FINE Antique WHITNEY Revolver w EXC CYLINDER SCENE Whitney Arms Company .31 Percussion Revolver
Guns International #: 101369968 Seller's Inventory #: 190640
Category: Whitney Revolvers - Civil War Revolvers
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FINE Antique WHITNEY Revolver w EXC CYLINDER SCENE
Whitney Arms Company .31 Percussion Revolver
Here we present an antique Whitney Pocket Model Percussion Revolver, made circa 1861 in New Haven, Connecticut. Eli Whitney Sr. established his Whitneyville Armory in1798 and produced firearms (among other things) by contract for the young U.S. government. Just prior to this, in 1793, Whitney invented the mechanical cotton gin, which dramatically changed the economic landscape in the U.S., namely in the South. While his invention was a labor-saving device, making the processing of harvested cotton extremely efficient and requiring fewer laborers, his machine caused the market for cotton to explode and more laborers were needed to plant, grow and harvest the crop. This resulted in a corresponding boom in the Southern slave trade. Great fortunes were created, and the population of the South became such that one in three Southerners were slaves. All this provided the fuel that would become the raze that was the American Civil War.
Eli Whitney died in 1825, and his son, Eli Whitney Jr., began running the family business in 1841. Whitney Jr. seized the opportunity in 1847 to manufacture 1,000 of Samuel Colt’s latest revolver the Colt Walker revolver. Production of this revolver helped both parties immensely as it kept Colt in business and it allowed Whitney Jr. to tool up and gain experience making revolvers. With the expiration of Colt’s patents in 1857, Whitney began production of percussion revolvers based on Colt’s patents, some of them very closely copied.
Designated the Whitney Pocket Model Revolver, this .31 caliber handgun had a total production of 32,500 which were produced at the Whitneyville Armory manufacturing center in the Whitneyville section of New Haven, Connecticut from 1859 through the early 1860s. Many of these were purchased by individual soldiers for use in the Civil War.
Whitney revolvers from this period of manufacture were each roll engraved on the cylinder, much like Colt and Manhattan’s revolvers among others. These cylinder scenes were lightly rolled, thus very few of the fine details of the scenes survive today. This one is an exception and has been excellently preserved. It features an eagle and a lion on either side of a federal shield with “WHITNEYVILLE” marked on the side of the shield. There is also a ship. All very delicately engraved.
The overall condition is very fine. 40% of the high polish original blue finish remains with strong case colors throughout. The markings are clear. The numbers match. The grips are in fine shape. The bore is in very good shape with sharp rifling. The action is excellent, strong and crisp. Here is a rare opportunity to own a superior example of this scarce revolver with the even scarcer cylinder scene!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 5 inches.
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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