Image Lot Price Description

Revised: 10/11/2013 

Both rifles have Cody Firearms Museum worksheets and letter in current configuration.

EXTRAORDINARILY RARE CASED PAIR OF ENGLISH MARKED WINCHESTER MODEL 1876 LEVER ACTION DELUXE EXPRESS SHORT RIFLES. SN 9979 & 19511. Cal. 50 Express (50-95). Rifles are nearly identical with 22″ rnd bbls, Holland & Holland ramp front sights with 3-leaf, 2-folding, 1-standing Holland & Holland platinum line express rear sights and each has a thick base adjustable tang sight with 4″ staff. Rifles are 2nd Model with screwed-on dust cover rails and dust covers marked “WINCHESTER EXPRESS / .50 CAL. 95 GRS.” Levers are professionally leather covered in English style. They are both mounted with very highly figured 2-3X American walnut with checkered forearms, pistol grip stocks and smooth steel buttplates. Both forearms are in short rifle style of 8-3/8″ in length vs. the standard 9-3/8″. Both have black fleur-de-lis inlays in their gripcaps. Both have half magazines that appear to have been reduced from full length with flat magazine caps as would be found on a full length magazine, probably from the factory as rounded half magazine caps were probably not available at the time of manufacture. Both bbls have standard Winchester markings and both are engraved adjacent to the standard bbl marking “SIGHTED & REGULATED / BY HOLLAND & HOLLAND / 98 NEW BOND ST. / LONDON.W.”. Bbls & receivers are English proofed and carriers are marked “50-95”. 1) SN 9979: Has early style checkered forearm and a convex grip cap with the number “11” at the front right side of the wrist and “AFC” branded in right side of buttstock. Left side of lower tang, under the wood, is marked “XX” and has assembly number “827” which number is also found in top tang channel of buttstock. Buttplate is unmarked but there is no doubt it is orig to this rifle, the fit is perfect. Dust cover is 2nd type with impressed thumb print. 2) SN 19511: Has H-style checkered forearm & serpentine grip cap and has “PHC” branded in right side of buttstock. Left side of lower tang is marked “XX” and has assembly number “211” which number is also found in top tang channel of buttstock. Buttplate is unmarked but is also absolutely orig to this rifle. Dust cover is 3rd type without thumbprint. Accompanied by an orig Holland & Holland blue felt lined dbl rifle leather trunk case compartmented in the bottom for the two rifles and a cartridge block in the left rear that contains 30 orig, non-hand stamped, copper tube cartridges. Front compartment contains a 2-pc brass & wood cleaning rod, a small wood-handled turn-screw and a cotton mop. Also included in the case is a large Holland & Holland pewter oil bottle and in another compartment is a small tin container with nickeled top containing four tang sight screws. Inside the lid has an orig Holland & Holland paper label. Top of case has a large empty brass medallion in the center and is branded toward the back edge “PERCY H. COOPER”. Top also has two very old partial labels, one of which is from a cutlery maker and addressed to “P. Cooper / Luna(?) House / Trafalgar Square / London”. The other label is from the “GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY / TORRE / TO / PADDINGTON”. Additionally accompanied by a set of early Winchester loading tools marked “EXPRESS”. Bullet mold is hollow point style that has had the hollow point groove permanently plugged with a pin. Also accompanied by a quantity of ammunition including one orig box of very rare 50-95 shot cartridges in 2-pc box that has red & white over-label “FOR SINGLE SHOT RIFLES ONLY” and “SHOT CARTRIDGES”. Additionally accompanied by five full boxes of orig Winchester ammunition in 20-rd boxes, one full box of Eley Bros. 50-95 cartridges and 27 loose rds of orig ammunition, a total of about 152 rds, most of which have copper tube lead bullets. Additionally accompanied by a letter from the secretary of Lord Lyon, Edinburgh, Scotland, dated 1973, which shows that Percy Hartshorne Copper lived at Bullwell Hall, Nottinghamshire, England and Carr House Doncaster. He was born in 1855 and died 1893. Also accompanied by Buffalo Bill Historical Center letters for both rifles which identify them in their current configuration and showing #9979 as having “short butt”(fitting only in one unique case compartment), received in warehouse April 21, 1880 and shipped next day with 10 other rifles with same specifications. #19511 received “inside finish”, proper for English orders, was received Dec. 14, 1881 and shipped next day. A letter from Holland & Holland states that they were unable to locate any record of any Winchester rifles that they had shot and regulated as they were not serialized by them. PROVENANCE: Rifles featured in Winchester Collector Magazine V.23 Issue 4 (Fall 2000.) CONDITION: 1) #9979 Fine. Bbl retains about 95% orig blue turning to patina; receiver & sideplates retain strong case colors in sheltered areas, moderately to heavily faded on sideplates, turned silver elsewhere; hammer retains strong case colors and the lever case colors in sheltered areas; leather covering on lever shows moderate to heavy wear. Wood is sound with a few light nicks & scratches, shows heavy wear on checkering and overall retains a dark handworn oil finish. Mechanics are fine, bright shiny bore with fine pitting in the grooves. 2) #19511 Fine to very fine. Bbl retains mostly a plummy/blue patina with a thin spot around the rear sight; receiver & sideplates retain orig case colors in sheltered areas, mostly fading to silver; left sideplate appears to have at one time been polished and then torch-colored; hammer retains strong case colors and the lever faded case colors on the exposed areas. Wood is sound with normal handling & use nicks & scratches with the buttstock retaining generous amounts of its orig oil finish and the forearm a handworn oil finish with both stock & forearm showing moderate to heavy wear on checkering. Mechanics are fine, bright shiny bore with a few scattered spots of pitting and a partial ring about 2″ from muzzle. Tang sights are both marked “76” with one retaining about 95% orig blue and the other about 75%. Ammunition is generally all good with some showing light oxidation; boxes all show wear & damage with three of the boxes missing part or all of their lids; mold is fine; loading tool is dark & has light rust. Case is solid with usual handling & storage nicks & scratches and retains a dark orig finish; interior is lightly faded & soiled. Altogether an unusual & extraordinarily rare set not likely to be encountered again. 4-48700 JR406 (45,000-75,000)

Auction: Firearms - Fall 2013
Please Note: All prices include the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium, which is paid by the buyer as part of the purchase price. The prices noted here after the auction are considered unofficial and do not become official until after the 46th day.