Engraved M1851 possible “Gustave Young”
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Thread: Engraved M1851 possible “Gustave Young”

  1. #1
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    Gentlemen,

    I came across this 1851 Navy model .36 in an estate and wondered if anyone could offer a value to it. It is engraved and bears a hounds head on each side of the hammer, which from what I read was a signature of Gustave Young. It is also marked E under the serial number.

    Can anyone help me confirm if this was a factory engraved piece? And if so help me with what it is worth? Colt historians told me over the phone that all info on the serial range of the pistol was lost years ago in a fire.
    Last edited by Buckfordfiles; 01-29-2020 at 05:10 PM.

  2. #2
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    You might want to get a copy of Colt Factory Engravers Herbert G. Houze (2012).

    Jim

    https://www.abebooks.com/signed-firs.../8900671910/bd

  3. #3
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    Thanks Jim,

    I had already ordered the book, was hoping some seasoned forum member might help before my self-education arrives. Fully embracing my ignorance at this point but enjoying the adventure through history! Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks all,
    -B

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  5. #4
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    According to Proofhouse.com, the gun was made in 1868. My eyes are kinda old but it looks like the cylinder does not have any engraving to match the rest of the engraving on the gun. Does the gun have matching serial numbers on the other parts and specifically, does the serial number on the cylinder match the rest of the gun? Could you post a picture of the top of the barrel that shows the letters? The engraving looks to be very nice.

  6. #5
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    The cylinder has matching numbers and the standard Naval battle scene. All numbers match. Here is the top...
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Thanks. Looks like a nice old legitimate beautiful 1851 Navy. I wonder why they didn't add some engraving on the cylinder. Sorry I can't help with the value. Hopefully, someone with more knowledge will chime in. I enjoyed seeing it.

  8. #7
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    I believe that the engraving is factory and could have been done by Georg Sterzing, Gustave Young or possibly one of the Ulrichs according to Houze's book. The wolf or dog's head on the side of the hammer motif was used by all of them, but my vote is for Young. The cylinders were engraved only on the fancier, higher grade engraved Colts. The condition of this one looks very good. For values, look at some of the auction sites for past achieved sales. Like Morphy/Julia and Rock Island.

    Great Colt Navy with lots of original finish. Did you buy it from the estate sale or is it still there? If it is still there I suggest that you get it pronto.
    Prowbar and cloverleaf like this.

  9. #8
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    That engraving style is known by collectors as the “late vine” style, notable for its lack of a punch-dot background, and was the factory standard for the manufacturing date of that Navy. Paterson is correct about the cylinder; any engraving on them was reserved for special order or presentation pieces. If you have a chance on this one, grab it. It’s an authentic piece.
    Prowbar, mrcvs and cloverleaf like this.

  10. #9
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    Thanks for the tip on the book, it definitely helps narrow it down...I’m thinking it’s either Sterzing or Young. May not be one of the most ornate pieces, but still an excellent piece of firearms history. The values at auction for these are all over the map though, so it’s tough to say what to expect to pay.
    Last edited by Buckfordfiles; 01-31-2020 at 08:00 PM.

  11. #10
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    I agree with those that mentioned Gustave Young. This appears to have the very desirable rosewood grips. The wolfs head hammer is also a premium feature. When looking at the photo of the barrel address, it looks like this pistol has a considerable amount of original finish.


 
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