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Basti, here is something interesting. I was looking through the coming-up Rock Island Auction and lot 92, 1851 Navy SN 93243, has ivory grips with a relief carving of a cuirassier on the left side, just like the pistol you have showed us. Also, the engraving on the Rock Island Auction pistol is very close to the one you were looking at.

I am attaching photos for you to see. and here is the link to the auction:


Note that, SN 93243 was, however, shipped with wood stocks (as per the Colt letter with that pistol) so the ivory stocks were added later. This may suggest that the ivory stocks on the gun you showed us, could also have been added later.

Also, SN 93243 has a correct and matching cylinder (the pistol you showed us did not).

Finally, I was thinking that the ivory stocks on the gun you showed us could just be in exceptional condition, which is what could lead folks to suggest they were thermoplastic, rather than real ivory (as in, "looks too good to be real").
 

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Speaking of auction houses getting information wrong, you're are right! I've been burned before too. And they always have a disclaimer to give themselves an out.

caveat emptor !
 

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The top five or six American auctioneers (Rock Island, Morphy, Poulin's, Cowan, Heritage, Skinner, etc.) will all guarantee the "bold" headline title of the lot, in other words: "Colt Model 1849 Percussion Pocket Revolver" but as far as I know, only Poulin will guarantee the description below the bolded title (whatever description they do provide). Beyond these few top auctioneers, it's really hit-or-miss and personally, I wouldn't ever buy an expensive gun from anyone other than these few auctioneers listed above.

There have been quite a few times when I would call an auctioneer and have a remote conversation about a gun and I would realize the auctioneer I was speaking with has very little idea what I was talking about (even some folks from these top auction houses listed above). I recently had a conversation with a cataloguer from one of those auction houses about a Henry Rifle in their sale, and asked about the "Henry Bump", and the man had no idea what a "Henry Bump" was, so this was really disappointing...

Having said that, in my mind, Julia auctioneers had the best cataloguers in the game, for example John Sexton or J.R. LaRue, who was incredibly knowledgeable, and always so helpful. Sadly, J.R. passed away in 2018, and shortly thereafter, Julia sold his business to Morphy.

When things go wrong, some folks do have greater sway with the auctioneers, for example those well-established dealers who buy hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, could probably pick up the phone and send something back to an auctioneer, but the little guys like me could never do it.
 

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Well, one day the new owner of this Colt Navy serial number 128889 is going to decide to Google this serial number to see if he can find any information on it, and he's going to have an "interesting" time then... I wonder how strong his stomach ache will be?
 

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We talked about auctioneers in this thread, and how we as consumers must be extra cautious and vigilant about what we buy. Well, here's a typical example: this is Rock Island's auction for Colt Pocket SN 193528. It's a wonderful cased Pocket, inscribed, "Wm. Kinne" and the auction description states the gun was "owned by Assistant Surgeon William W. Kinne of the 90th New York Infantry Regiment."


The gun also comes with "copy of research on William Kinne's military service by "Washington-Lee & Associates" and a letter from the U.S. Army Military History Institute at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, that indicates that a photograph of William Kinne is located in the Institute files"

Okay, so maybe this gun was owned by THIS William Kinne, but there's NO proof positive here. There's no mention of this gun descending in the family, or other signed/notarized family letters, etc. So, anyone could have just taken that name, then done some research, and tagged this gun with a person, right?

Yes, just like I just did... I went to the National Park Service's "search for soldier" website and found three other mentions for William Kinne in the Civil War. Two soldiers on the Union side, and one on the Confederate side (see attached picture), and these guys probably don't have as interesting a story as the Surgeon one, which tagged with this guy.


And this is just with 2 minutes worth of internet searching. I bet you if I go on bigger/better research websites I'll find plenty more William Kinne both in the Civil War, or afterwards.

So, this Colt Pocket looks very very nice, and I'd love to own it, and sure, the story about the Surgeon could be right, but it could also be wrong. This is why, as many have said, "you buy the gun, not the story".
 

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This sounds like my Baby Dragoon, which has an inscription too. Allot of documentation came with it on the soldier. However, I did my own research. I found three soldiers with the same name and middle initials. Then there were also many listed but without the middle initial. Middle names began to come into popular use in the U.S. only by the 19th century. So what to think?

Anyway, I decided for this and other much more substantive reasons, some listed here in this thread, that the documentation was meaningless. The best that I can tell is it may have been a 鈥渃oming home鈥 present for a returning soldier. But that is my story, and not necessarily anything to do with reality. I will think of it as such.

鈥淏uy the firearm, not the story鈥
 

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When I google translate to English this is what I get:

"This Navy revolver was given by Samuel Colt to General Jackson's right-hand man of General Lee. Then offered to my great uncle Colonel Solier by the general's son as a thank you for his accommodation and in friendships in the year 1870."

If this is a correct translation then the gun was not given to General Jackson, it was given to General Jackson's right hand man, namely General Lee. Then it was given by General Lee's son to Colonel Solier in 1870. I don't see why Jackson's name even needed to be mentioned. Maybe whoever wrote the letter thought General Jackson was more impressive than General Lee.

If it was given to Robert E. Lee it would at least make some sense. Robert E. Lee had sons and Robert E. Lee died in 1870. If Colonel Solier really was a good friend to Robert E. Lee that would be an appropriate time for one of Lee's sons to give one of his father's pistols to Colonel Solier.

It is still just a story. I am just pointing out that the auction company appears to have made a mistake in saying the gun allegedly came out of the Jackson familiy. It should have said it allegedly came out of the Lee family.

If you go to the auction page and view the photos in Full Screen mode and enlarge the pics to their maximum size, in the second to last picture, the one which shows the bottom of the grips, you can see what appear to be Schreger lines.
 

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鈥淚鈥 and 鈥淓鈥 if grips were original.
 
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