This is a fantastic Colt 1849 Pocket revolver that was factory engraved by Gustave Young. We're selling this on behalf of a good friend of ours who just acquired this from a collection that dates back to the 1920's. This has never been to a show or seen the marketplace, at least not in most of our lifetimes. True early factory engraved Colts have become exceedingly rare over the years...more than likely because nobody ever seems to want to part with something ornate and pleasing to the eyes. They are a true blend of technological innovation and art. Gustave Young was one of the top engravers here in the US during the 19th century with a unique style that he could execute with precision. For example, typical of Gustave Young, he's brilliantly incorporated one of his favorite themes into the engraving on this gun; his trademark wolf's head on the hammer...and if you look closely, you'll see he's even hidden one within the vignettes on the left side of the barrel.
This was made in the year 1854 with all matching numbers throughout,. .31 caliber, 5 shot cylinder, 5" barrel, fancy burl walnut grips. The barrel retains 80% bright original blue with the frame and barrel mostly turned to a gray patina. There are still some case colors on the loading lever. Grips retain most of their original varnish. The triggerguard and backstrap have most of their original silver plating which has tarnished to a deep blue patina. The cylinder retains all of its scene. Engraving is sharp and untouched throughout.
The original Colt wooden case is in generally good condition with a couple of minor cracks in the lid and a loose joint on one of the corners. The bottom of the case is of lesser quality wood which is correct for an original Colt case. The gold/tan original baize lining shows some fading but is mostly there and has never been relined. There are a nice complete set of original accessories which consist of the original nipple wrench, cap tin, Colt marked Flask and Colt marked two cavity bullet mold with two lead cast balls still inside. The owner must have liked the mold because he cast a good number of conical and round .31 caliber balls which he left in the bullet compartment. In addition to the balls, there are also, not one, but two very rare paper cartridge packets...these seldom survived so it's quite unusual to find one, and better yet, two!
Even if you're not interested or it's a little steep for your pocketbook, please take time and enjoy the photos of the engraving as it's not often we get the opportunity to sell such a great piece of American Art.