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Lot
33005

Exceptional, Rare and Fine Cased and Shell Carved Ivory-Gripped Texas or Holster Model No. 5 Paterson Revolver, with 9-inch Barrel and Attached Loading Lever

2011 September Dallas Signature Arms & Armor Auction #6073

 
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Auction Ended On: Sep 18, 2011
Item Activity: 4 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Heritage Auctions
3500 Maple Avenue
Dallas, TX 75219
Description:
Exceptional, Rare and Fine Cased and Shell Carved Ivory-Gripped Texas or Holster Model No. 5 Paterson Revolver, with 9-inch Barrel and Attached Loading Lever
Serial no. 515. .36 caliber, 5-shot cylinder with stagecoach holdup roll scene, and with "COLT" marking within border motif. Six silver band inlays on the 9-inch octagonal barrel, with German silver front sight blade. Top of barrel with standard roll-marking, with star and snake motif terminal at each end:
Patent Arms M'g. Co. Paterson, N.J.-Colt's Pt.
Shell-carved ivory grips. Brightly polished steel with blued finish, the frame, hammer and backstrap color case-hardened.
Casing of varnished mahogany, with standard bevel-topped lid, and full accessories, including matching extra cylinder, also bearing serial number 515. The brass capper marked "No 123" inside the lid and on the surface of the interior. Wood core to ball portion of the combination powder and ball flask; "99" marked on each of the copper halves. Escalloped German silver escutcheon inlaid on lid of case.
Accompanied by photocopy of the catalogue from antiquarian arms dealer Far West Hobby Shop, 406 Clement Street, San Francisco, featuring the David L. Ingalls Collection of American and Foreign Arms, in which he illustrates and describes this highly significant cased Paterson set as follows:
G1419 COLT-PATERSON LONG BARREL "TEXAS" MODEL WITH LOADING LEVER, CASED.................$1650.00
9" OCTAGON BARREL with PERFECT BORE 36 cal. 5 shots. ONE-PIECE IVORY GRIPS CARVED WITH SHELL DESIGN AT ROUNDED TOP SECTION. Concealed trigger. LOADING LEVER UNDER BARREL WITH HOOK-SHAPED SPRING CATCH AS IN WALKER MODEL. At the muzzle A SILVER BAND IS INLAID AROUND THE BARREL. 2 bands of silver are INLAID IN THE BREECH OF THE BARREL. On under side at loading lever screw and at the catch spring are 2 more SILVER INLAYS. Cylinder engraved with scene of stagecoach holdup. In a rectangle marking the beginning and end of this scene is engraved the name, "COLT," in Roman type letters. . . .Here is the realization of an arms collector's dream - an outfit that will stand for all time as the very TOPS is any exhibit at Colts. Every factor that contributes to the valuation of an antique firearm is outstandingly apparent in this magnificent Texas-Paterson - Age, Historical Interest, Beauty, Condition, Pride of Possession, Great Demand, Extreme Rarity, etc. In our opinion, this is the most desirable Colt outfit ever offered for sale at any time. Aside from the fact that it will be some collector's most treasured arms possession, it will also prove a gilt-edged investment for the future. ENTIRE OUTFIT IS EXTREMELY FINE, THE REVOLVER ESPECIALLY SO. Plate No. 9
Evidently this cased set was purchased from the Far West Hobby Shop by William M. Locke, in whose collection serial no. 515 remained for decades.
Commentary:
The rarity of silver or German silver band inlays on Texas Paterson revolvers is confirmed by an examination of R.L. Wilson's, The Paterson Colt Book Featuring the Dennis A. LeVett Collection. In that work, only three Texas Paterson revolvers appear with band inlays, without hand engraved decoration. These are as follows (with citations from The Paterson Colt Book:
Serial no. 515, on pages 148-149, a unique cased set with 9-inch barrel, roundback cylinder, attached loading lever and shell carved ivory grips. No band inlays are on the recoil shield.
Serial no. 525, on page 150-151, a cased set with 4 11/16- and 12-inch barrels, also with backstrap escutcheon inlay, but with roundback cylinder.
Serial no. 574, on pages 142-143, with 9-inch barrel, squareback cylinder, mother-of-pearl grips and with scalloped backstrap escutcheon inlay.
Examining the author's Paterson Colt Pistol Variations, with P.R. Phillips, the following Texas Paterson revolvers are pictured, having silver band inlays, without hand engraving:
Serial no. 150, on pages 46-47, a cased set with 9-inch barrel, squareback cylinder breech (including extra cylinder); made without loading lever, and with finely checkered walnut grips. German silver bands are present on the barrel and the recoil shield.

In contrast to the rarity of silver-banded Texas Patersons are the ten Texas Paterson revolvers appearing in The Paterson Colt Book Featuring the Dennis A. LeVett Collection, with band inlays and with hand engraving. These are:
Serial no. 351, on pages 237-239, a cased set, with squareback cylinder, 9-inch barrel.
Serial no. 530, on page 245, roundback cylinder, 7 1/2-inch barrel, silver backstrap escutcheon inlay, and shell-carved ivory grips.
Serial no. 580, on page 245, cased set, with squareback cylinder, 9-inch barrel.
Serial no. 603, on pages 246-247, cased set, with roundback cylinders, 4 9/16- and 12-inch barrels, the backstrap with inlaid German silver escutcheon.
Serial no. 882, on page 248, roundback cylinder, 7 1/2-inch barrel, the ivory grips with silver mounts.
Serial no. 922, on page 249, cased set, with roundback cylinders, 7 1/2-inch barrel, with shell-carved ivory grips, mounted in German silver.
Serial no. 940, on page 248, roundback cylinder and with attached loading lever, German silver backstrap escutcheon inlay, 9-inch barrel, mother-of-pearl grips.
Serial no. 944, on page 130, a cased set, with roundback cylinder, 7 1/2-inch barrel.
Serial no. 984, on pages 12-15, and page 31, from the Wadsworth Atheneum's Colonel and Mrs. Samuel Colt Collection, with roundback cylinder, 9-inch barrel, mate to no. 985, with shell-carved ivory grips, mounted in German silver.
Serial no. 985, on pages 237-239, 6-inch barrel, with shell-carved ivory grips, mounted in German silver. Mate to the revolver no. 984, above.
In the P.R. Phillips and R.L. Wilson, Paterson Colt Pistol Variations, the following No. 5 Holster or Texas Paterson revolvers have the combination of hand-engraving and silver band inlays:
Serial no. 755, on pp. 50-51, a cased and engraved, silver-banded Texas Paterson revolver, with mother-of-pearl grips, the 7 1/2-inch barrel, cylinder and recoil shield with silver band inlays, the barrel, frame, recoil shield and backstrap scroll engraved.
Serial no. 519, on pp. 52-53, an engraved, partially silver-banded Texas Paterson revolver, with ivory grips. the 9-inch barrel reduced to 7 1/2-inches. Engraved on the barrel, frame, recoil shield, hammer and backstrap. Silver-band inlays on the barrel breech and lug only.
The conclusion from the above data indicates that No. 5 Holster or Texas Paterson revolvers with German silver or silver band inlays, and without hand engraving, are of greater rarity than Texas Paterson revolvers with hand engraving and with German silver or silver band inlays.
Rarity of the Colt No. 5 Texas Paterson Model Revolvers
One reason the Texas Paterson Colt revolvers are so seldom observed today is the fact that 150 were bought by the U.S. government, for the Navy. Further, the Republic of Texas purchased 180 Texas Patersons (with 9-inch barrels) for its Navy. Several of the latter were subsequently issued to Texas Rangers, and were given hard use on the frontier.
Consideration should be given to the fact that Texas Paterson revolvers served as the immediate predecessor to the Walker Colt, and both are extremely important in the evolution of Colt firearms, and the evolution of repeating hand and long guns.
Furthermore, recent decades have seen several examples of the No. 5 Texas Paterson leave private hands and enter into museum collections. Among the institutions which boast these rare and sought-after arms are The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The New-York Historical Society, the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, the Woolaroc Museum (Bartlesville, Oklahoma), the Raymond Baldwin Museum of Connecticut History, the Wadsworth Atheneum (Hartford, Colonel and Mrs. Samuel Colt Collection, a bequest of Elizabeth Hart Jarvis Colt, in 1905), the Autry Museum of Western Heritage (now known as the Autry National Center of the American West), the Cody Firearms Museum of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, the National Cowboy Museum and Western Heritage Center, and the Paterson Museum (Paterson, New Jersey - cradle of the revolver, and birthplace of Paterson Colt production).
Conclusion
Considering the fact that Paterson firearms are disappearing into museums, and considering all other aspects of rarity and significance, the quite desirable Colt Texas or Holster Model No. 5 Paterson Revolver, no. 515, is within the ranks of the most sought-after of Paterson Colt revolvers.
The Holster or Texas Paterson Colt Revolver serial no. 515 is well deserving of a place in a discriminating collection of Colt percussion revolvers. This is a rare and well-documented example of a seldom-observed variation, with roundback cylinder, six silver band inlays, and the scalloped German silver escutcheon inlay on the case lid.
Also important in determining rarity is the fact that the German silver or silver banded Texas Paterson revolvers are significantly more rare than Texas Paterson revolvers with German silver or silver band inlays and hand engraving.
It is also important to recognize that serial no. 515 was selected to be featured in the historic, landmark, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art loan exhibition, "Samuel Colt Presents" (November 1, 1961 to January 1962), and pictured in the book accompanying that event, of the same title. Of further merit, this important Texas Paterson comes from one of the most famous of all Colt Collections, that of William M. Locke, whose collection amounted to approximately 40% of "Samuel Colt Presents."
Literature:
Serial no. 515 cased No. 5 Holster or Texas Paterson revolver has been widely reproduced, in numerous books and in periodicals. Among these are:
R.L. Wilson, American Arms Collectors Percussion Colts and Their Rivals The Al Cali Collection, pages 2-3.
G. Charter Harrison, Jr., The Gun Collector, issue 39, "The William M. Locke Collection," page 659.
Sellers, Frank. Colts from the William M. Locke Collection, page 41.
Wilson, R.L. Colt Handguns, (Japanese; pages 2-3).
---------------, The Paterson Colt Book, Featuring the Dennis A. LeVett Collection, pages 148-149, and pages 286-287.
--------------, The Colt Heritage and Colt An American Legend, page 2.
--------------, Samuel Colt Presents A Loan Exhibition of Presentation Percussion Colt Firearms, page 15 (lent by William M. Locke).
Wilson, R.L. and R.E. Hable, Colt Pistols, pages 13, 18, 19.
Provenance:
David L. Ingalls (pictured in Far West Hobby Shop
catalog, item G-1419)
William M. Locke
L. Allan Caperton
George Repaire
Al Cali

Condition Report*:

Excellent to Mint. Unfired. Cylinder scene and all markings sharp.  Color case hardening light fading, 98% blue finish. Ivory with mellow patina and excellent. Case and accessories excellent to mint.

*Heritage Auctions strongly encourages in-person inspection of items by the bidder. Statements by Heritage regarding the condition of objects are for guidance only and should not be relied upon as statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty, or assumption of liability by Heritage. All lots offered are sold "AS IS".

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