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Since publication of Volume 25 of Arms Heritage Magazine, we have received a number of communications (yeah, yeah - emails) either addressing some of our previous stuff or suggesting other areas of the arms collecting field of interest that we should be addressing. ‘Should’ sounds awfully imperious, so maybe ‘could’ is the better word to use. But then I split hairs for a hobby.
In a world where collectible arms can reach six figures in value there are, believe it or not, areas of collecting that are still affordable. This column will regularly feature areas of specialization that are inexpensive, fun, challenging and highly rewarding in collector satisfaction.
There are still treasures out there yet to be found, this was one of them but sadly for me, some other guy was the beneficiary of good luck.. This knife is the culmination of years of experience in the knife making industry by the San Francisco firm of Will & Finck. It was likely made in the 1880’s. There are very few American knives sporting gold embellishments.
Matt Sears sent in this photo of a Colt Model 1861 Navy with most unusual markings from the Washington Naval Depot. (see Figs. 1 and 2). This prompted us to look at other markings we’ve seen on Colt Navies- if our readers have any others to add, we’ll be pleased to publish them if you’ll send photos.
Before we discuss the pistol, I want to talk about George Lovell. He was a man tasked with a huge job. He was to convert the British Military from the flintlock age to the new percussion system. He had worked at The Royal Small Arms Factory for years, and in 1840 he became the Inspector of that organization. One of his first designs was a sea service pistol because in 1838 the Duke of Wellington decreed the army no longer needed pistols. Wellington was a powerful man of the day, hero of...
Robert Swartz is an attorney and gun collector who became interested in the Rollin White patent infringement case. He has spent countless hours researching court documents, depositions and other legal sources to put together, for the first time, this comprehensive story on what was and what might have been.
Most gun collectors know that many prominent gunmakers of the 19th century produced special revolvers in addition to those plain ones that were made to satisfy government contracts and sales to everyday civilian users. Some of the major manufacturers like Colt would make up just about anything that the buyer would want and was willing to pay for. It is well documented that Samuel Colt was also very prolific in giving engraved and cased examples to various military officers who would help...