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Broadside for Colt’s .44 Caliber Second Model Dragoon Revolver

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141.     [COLT REVOLVERS]. Two items, illustrated broadside and letter:

BROADSIDE. Illustrated broadside commencing: Colt’s Patent Repeating Pistols, Army, Navy, and Pocket Sizes. Manufactured at Hartford, Conn. Beware of Counterfeits and Patent Infringements [wood-engraved illustration of Colt Revolver with parts identified by letters] Directions for Loading Colt’s Pistols…. [at end] Orders for Arms may be addressed to me at Hartford, Conn., or New York City. Samuel Colt. Printed on pale blue wove paper (26.5 x 20.4 cm). On verso are miscellaneous unsigned writings in French, dated 1850, concerning municipal taxes and business matters. Creased where formerly folded, a few small voids due to ink corrosion (not affecting text), bleed-through from verso.

The broadside illustrates Colt’s .44 Caliber Second Model Dragoon Revolver (manufactured 1850-1851), complete with the cylinder engraving of a battle between Native Americans and soldiers. A key to the parts of the revolver identify barrel, cylinder, hammer, trigger, ramrod, and lever. This is an interesting example of nineteenth-century advertising in the United States.

COLT, Samuel & Elisha. Autograph letter, signed, from Samuel and Elisha Colt (entirely in the latter’s hand and signed with both names by Elisha), Hartford, March 25, 1852, 1 page on wove paper, with integral address leaf to Armand Soubie at New Orleans, 4to (25 x 19.7 cm). Docketed as from Samuel Colt, March 25, 1852, and received April 2, 1852. Creased where formerly folded, address leaf with void caused by removal of stamp (not affecting text), light overall browning and remains of wax seal.

The letter concerns various shipments of revolvers being sent to Armand Soubie and problems in receiving them. The Colts promise that one box of twenty-four Navy pistols will be on its way, noting that the small pistols he ordered have not been made, and it will be some months before they are ready for shipment. They close with a promise that they will investigate Box Number One, which had been sent in February but apparently was not received, with the help of the express company in New York. Recipient Soubie was a New Orleans gunsmith and gun dealer with wide-ranging business interests, including supplying weapons to the Texas population and people traveling to California via Chagres or the Horn. Soubie was an avid fan of Colt’s revolvers.

     In 1847, Samuel Colt (1814-1862) borrowed money from his banker cousin Elisha Colt and other Hartford businessmen to lease a factory on Pearl Street in Hartford, where he adapted the system of interchangeable parts to the mass production of guns. Samuel Colt was America’s first major arms exporter and manufacturer and the arms industry’s first lobbyist. His manufacturing company was a giant of nineteenth-century U.S. industry. Samuel Colt’s revolver was the most significant advance in arms technology in hundreds of years and permanently transformed side arms. From his factory in Hartford, Colt produced hundreds of thousands of revolvers in constantly evolving models. The one shown here is a second-generation gun that followed the unwieldy Colt Walker revolver, which was designed with the help of Republic-era Texas Ranger Samuel Walker. During the Mexican-American War, Walker persuaded Samuel Colt to manufacture the heavy .44 caliber six-shooter which came to bear his name. Like its predecessor, this weapon was intended for dragoons.


Sold. Hammer: $800.00; Price Realized: $960.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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