Model 1851 Colt Navy Pistol 1858 High Condition

I have long collected historically significant antiques including firearms, Civil War Swords, crank wind phonographs, slot machines and a variety of other antiques that interested me. My father collected coins and taught me early the importance of collecting items in the best condition and which were all original. When I began collecting civil war uniforms and swords, I wanted to find a great example of a firearm that was in use in the war. After much research, I settled on the Model 1851 Colt Navy. Over the years, I bought, sold and traded examples. Most of them had very mottled finishes and were bare to the metal, having lost their original bluing and silver. It took me nearly 9 years to find an all original example with great finish, all matching numbers (wedge included), a great cylinder scene, tight action, original grips, attractive case colors and a very high degree of the silver and bluing in place. This is that example, it is not martially marked, having a production date of 1858 (Serial Number 88539) and has the less common (perhaps 1 out of 4 or 5 1851 Navys have it) Hartford barrel address. I purchased this pistol from the grandson of an advanced firearms collector who began collecting in the 1930s and continued through the 80s. He had many engraved and presentation Colts and told me that his grandfather bought this in the mid 1960s based on his records of purchases. It has not been on the market since that time and the time I bought it from the collection. I have shown this pistol to two respected and experienced dealer/appraisers of Civil War and related firearms for their opinion of the condition. Both said it was “high” condition and all original with very nice case colors and a high percentage of the original blueing and silver present. 4 of the 6 intermediary stop nipples are present and the action is tight and functions well. Both of them felt it was an excellent example that should bring in the area of $10,000 to $12,000 and both suggested I would have no trouble finding a buyer at the Denver gun show. I am listing it here with a buy it now option of $9500 in the hope of finding a buyer by Christmas (or Chanukah!). I am willing to discuss offers that area reasonable. I will pack the pistol very well and ship it fully insured. As with all my sales, I offer a 48 hour inspection/return privilege for full refund minus shipping for any reason as long as the pistol is returned in the condition it was sent. The pistol is available for local inspection and pickup on Long Island – write and I will arrange it. I may list this pistol for sale locally or on other forums and reserve the right to end the auction at any time. Thanks for looking and happy holidays, Todd Historical information: The Colt website serial number lookup tool for the serial number 88539 on this pistol indicates a year of manufacture of 1858, just 2 years prior to the Civil War. Other sites show a range of dates with serial numbers indicating 5000 model 1851 Navy pistols were manufactured in 1858. The Hartford barrel Address: Samuel Colt set up his factory in Hartford, Connecticut in the late 1840's but based his headquarters in New York City. With the exception of the ones produced at his short-lived London factory (1853-57), Colt put his New York (headquarters) address on the barrels of all of his revolvers until sometime during the year 1857 when it was changed to Hartford. Then, just days before the outbreak of the Civil War in April 1861, Colt changed the marking back to New York again. Here are production figures listed for the different barrel addresses: serial range 1-highest recorded number was 215,348, three barrel addresses 1-74,000 (ADDRESS SAML COLT, NEW YORK CITY), 74,000-101,000 (ADDRESS SAML COLT, HARTFORD, CT.) 101,000-215,348 (ADDRESS COL. SAML COLT, NEW YORK, U.S. AMERICA). Mfg. 1850-1873. Based on the above listed figures, approximately 27,000 out of approximately 215,000 Colt Navy pistols were produced with the Hartford Barrel address. This represents fewer than 1 in 4 Colt Navy pistols thus marked. The six-round .36 caliber Navy revolver was much lighter than the contemporary Colt Dragoon Revolvers developed from the .44 Walker Colt revolvers of 1847, which, given their size and weight, were generally carried in saddle holsters.[2] It is an enlarged version of the .31 caliber Colt Pocket Percussion Revolvers, that evolved from the earlier Baby Dragoon, and, like them, is a mechanically improved and simplified descendant of the 1836 Paterson revolver. As the factory designation implied, the Navy revolver was suitably sized for carrying in a belt holster. It became very popular in North America at the time of Western expansion. The cylinder of this revolver is engraved with a scene of the victory of the Second Texas Navy at the Battle of Campeche on May 16, 1843. The Texas Navy had purchased the earlier Colt Paterson Revolver, but this was Colt's first major success in the gun trade; the naval theme of the engraved cylinder of the Colt 1851 Navy revolver was Colt's gesture of appreciation. The engraving was provided by Waterman Ormsby.[3] Despite the "Navy" designation, the revolver was chiefly purchased by civilians and military land forces. Famous "Navy" users included Wild Bill Hickok, John Henry "Doc" Holliday, Richard Francis Burton, Ned Kelly, Bully Hayes, Richard H. Barter, Robert E. Lee, Nathan B. Forrest, John O'Neill, Frank Gardiner, Quantrill's Raiders, John Coffee "Jack" Hays, "Bigfoot" Wallace, Frederick Townsend Ward, Ben McCulloch, Addison Gillespie, John "Rip" Ford, "Sul" Ross and most Texas Rangers prior to the Civil War and (fictionally) Rooster Cogburn.[5][6][7] Use continued long after more modern cartridge revolvers were introduced.