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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rock Island Auction is Proud to Announce the Sale of Three New to Market, Fresh, and Important Colt Firearms:

Rock Island Auctions Big Three

Rock Island Auction Company is proud to offer a stellar selection of outstanding, and historically significant Colt firearms for our upcoming April 20, 21, & 22 Premiere Firearms Auction. The entire auction exudes condition, quality and rarity but no where is it more apparent than with our selection of Colt firearms. It is not often a collector, auctioneer, or dealer is given the opportunity to own, sell, or buy a historically significant piece, or an “as issued condition piece” which has remained unknown to the collecting community for over 130 years. However, this opportunity has presented itself to the Rock Island Auction Company and three such Colts will be offered for sale in the upcoming April 20, 21, & 22 Premiere Firearms Auction.
The entire auction will be headlined by, Lot# 3174, Serial Number 1 Exhibition Engraved and Cased Colt Navy Cartridge Revolver Presented by Colt to Lewis Sheldon Colt Paymaster during the Civil War. In terms of importance, rarity, quality and condition a Colt collector could not ask for more. As world renowned author R.L. Wilson writes “the recent discovery of the Lewis Sheldon Serial No.1 1861/1871 Navy is a landmark event in the history of Colt Collecting”. Serial Number 1 firearms of any make or model always attract increased attention and compounding its significance as serial number 1 is that fact that this revolver was the direct predecessor to the Colt 1873 Single Action Army making it the first cartridge revolver ever made by Colt. The revolver is profusely engraved, and inscribed on the back strap “Lewis Sheldon/With Compliments of Colts P.F.A. Mfg. Co. Dec. 1st 1871”. The Lid of the case is also inscribed “Lewis Sheldon/1871”. Revolvers with factory inscription which are dated are almost unheard of and further emphasis the importance of this cased revolver. Mr. Sheldon himself was an extremely significant figure in the history of Colt firearms and worked as paymaster for the company during the Civil War until his retirement in 1871 when he was most likely presented this historic and extremely significant cased revolver. We at Rock Island Auction are not only excited to sell this firearm but are honored for the opportunity. To read the full description of this Historic find please visit:   
The next Colt is Lot# 1086, Extremely Rare Historic Cased Presentation Colt No. 3 Belt Model Paterson Revolver with Original and Full Compliment of Accessories. This revolver was manufactured sometime between 1837 and 1840. The lid of the beveled mahogany case is inlaid with a silver plate inscribed: "W. Watson/from A. P.". We have identified “A.P.” as a Mr. Andrew Parsons, who appears as a stock holder owning 10 shares in Patent Arms Manufacturing Company in August of 1837. Mr. Parsons is also a significant citizen from the State of New Jersey, as he served as a representative to the house legislature, served two consecutive terms as lieutenant governor, in 1837 and 1838 about the same time this pistol was probably manufactured. Ironically enough Mr. Parsons was elected from Passaic County, the same county where Paterson New Jersey is located. As for “W. Watson” to whom this case was presented. We have identified him as Mr. William Watson. Mr. Watson was an attorney from New York City and is cited for working on Colts behalf in the late 1830’s approximately the same time the Patent Arms Manufacturing Company was in dire straights and precisely at the same time the state of New Jersey ordered 100 Paterson Carbines. This pistol has never been photographed and was a discovered less than 12 months ago. Very few presentation Paterson Revolvers are known and even fewer remain in private hands. What makes this cased set further unique is that the case, pistol and the accessories all match and have never been high graded. So often in these important cased sets accessories are switched, upgraded, and in some cases down graded. This is unquestionably an original set that aged together for over 160 years!  To read the full story of this exciting revolver please visit:
Last but certainly not least is Lot # 1258, The Finest Known Documented 1880 Production Colt Cavalry Model Single Action Revolver. This is the Cavalry that was featured on Rock Island Auction Company’s television show Ready, Aim, Sold. In the show RIAC president offered $125,000 for the stunning revolver however, the show failed to communicate what makes this revolver so valuable. The value of this pistol is it’s stunning and original “as issued condition”. Not often are firearms referred to as “as issued”, especially military firearms. Cavalry Single Actions were exposed to hard use in hard conditions. In the Kopec letter that accompanies this revolver he describes it as "remarkable to behold" and states that "The color casehardening is "as new." and "The blue finish on this revolver can easily be described as being 99%+". To read the full description on this revolver please visit:
These three new finds are only a small sample of the exceptional Colt firearms we have in our upcoming April 20, 21 & 22nd Premiere Firearms Auction. In fact the entire auction is stunning, from Winchesters, to Remington’s, to Lugers, European and American 18th & 19th century arms this is the finest sale we have ever assembled at Rock Island Auction Company!