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*THE LEGENDARY WALTER CHRYSLER WINCHESTER MODEL 21 SIDE BY SIDE SHOTGUN 2 BARREL SET WITH CASE. SN 5437. Cal. 20ga. Extraordinary custom Model 21 with two sets of 28″ bbls that have matted, tapered solid ribs, choked IMP.CYL/MOD set with silver front and ivory center sighting beads and IMP.MOD/FULL set with silver front and center beads. Both have 2-3/4″ chambers, and the receiver has single selective trigger and ejectors. Top rib of each bbl marked “CUSTOM BUILT BY WINCHESTER”. The side of each bbl at chamber end has 1-1/2″ wedge of fine foliate arabesque scrolls. The early, rounded, flat side frame has full coverage fine English scrolls by Alden John Ulrich. There is a blank ‘V’ shape on trigger plate. Trigger bow and appended forend metal carry matching fine English scroll. Mounted with checkered, highly figured, American walnut with straight stock that has checkered butt and beavertail forend with kidney pattern checkering. Bore measurements IC/M bbl: Bore diameter: left -.618, right -.618. Bore restrictions: left -.008, right -.005. Wall thickness: left -.022, right -.024. Weight: 6lbs. 4oz. LOP 14-3/8″. Bore measurements IM/F bbl: Bore diameter: left -.617, right -.616. Bore restrictions: left -.022, right -.013. Wall thickness: left -.026, right -.028. Drop at heel: 1-3/4″, drop at comb: 1-1/2″. Weight: 6lbs. 4oz. LOP 14-3/8″. Accompanied by a burgundy felt lined leather trunk case compartmented in bottom for the stocked receiver and two sets of 28″ bbls with other empty cleaning implement compartments. The English made case has heavy brass reinforced corners with brass latches on each end of the front and a center spring lock inside the leather handle, which is attached with brass shield shaped covers. Lid is embossed in impressed black lettering “W.P.C. / Winchester 20 Ga. / Custom Built Mod. 21 / Skeet Barrels / Full Choke Barrels”. This fabulous shotgun was built to order in 1932 for the Western Cartridge Company and is accompanied by the order sheets as found in the records of the Cody Firearms Museum. Although the order sheet states that it was ordered by the Western Cartridge Company it later was sold to the ultimate buyer, none other than Mr. Walter P. Chrysler, founder of Chrysler Motor Corporation. This was Order #54615 with start date of 9-16-32, for Western Ctg. Co. for a 20 ga. with 28″ bbls choked FULL/FUll. It was to have single trigger with ejectors and non-automatic safety and to be engraved “CUSTOM BUILT”. The stock was to have a straight grip with Purdey beavertail forend, trap finish, trap grade wood and no buttplate. The dimensions were to be 14-3/8″ LOP, 1-3/4″ drop at heel, 1-1/2″ drop at comb with thin comb and the weight was to be 6 lbs. 6 oz. and it was to be engraved in “English Scroll”. Final date is shown as 9-15-1932 with another date of 4-14-1942. There is a return order #70706 for this shotgun with a start date of 12-18-1933. It was “checked in” as described above and the condition is listed as “metal parts marred; stock-forend dented”. The new work that was ordered was to fit a new extra set of bbls in 20 ga./28″, engraved-custom built, choked I.MOD/FULL with selective ejectors, metal front & rear beads and to copy the engraving of the orig gun. Also to see that beavertail forend fits both bbl sets and “refinish gun complete incl. bbls.” Under other remarks “Deliver to Major Hession when complete. Gun to be out within 3 weeks of 12-8-1933.” Also included is a copy of the orig work card. Additionally included is a copy of a letter dated March 28, 1934 on Winchester Repeating Arms Company letterhead over the signature of John W. Hession, Manager, Shooting Promotion Division, and addressed to Mr. L.K. Meyer of Alton, Ill. This was apparently a response to a letter from Mr. Meyer and Mr. Hession is discussing the new “Super Grade Double Barrel Shotgun – The Model 21”. In the next paragraph Mr. Hession states “such leading industrialists as Walter P. Chrysler” and a list of other leading names of that day “…have put their stamp of approval of this gun by ordering not only one but several.” The next paragraph he states “The gun shown on page 12-13 of this booklet was built especially for Mr. Walter P. Chrysler, and is one of the finest examples of Winchester craftsmanship.”. An original catalog as referenced by Mr. Hession accompanies this lot. The cover of this catalog, in full color, features this beautiful shotgun with the SN completely legible. Pages 12-13, the center of the catalog also features this wonderful shotgun in sepia tones. Additionally accompanied by another Winchester catalog titled “CUSTOM BUILT SHOTGUNS…RIFLES”. Catalog is 16 pages, 9″ long x 6″ high with a black & white picture of this same shotgun in the same pose as in the color cover of the other catalog previously mentioned. No other pictures of this shotgun appear in this catalog. Additionally accompanying is a small catalog, 64 pages, 6-1/4″ long x 3-1/4″ high titled WINCHESTER WORLD STANDARD GUNS AND AMMUNITION and dated on back cover “1934”. This little catalog covers Winchester’s complete line of rifles and shotguns along with ammunition and cleaning supplies with a black & white picture of the Chrysler gun on p. 49. This shotgun was the subject of a 5-page article in the Winter 2008 issue of The Double Gun & Single Shot Journal by Ned Schwing with several full color photographs and a narrative relating most of the above personal information about Mr. Chrysler. In addition this beautiful shotgun is the cover panel of the book WINCHESTER’S FINEST THE MODEL 21, Schwing, in full color, the identical picture as appeared on the covers of the early Winchester catalogs. Walter Percy Chrysler was born April 2, 1875 in Wamego, KS and grew up in a nearby town. From his early manhood until about 1911 he spent roaming the western U.S. as a railroad mechanic & machinist, becoming very skilled with strong managerial capabilities, working for a number of well-known railroads of the era. In 1911 he became the “works manager” for Buick Motor Cars under Mr. William C. Durant of General Motors, starting at the astronomical salary of $6,000 per year. In 1919 he resigned from Buick with the title of President of Buick Motor Cars after a clash with Mr. Durant. During his career with Buick he had been regularly promoted and received enormous pay raises including a $500,000 per year bonus or the equivalent in company stock. Upon his resignation Mr. Durant repurchased Mr. Chrysler’s company stock for $10 million. From starting with Buick at $6,000 per year in 1911, he became one of the richest men in America in 1919. Mr. Chrysler then took employment with the Willys Overland Company for the incredible salary of $1 million per year. Unable to reach agreement with Mr. Willys, Mr. Chrysler left in 1921 and acquired controlling interest in the Maxwell Motor Company. He phased out Maxwell and absorbed the company into his new firm, the Chrysler Corporation in 1925 and, as they say, the rest is history. Mr. Chrysler became semi-retired in 1936 and in 1938 suffered a stroke and died Aug. 18, 1940. Upon Walter Chrysler’s death Winchester Model 21 No. 5437 passed to Mr. Chrysler’s daughter, Bernice Chrysler Garbisch. Mrs. Garbisch died on Dec. 14, 1970 and in the early 1980s, to settle the estate, No. 5437 was sold along with other items of personal property from “Pokety”, the estate on the Choptank River near Cambridge, MD. In addition to the notoriety of having belonged to a very wealthy & famous person No. 5437 was used as advertising in almost all of the Winchester catalogs and advertisements for the Model 21 from about 1934 well into the 1960s as an example of their finest work. That Mr. Chrysler chose a Model 21 Winchester as a personal shotgun is true testament of the respect afforded this fine American double. Mr. Chrysler, at the time this shotgun was made, was one of the wealthiest men in the world and could have afforded the very finest and most elaborate English made gun but chose an American product which has become an icon in the shotgun collecting fraternity. PROVENANCE: Walter P. Chrysler; Bernice Chrysler Garbisch Estate. CONDITION: Fine plus. Bbls retain most of their strong factory blue, each having a few minor nicks & scratches and a spot or two of faint, fine surface oxidation. Receiver retains nearly all of its deep, dark factory blue with some faint thinning on hinge pin and ends of hammer pin. Stock is sound with sharp checkering, some minor nicks & dings and retains about all of its factory finish. Forend is sound with sharp checkering, a couple minor handling marks and retains virtually all of its factory finish. Mechanics are crisp with non-automatic safety, strong ejectors and bright bores in all bbls. Case is sound with some minor scuffing to exterior and a clean crisp interior. JR 4-40835 BDT165 (150,000-200,000)

Auction: Firearms - Fall 2010
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.