What is the "A" under the serial number?
Ah, as I said, so many skeptical observers. The point being, ink blots don't make right angle or pyramidal patterns. Sioux sweat lodges, BTW. are shaped like buns. No one saw this as a village scene, and the seller, who could have woofed up this potential, didn't say a word. In the collecting world, ANY extra that the seller can incorporate into the selling pitch is used, from the cheapest to the best available. It is hard to see, however, so any average collector, after rejecting the mismatched parts, wouldn't even give the grip more than a casual glance. I had the gun almost a week before it jumped out, as I, too, thought it was paint, oil or ink stains. As far as other examples, I don't know of any, but that doesn't mean there are none. Indians decorated their weapons with tacks, beads and leather, and I have seen Indian owned Trapdoor carbine and rifles with the "swastika" carvings, sun symbols, river lines and stick figures. It is easier to scoff at a possibility than to embrace it.
The Indian drawing was done by One Bull, not White Bull, my error. It can be found on "Little Big Horn battle survivors talk to A. B. Welch." Go down to pictograph 5, and there are depictions of Indians being lead to safety by mounted riders. One group is distinctly slope headed, some have a nose, some don't. They may represent older men or women, no indication given by the authors. When the MSA is done on the black material, the true nature and origin will be known. But without the acceptance of a possibility, there can be no research or confirmation of proof in any endeavor, it takes a little imagination. As collectors, we can't discard that facet of our thinking..
Last edited by jplower; 04-20-2017 at 06:18 PM.
Two Sweat lodges and one Teepee? Sweat Lodges(generally made of sticks and animal hides) I can see but not wiki-ups (mud and stick huts") as you first stated.
LITTLE BIG HORN BATTLE SURVIVORS TALK TO COL. A. B. WELCH | Welch Dakotah Papers
"skeptical" ? Sure with no published data *here* to back up the grip stains past "ink blots don't make right angle or pyramidal patterns" and a theory.
I'm no expert but I have looked at hundreds of native American pictographs. Been giving myself a more recent tutorial and still aint seeing what you are seeing Doesn't mean you can't be right but I'd sure want more proof than "ink blots don't make right angle or pyramidal patterns". Ink blots may not but I'd bet there are dozens of other ways to get that impression on the grips.
Dave. I'm trying to obtain a photo I've seen recently of an old Sharps that was found in a rock ledge wrapped in bear hide. The fat from the hide preserved the rifle almost perfectly like it was packed in grease. But the edge the hide left a line in the wood very similar to yours. It stained the wood in a straight line and left a zagged tooth-edge on the other side. This could very well be a circumstance that your was exposed to. There's lots of pictographs around me out here. One thing I've noticed is they are intentional and undeniably depict something....even after hundreds of years of weathering.
Owner: Spring Creek Armory
Dave you asked for comments/opinions in your second post. I have tried to be respectful while still questioning your conclusion. I have zero emotional or personal attachment either way. But how about you simply cut to the chase and post the pictures of One Bull's work you think matches so we can all make up our own minds.
Say it don't make it so. Lets see your evidence of like pictographs. Love to see your conclusion to be "supportable conjecture" at the very least. Just don't see it.
If this is One Bull's "sloping heads" that you think match your SAA's "pictograph" I think you are reaching.
Your gun, so you can say what ever you like about it. Just don't expect everyone to agree unless you can come up with something better to support your position. If you can I'll be the first to say, "nice find".
How did the "mark" get on the grip? No clue. But I have a oak table that is well over 100 years and 4 generations old sitting in my dinning room. Funny mark on it as well. That mark was caused by my mother sitting a hot cast iron skillet on the table. Heat, grease and years of cast iron residue left some nice art I get it...expensive gun. I'd buy the gun...which I like a lot......just wouldn't buy the story.
Last edited by Yahoody; 04-21-2017 at 09:53 AM.
With all due respect, I value your insight immensely, and you are indeed amongst the most knowledgeable out there with regards to SAA's. But...
As others have said, buy the gun, not the story.
I have to remain skeptical. With these SAA's, it is the only prudent approach, until I have irrefutable evidence that proves that a theory or hypothesis is a truth or given. This would have to be documentation, such as a 19th Century diary or account that describes recovery of these revolvers with a statement to the effect that many or all display similar or identical markings on the grips. Or, a modern researcher who identifies several revolvers with similar or identical origination with similar or identical markings.
Even that may not prove anything, but at least it's a start. It could be that all revolvers were accidentally stained in similar fashion, or it may allow for proponents of the pictograph theory to have more evidence to support their cause.
Until then, I can only evaluate this SAA as being a very nice Cavalry Model with an irregular pattern (stain) demarcated on one grip.
I have learned over the years that demanding irrefutable proof of certain features on antique firearms can bite you very, very hard. You lose a great gun and beat yourself up for not buying it when it was yours for the taking. I once had an original Walker in my hands, but that's another story. I walked away because I didn't have "Irrefutable proof". We can't get hung up on these notions; sometimes your gut, and your knowledge, need to lead the way. Why limit the possibilities, that's what makes collecting so much fun, the lure of the unknown and never seen.
GREAT response, and, yes, this is indeed intriguing. I cannot deny that!