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Colt Factory Nickel Model 1849 Revolver (Papal Crossed Keys)

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Category - Colt Antique Percussion Revolvers Colt Antique Revolvers
Guns International #: 100414678
Lister Inventory #: 21151
Colt Factory Nickel Model 1849 Revolver (Papal Crossed Keys)
Serial #328776, .31 Caliber, 6" octagon barrel with a very good, lightly freckled bore. This is an interesting, single-line New York revolver that retains approximately 25-30% of the original nickel plated finish; most of which remains on the triggerguard, backstrap, and on the underside of the barrel; and a generally dark plum-brown patina on the balance of the metal. The frame has a similar patina but is more mottled gray in color and has some nice original nickel remaining, especially on the right side of the frame and on the recoil shield indent. There are matching numbers present on the barrel, frame, triggerguard, and backstrap along with original "N" (Nickel) and "I P" (-Plated) stamps as well. The cylinder, which has turned predominantly to a mellow dark plum-brown patina, has traces of the original scene remaining but does not have any legible numbers and the blued wedge is a fairly recent replacement. The revolver has the original Colt high grade checkered walnut grip that has moderate wear throughout and a small chip at the toe on the right side with a larger linear bruise on the left. The lock-up is a bit loose but the mechanism is fully functional and the revolver rates very good plus overall. A series of three small crossed keys stamps are present along the underside of the barrel; two are still clear and distinct but one is obscured by small peen and impact marks. The keys are consistent with the keys of St. Peter marking found on weapons used by the Pontifical Swiss Guards of the Vatican and would indicate that the owner of this gun lived, worked, or was assigned to the Holy See in Rome. Included with the gun is a March 5, 2008 Colt factory letter which, in addition to confirming the nickel finish, lists an extremely late shipping date of March 15, 1889 (5 guns in shipment) to "Bernardon & Vito" in London, England. The wooden grips are also confirmed in the letter despite the presence of the "I P" stamps mentioned above. The lack of any British proofs on the gun leads us to believe that Messrs. Bernardon & Vito were merely forwarding agents and that they sent the guns to the actual purchaser who we believe resided in Italy. Due to the aforementioned crossed key markings on the barrel, we are of the opinion that this small shipment of revolvers was sent either to Vatican guards or possibly to supporters of Pope Leo XIII who was embroiled in his predecessor's interminable sovereignty dispute with the unified Kingdom of Italy over who ruled Rome (a dispute that would not be settled until 1929). This is a truly interesting and unusual '49 Pocket that has rare factory nickel and didn't even leave the factory until 16 years after Model 1849 production had ceased. {Refs. Colt's Pocket '49 by Jordan & Watt (2000); "The Last Days of Papal Rome" by De Cesare (1909)}. Antique

Price: $4,995.00
Antique: Yes
Manufacturer: Colt
Model: 1849
Serial Number: 328776
Caliber: .31 Cal
Gauge: .31 Cal
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Company: Joe Salter
Member Since: 9/10/10
First Name: Joe-Garrick-Pete-Jim
Last Name: Salter
ScreenName: Joe Salter
State: New Hampshire
Zip: 03031
Country: United States
Phone: 603-732-4000
Fax: 603-732-4200
Number of Active Listings: 1284
Total Number of Listings: 6919
Seller: FFL Dealer
Return Policy: 3 day inspection and return policy on used guns. offers a 30 day inspection Not a 3 day Inspection
Payment Types Accepted: Personal Checks, Visa, Master Card, Discover
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