This is another item to fill in a bucket list I made many years ago of what I consider the most iconic firearms. However, I ignored that list for quite a few years while I acquired lots of junk related to other hobbies plus even costlier things like two ex wives. I've sort of gotten back to focusing on the original list lately with the English style duelers and the Booth/Lincoln deringers I got in December. I thought I had broken the bank for a while, but then sold a mess of old unused hobby stuff on eBay and actually made a good profit, so why not blow it on another collectible.
Anyway, this is nothing special--although unlike the previous two items, it's a real antique. It's an Allen & Thurber .31 or 32 cal (?) with a 3.25 inch six shot fluted barrel--Worchester address with a patent date of 1845 on the hammer. All of the bore's measured out to be .305, so I have no idea what the claimed caliber would have been.
As you all probably know, these little multi-barrel "revolvers" were quite popular from the mid 1840's right up to the ACW. They were inexpensive compared to a Colt and could get the job done at close range. The Colt 1849 and 1851 began to take the market away from them in the 1850's and of course since these would have been next to impossible to convert to breech loader---the advent of the self contained metallic cartridge was the final nail in their coffin. Occasionally one will see ACW tintypes of soldiers on both sides holding up a pepper box that I guess was their "back up" piece.
Although not much finish--a little micro pitting here and there, it's in perfect mechanical condition. The nipples aren't beat down and with a little (actually a lot) of elbow grease, I got the chambers and firing channels all clear. I found some old Remington caps that fit and she fired all 6 with out a hiccup. I think she'd be safe to shoot with some light loads---if I can get the nerve up.
I posed it in another picture in the "guns with props" photo section with a "forty niner's" theme since they were reportedly popular with the folks that ventured west to the California gold fields. Check out post 1346 here: