c1856 GUSTAVE YOUNG ENGRAVED COLT 1849 Revolver .31 Civil War Antique
Antebellum Sidearm with Factory Engraving
Here we present an antique Gustave Young Engraved Colt Model 1849 Pocket Revolver, made in 1856 in Hartford, Connecticut. The Model 1849 Pocket, the replacement for the Baby Dragoon, was the most widely produced of any Colt percussion pistol. Nearly 340,000 were manufactured during its 23-year production run that ended in 1873. Over 280,000 of these were produced by Colt’s factory at Hartford by the end of the American Civil War in 1865. These were very popular and saw a lot of use on the battlefield, on the home front and in the West. These were some of the smallest, handiest pocket revolvers of the time.
This one was engraved by Gustave Young’s shop. Gustave Young was one of many German immigrants who came to the United States and worked in the firearms industry. However, Young’s talents were most assuredly in engraving and his style set him apart from his contemporaries. This influx of German engravers starting in about 1850 was perhaps the beginning of what R.L. Wilson has called the “golden age of arms engraving in America”. Other names such as Bodenstein, Helfricht, Nimschke, and several Ulrichs would also make their enormous contributions to the craft, imparting their Germanic influence and become legends as well. Wilson goes on to say that “Young is generally considered to have been the best arms engraver active in 19th Century America.” Young was “Colt’s chief engraving contractor from 1852-1869.”
This one has Young’s famous No. 2 style of engraving featuring the wolf’s head on either side of the hammer and Germanic scroll. Hand-engraved Sam Colt signature on the top of the barrel. The barrel also has some finer sights installed both front and rear. The serial number has the dot indicator that was used at the Colt factory to earmark a gun for special treatment.
This revolver is in relic condition, having been dug and put to some order to arrest the decay. The engraving is still evident where there is not heavy pitting. The action (hammer/trigger) is still somewhat functional, though a bit anemic (its incredible that it works at all!). The cylinder can be advanced manually but not by the cocking of the hammer. The bore is dim. The numbers match. The wooden Colt box is later and in fair condition. A very neat Colt and an opportunity to own some Gustave Young art!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 6 inches.
Caliber: .31 Percussion
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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