Lot 14    

Colt Single-Action Army Revolver Presented to General Thomas H. Ruger as Superintendent of West Point,
2009, Spring Firearms Sale, April 29th
.45 caliber, 7.5" barrel, serial number 1504. German silver front sight, early italic barrel address, two-line patent markings on left side of frame; with an obviously incorrect.22cal stamped on frame at rear of trigger guard. Varnished deluxe burled walnut grips. Blued barrel, ejector, cylinder, backstrap, triggerguard and trigger. Hammer and frame are case colored. The revolover is housed in a mahogany factory casing that is partitioned and lined in purple velvet with wood cartridge block holding 56 original cartridges. All cartridges unspent.

This lot is further accompanied by a January 7, 1874 letter on Colt factory letterhead to Ruger as Superintendent of the United State Military Academy at West Point, from W.B. Franklin, Colt Firearms Vice President :

My Dear General, I have intended to send you one of the new Army pistols for a New Year's gift, but I could not get it ready until yesterday, when I sent it to Gen. K.O. Tyler of New York, to be sent from there to you. I hope that you will be able to give it a good test and develop all of its weak points, which however I hope are few. Certainly Your Friend, W.B Franklin

We interpret Franklin’s admonition for Ruger to “give it a good test” to be a sort of inside joke from one friend and seasoned vet to another. Both Franklin and Ruger had been career military men, thoroughly familiar with the arms of the Federal government. For Ruger to have missed the stamping .22cal would have been inconceivable. In addition, at the time of the gift, the U.S. Army Quartermaster had just signed a contract with Colt for 3,000 of the new single-action .45 caliber pistols.

More than likely Ruger never fired the revolver; it appears to be in untouched condition. An outstanding, and historically important weapon.

Descended directly in the family of General Thomas H. Ruger

Barrel and ejector rod housing retain ca 97% original blue with some light wear at left side of muzzle and scattered very light pinprick-size brown spots. Cylinder finish is a pleasing mixture of blue thinning to brown. Backstrap and triggerguard retain ca 95% original blue with some very minute flaking. Frame and hammer retain ca 98% original case color. Grips retain most of the original varnish with some tiny nicks on the bottom. Top of case lid has an age crack. Left side of case has some dings. Case still retains most of the original finish. The heirs pried the lid open to find what was inside. Since they did not have a key, there is evidence of their actions. The top latch pulled way and could be easily restored. The interior is in excellent condition. The outline of the revolver shows and the hammer has cut into the lining. The outline of the cartridges can be seen inside the lid.
Sold: $143,750.00
Price includes
Buyer's Premium
      Ask a Question

All Images

don't miss

an opportunity to bid. You can't win if you're not in.

sign up to bid

what's it worth?

ask the experts

sell your item

start selling
Nickel Silver Faro Card Dearler Card Case,
English Bowie Knife by <i>Manson,</i>
Lot # 590 - English Bowie Knife by Manson,
6.5" spear point blade, marked at ricasso Manson, Sheffield. German silver quillon, brass ferrule and pommel and stag handle. Leather sheath with German silver tip. > Item Details
<i>Types Militaires</i> Portfolio by Eugene Burnand,
Lot # 408 - Types Militaires Portfolio by Eugene Burnand,
sixteen chromolithographed prints of various French military figures, including colonial African soldiers, all from ca WWI period, 10.5" x 13.5" in original folder with above Types Militaires title on front. This portfolio was published in Paris by Crete-Editeur, n.d.Eugène Burnand, (1850-1921) was... > Item Details
Confederate Fuse  Box,
Lot # 108 - Confederate Fuse Box,
made of bridle leather. Large tunnel-style belt loop. 3" x 3" x 2" wide. No markings. Resembles a cannon fuse box. > Item Details
Oriental Silver Ceremonial Sword,
Lot # 346 - Oriental Silver Ceremonial Sword,
21.5" blade, with ornate decorated silver handle and carved wood. > Item Details
WWI Cavalry Enlisted Uniform with 1st Army Insignia,
Lot # 174 - WWI Cavalry Enlisted Uniform with 1st Army Insignia,
commercially-made wool gabardine coat (composition buttons) and trousers, with French-made, pin-back enlisted collar disks, U.S. and cross sabers. Wool felt 1st Army with yellow background shoulder patch, cavalry private 1st class, one overseas stripe, one wound chevron, and discharge chevron. An ho... > Item Details
Two German WWI Era Swords,
Lot # 436 - Two German WWI Era Swords,
one sword with leather scabbard. The other sword has a metal scabbard. > Item Details
* J. Stevens No. 44 Rifle,
Lot # 521 - * J. Stevens No. 44 Rifle,
.22 lr caliber, 23.75" barrel, serial number 47371. > Item Details
Remington Knife Rack Display Store Sign,
Lot # 579 - Remington Knife Rack Display Store Sign,
brown stained wood rack with four red circles marked Remington UMC. 33" x 9.5". > Item Details
General Thomas H. Ruger's Long Johns,
Lot # 28 - General Thomas H. Ruger's Long Johns,
ca 1870s. Pants and shirt made of perforated chamois. > Item Details
American Bowie Knife by <i>Buck Brothers,</i>
Lot # 202 - American Bowie Knife by Buck Brothers,
7" spear point blade marked at ricasso Buck Brothers Cast Steel. Silver-plated quillon and silver-plated ferrule. Rosewood handle. Leather sheath. > Item Details
Lot of Two Swords with Mis-Matched Scabbards,
Lot # 378 - Lot of Two Swords with Mis-Matched Scabbards,
One Model 1860 Light Cavalry sword, 35" blade, marked at ricasso with a T with metal scabbard. Second item is a Model 1850 Civil War Naval Cutlass, 30" blade marked at ricasso Horstmann's & Sons. Replaced scabbard is not original. > Item Details
* Smith & Wesson Single-Shot Pistol,
Lot # 257 - * Smith & Wesson Single-Shot Pistol,
.22 caliber, 8" barrel single-shot with target sights, serial number 9832. Blue finish with extended hard rubber grips. > Item Details
Spanish-American War Era Veteran's/National Guard Badges,
Lot # 423 - Spanish-American War Era Veteran's/National Guard Badges,
including 1897 souvenir badge from 31st national encampment, GAR Buffalo, NY;Chicago 1898 Peace Jubilie, with colored enamel intact;souvenir badge from US Army Navy League; Manassas, VA war manuevers medal, ca 1903;planchet from Ft. Benjamin Harrison war manuevers, ca 1906. > Item Details
* Winchester Model 1901 Shotgun,
Lot # 267 - * Winchester Model 1901 Shotgun,
10 gauge, 32" full choke barrel, serial number 70372. Blue finish, walnut stocks. > Item Details
European Pinfire Revolver,
Lot # 619 - European Pinfire Revolver,
6 mm pinfire caliber, 3.5" octagonal barrel. Wood grips. > Item Details
* Parker Brothers
Lot # 279 - * Parker Brothers "P" Grade Double Barrel Shotgun,
12 gauge, 28" blue barrels with extractors, Choked full/improved modified, serial number 118534. Case colored frame. Upgraded and highly-figured checkered walnut stock and forearm, 13" L.O.P. over wood, 13.75" over solid brown pad. > Item Details
* Model 1898 Krag Rifle,
Lot # 154 - * Model 1898 Krag Rifle,
.30-40 caliber, 30" round barrel with brass muzzle cover, serial number 401875. Walnut stock and handguard with a JSA/1902 cartouche. > Item Details
British Socket Bayonet,
Lot # 80 - British Socket Bayonet,
15" triangular blade, with British markings and dated 1819. > Item Details
ITEMS 1-20 of 20