original blue blending with a blue/brown patina on the barrel. Frame is mostly a nickel/grey patina. Buttplate, rear barrel sight, and mid-range tang sight are not original to the gun. Inletted on the left side of stock are two Indian Head pennies, one dated 1876 and the second 1891. Bore is excellent and bright. Action is tight and crisp. Wood shows heavy wear with a 4" section of wood missing on the left front of the forearm. -MKS-
Barrel Length
Drop at Comb
Drop at Heel
FFL Status
Length of Pull
Factory letters, provenance
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $38,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium:
Estimate: $75,000 - $100,000
Number Bids: 8
Auction closed on Friday, April 30, 2021.
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