November 17 & 18, 2021 Extraordinary Firearms
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/17/2021
The Sharps Model 1850 was the company's third model gun, to include the first two variations of the original limited run of Sharps Model 1849 rifles built by Albert S. Nippes. Manufactured from 1850-1856 with approximately 140 Model 1850s built. During the early days of Sharps development, Christian Sharps, not having a manufacturing facility of his own established partnerships to build his newly patented breechloading rifles. As with the Model 1849, Albert S. Nippes of Mill Creek, Pennsylvania was the first to build the Model 1850 beginning sometime after November 1849. Nipples built approximately 48 rifles under the company name A.S. Nippes & Company. Nippes marketed and sold the guns through an agent named Nipples & Butterfield in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. George Penfield purchased the patent and manufacturing rights from Nipples on June 4, 1851, moving the operation to Hartford Connecticut, and forming the Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company. Under the supervision of Christian Sharps, approximately 67 additional Model 1850 rifles were built from 1851-1852. William H. Robertson purchased the Model 1850 inventory from Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company in May 1852. Robertson along with his nephew, George W. Simpson improved upon the Model 1850 design with new style sights and an improved breechblock. They invented and patented a new and better gas sealing breechblock on February 12, 1856. Robertson & Simpson continued to build an additional 25 "Improved" Model 1850 guns in the original Sharps factory in Hartford Connecticut. Total production of the Model 1850 over a six years period was approximately 140 rifles. This high condition and historically important Sharps Model 1850 rifle is one of the 25 guns built by Robertson & Simpson in 1856. Formally in the collection of well-known Sharps collector, and author of the book "Sharps Firearms", Frank Sellers. As seen in accompanying photographs, the rifle breech block is marked 4-lines: "Wm. Robertson / G.W. Simpson / Patent / 1856". Only a handful of these specially marked breechblocks are known today. The breech block is also marked with numbers "6" and "7". Assembly (or serial) number "A6" is found on bottom of barrel inside the forearm, on various screws, inside the patch-box, inside forearm, forearm wedge, inside stock, buttplate, loading lever, and breech-block link. Top of frame is marked 3-lines: "Sharps / Patent / 1848". Rifle features a 33" heavy/medium weight octagon barrel finished brown with blade front and fancy sculptured rear barrel sights. Chambered in .44 caliber percussion. Nicely figured varnished walnut stock and forearm. Casehardened frame, patch-box, and Maynard priming system. Iron furniture finished in brown. CONDITION: Excellent plus showing most all its original finish on the barrel. Bore is bright. Overall gun shows minimum wear. Rare opportunity to acquire a benchmark example of a rare and desirable early Sharps Rifle. MKS
Barrel Length
.44 Percussion
FFL Status
William Robertson
Sharps 1850
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $10,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $24,600.00
Estimate: $20,000 - $25,000
Number Bids: 17
Auction closed on Thursday, November 18, 2021.
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