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Allen & Thurber early Norwich Dragoon Pepperbox
This shieldless Dragoon, #38, is highlighted and pictured in the American Society of Arms Collectors Bulletin 49:9-23 as submitted by noted authority Les Bassinger, and is described as the earliest known example with thin, flat barrell ribs. It is also distinguished as one of the few, if not only Dragoon model with the rare hammer marking of historic agent "Lane & Read Boston".
Features include the 1837 action with straight mainspring, barrell stamped "Patented 1837, Cast Steel", and top hammer small-die stamped "Allen's Patent", which suggests production at Grafton with assembly at Norwich. Frame/sideplate exhibits standard Grafton hand-engraving and narrow backstrap exhibits standard Norwich engraving.
Condition is limited to very good as no finish remains but metal is smooth and attractive overall with minor surface pitting and blemishes. Grips are fine and well-fitting. Mechanically excellent.
Three nipples have been replaced, otherwise this important pepperbox is complete and original in every detail.
Provenance: Philip Van Cleave collection, Roger Muckerheide.