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Original Case for Smith and Wesson Model One 1, 1st First Issue Revolver
This is a scarce 1st Type Gutta Percha Case for the Smith and Wesson Model One, First Issue Revolver. The First Issue S&W was the world's first successful cartridge revolver with only approx. 10,600 manufactured from 1857-1860. Many of these were carried by soldiers in both the Union and Confederate Armies during the Civil War. By the way, the First Issue revolver in the pictures is not included in the sale with this case. It is just for the case only. These cases were manufactured for Smith and Wesson by Littlefield and Parsons in Massachusetts who also made the thermo plastic cases you find housing old civil war era ambrotype photographs. They were made in two styles, the first having the bust of the First Issue Revolver on the lid and the second type having a different design with no gun. They're pretty scarce today and after 160+ years, many show cracks, chips off the edges of the lid, warpage, and/or significant repairs. This one is in pretty good shape compared to most of the ones we've seen or had over the years. The gutta percha is in very good condition overall. It has its original marron/red velvetine interior that hasn't faded all that much. You can still see the outline of where the cylinder rested against the lining. The lid has a fantastic bust of the First Issue S&W with tiny revolvers making up the inner border of both the lid and the base side of the case. Lid is marked in raised letters "MANUFACTURED ONLY BY SMITH & WESSON SPRINGFIELD MASSACHUSETTS". Lid and base are straight with no discernable warpage. If I had really get down into the weeds and nit pick, there are a few small issues that are found on more or less on almost every unrestored surviving case. It has 2 or 3 small cracks forming on the bottom right front corner of the lid (this is not the top of the lid..it's on the side at the corner...see photo) with a very small chip off the top edge of the lid...probably bumped or dropped once in its life. Also, the bust of the revolver on the lid has a small chip or nick in the grip area. Inside, everything is there but the one of the prongs on the little divet that holds the end of the barrel in place have chipped off. This must be very common and of the half dozen or so cases we've had over the past 20 years, that little piece was broken off on every one of them. Also, one of the leaves of the brass sheet metal hinge appears to be slightly sprung up so the there is a little gap between between the lid and the base of the case. This could to be straightened in the right pair of hands. If the buyer is interested, I will be happy to put them in touch with a professional who repairs grips and these early S&W cases who can correct all of these minor issues but it's a good presentable case just as it is. Whenever these hits the market on occasion, it is not uncommon for ones in good condition to fetch $3000-$4000. Here's an opportunity to pick one up for a reasonable price and give that nice First Issue of yours (present or future) a home! $25.00 shipping via USPS Priority Mail in the lower US 48 States. The gun in the pictures for this ad is for illustration only and not included with the case.
Manufacturer: Smith Wesson
Condition: Very Good
Manufacture Date: 1857-1860