Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    English Cased Engraved and Gold-Washed Colt Model 1860 Fluted Army Percussion Revolver together with Accessories and Colt Factory Letter. Serial no. 5252, .44 caliber, 8-inch barrel. Fluted cylinder. Custom scroll-engraved throughout. Gold-washed finish. Four-screw frame cut for a shoulderstock. Custom-carved Mexican "eagle & snake" aftermarket ivory grips. Added lanyard ring. Contained in an associated English-style, Prussian blue velvet-lined partitioned mahogany case together with accessories including: two-cavity steel "Colt's Patent" bullet mold and medium-size "Colt's Patent" "flags and cannon" brass alloy powder flask with sloped spring-loaded charger. Pair of associated ivory celluloid dice and pistol flint included in case compartment. No case key. Sold together with Colt factory letter stating that revolver left factory with a blue/brass finish; wood grips and shipped to the United States Government Commanding Officer, U.S. Naval Yard, New York, May 9, 1861 in a shipment of 250 guns. In addition, revolver accompanied with letter signed signed by H. Preusler dated June 29, 2009 stating that this revolver has belonged to his family since Mr. Thord Hallstrom-Gray [Ivor Thord-Gray] received it during the Mexican Civil War 1913-14, when he fought under Pancho Villa's command. "My maternal grandfather, Brigadier Arne Hallstrom, received it as a gift from Thord" [his father's brother], and Mr. Preusler inherited it from his grandfather. Lot also includes a letter dated August, 2009 from Claes Andersson Arms & Armour Department, Stockholm Auctionhouse, where it is stated he first saw the revolver in 2001 and that the Stockholm Auction house had sold at least seven items from the Ivor Thord-Grey Collection which came from other branches of the Hallstrom family which verifies the origin of the revolver. He confirms Mr. Preusler's statement in the above letter. The lot also includes three related books, two in Swedish but including a copy of Mr. Thord-Gray's book in English, Gringo Rebel published in 1960, a first edition with original dust jacket. According to consignor, he obtained this grouping from a descendent of Ivor Thord-Gray who was a Swedish-born U.S. citizen and soldier of fortune who fought in thirteen wars on four continents from 1897 through WWI and the Russian revolution. He was a linguist, scholar and author. He also authored a 1,100 page dictionary of English to the native tongue of the Tarahumara Indians. Mr. Thord-Gray spent much of his military service in various countries, but from our perspective and the history of this revolver, we are most concerned with Thord-Gray's service spent during the Mexican Revolution. which he documented in his book, Gringo Rebel.. Thord-Gray had many accomplishments including membership in the Royal Academy of Sciences of Uppsala and a degree of Doctor of Philosophy from the same institution for linguistics. He was a trustee of the American Classical League, 1930; a member of the Royal Geographic Society; the Geological Society of London and the Archeological Institute of America. It is thought that Mr. Thord-Gray was the impetus for author Edgar Rice Burroughs' fictional character, Tarzan of the Apes. In the early 1930's, Mr. Thord-Gray wrote a letter from Stockholm to the President of the Adventurer's Club of New York, relating an incident that occurred while he was on patrol with a mounted police unit in South Africa. He heard the story of a child who had been kidnapped by a band of baboons who frightened the babysitter into running back to the parents who came immediately but could find no trace of the young boy. About ten years later, Mr. Thord-Gray was in the area of the Drakensburg or Dragon Mountains when his group of surveyors trapped a band of baboons in a box canyon. One of the baboons was blond and very agile and took off up the mountainside with the others. About half-way up he lost his footing and fell to his death. In his opinion, this was the child that had been stolen by the baboons. It was this story that inspired the Burroughs' character, Tarzan. Mr. Thord-Gray states in his book and notes, that he obtained this revolver when he was fighting in the Mexican Revolution under Generals Blanco and Carranza. When the parties Thord-Gray was fighting for came to a standstill, he suggested they send an emissary to Emiliano Zapata to try to "patch things up". Mr. Thord-Gray volunteered to lead a squadron of 100 mounted Yaqui Indian warriors as an escort and they agreed to the plan. He stated, as he was leaving that Gen. Blanco "handed me a very handsome 44 Colt revolver, exquisitely chased with gold inlay" and asked him to give it to Zapata with 200 rounds of ammunition as a token of his friendship" [see pages 398 and 415] . After a perilous journey over 13,000 foot mountains and skirmishes with various other units, he reached what he thought was Zapata's camp. On this trek, he met a Colonel Morales who he gave the revolver to pass on to Zapata. Later, Morales returned, saying he was unable to meet with Zapata and gave the revolver back to Mr. Thord-Gray. Apparently, Thord-Gray kept the revolver for himself as is evidenced by the letters from his descendents, although there is some conflicting information in Mr. Thord-Gray's book. Condition: Very good as refinished and reconfigured. Retaining approximately 80-90% gold-gilt refinish, with scattered light wear to relief edges. Aftermarket ivory grips excellent with light wear and mellow age patina. Action very good. Case very good with light wear and marks present. No key. Accoutrements are all good with wear and age patina present. Books are all very good with light wear present. A very unique and historical Colt revolver.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2012
    9th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,491

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 April 23 Historical Manuscripts Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    I don’t often do testimonials but in this case I felt truly obligated to thank Heritage Auctions for the extremely professional job your organization did for me.
    Charlie K.,
    Pittsburgh, PA
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 September 21 - 22 The David and Janice Frent Collection Presidential &  Political Americana, Part VI Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 September 21 - 22 The David and Janice Frent Collection Presidential & Political Americana, Part VI Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $648,838