Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Fine and Exceptional Cased, Engraved and Relief Carved and Checkered Ebony-Gripped Colt Model 1851 Navy Revolver, Known as "The Black Beauty"
    Serial number 163902/. .36 caliber, 6-shot cylinder with naval engagement roll scene. 7 1/2-inch octagon barrel with brass pin front sight. Top of barrel marked:
    - Address Col. Saml. Colt New-York U.S. America. -
    Scroll and border engraved in the late vine style, with coverage on the barrel, loading lever, wedge, frame, hammer, and gripstraps. Left side of frame engraved "Colts/Patent." Wolf head motif on each side of hammer. Hand knurled hammer spur. Rich, blued finish, with case-hardened frame, hammer, and loading lever, and silver-plated brass gripstraps. The extremely rare ebony grips relief-carved and checkered, including oak leaves, acorns and American eagle on the left grip and matching American shield on the right. Shipped from the factory with the cylinder not serial-numbered, as noted on some of the other deluxe engraved arms of the period.
    Rare and unusual varnished mahogany case, lined in maroon velvet, with large space for packets of combustible envelope cartridges by Colt's Cartridges Works. Scarce presentation grade blued steel double cavity bullet mold, tin of Eley Bros. percussion caps with green paper label.
    Research in the Colt factory ledgers has documented ebony gripped revolvers engraving in this serial range, including nos. 163910 and 163901 (Book 3, page 218, column 9). As well as serial no. 163913 (in book 3, page 222, column 10, listed also as engraved).
    The combination of factory engraving, relief carved and checkered ebony grips, as well as the exceptional finish, and the factory ledger entries - revealing of the rarity of engraved and ebony handled Colt revolvers - confirms the exceptional importance and rarity of this unique cased set.
    R.L. Wilson. American Arms Collectors Percussion Colt Revolvers and Their Rivals The Al Cali Collection, pages 46-47.
    R.L. Wilson. Samuel Colt Presents, page 138.
    Jonathan M. Peck
    Buddy Hackett
    Al Cali

    Condition Report*: Excellent to mint. Cylinder roll scene and markings sharp. 98% high polish blue and vibrant case hardening. Grips excellent to mint. Minor storage marks. Appears to be unfired. 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".

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2011
    18th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 6,701

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    15% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    This item cannot be shipped using standard methods. Please contact us for more information. Sales Tax information

    Important information concerning Sales Tax and Resale Certificates. Learn More

    Terms and Conditions  |  Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments |  Glossary of Terms

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

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    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
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 20 days left to consign to the 2021 April 11 Guitars and Musical Instruments Signature Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage Auctions and Mr. Chad Reingold were...professional and courteous in all transactions and provided outstanding service in answering my many emails. I recommend them at the highest level.
    Killy M.,
    Melbourne Beach, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search