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RARE VOLCANIC ARMS NO.2 NAVY LEVER ACTION PISTOL WITH HISTORY TO INDIAN WARS MEDAL OF HONOR WINNER, GEORGE E. ALBEE. SN 1673. Cal. 41. Pistol is usual Navy size configuration with 8″ oct bbl that has integral magazine, with German silver pin front sight and fixed rear sight. Top flat of bbl has a sharp 3-line Volcanic Arms address. Mounted with 2-pc smooth varnished walnut grips numbered to this pistol inside the right grip. SN is found on right side of buttstrap under the grip and left side has assembly number “1”. SN is also found on right side of lever with assembly number “1” on left side. No additional disassembly was effected to check for additional matching numbers. This pistol originated from the collection of Capt. George E. Albee who apparently acquired it around 1870 to become part of his, apparently, rather extensive arms collection. At some time in the period after he died in 1918 the collection wound up in storage at Washington College, Chestertown, MD. A 1975 inventory of the collection listed this pistol as Item 3A which was attached to the Chancery Order No. 6442 of the Circuit Court for Kent County, MD, dated 14 July 1977, ordering that the collection of George Albee Firearms in storage at the college be returned to his descendant, Mr. Carey Strong Selby. On July 30, 1979 Mr. Selby sold this pistol to renowned author, historian & collector/dealer, Norm Flayderman. All of this information is detailed in a letter from Mr. Flayderman to the current owner. George E. Albee was born in New Hampshire in 1845 and enlisted in Company G Wisconsin 1st U.S. Sharpshooters (Berdan Sharpshooters) in June 1862. He was wounded later that year and was medically discharged on Oct. 22, 1862. In Dec. 1863 he re-enlisted as a Private in the 3rd Wisconsin Artillery and in March 1864 was appointed 2nd Lieutenant in the 36th Wisconsin Infantry. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant Jan. 1865 and mustered out July 12, 1865. He was appointed 2nd Lieutenant in the regular infantry in Sept. 1865 and mustered out Oct. 1866. He was again appointed 2nd Lieutenant in the 41st Infantry July 1867, promoted to 1st Lieutenant Nov. 1867 and transferred to the 24th Infantry, serving on the Western frontier fighting Indians in Texas. In Sept. 1869 and again Oct. 28 & 29, 1869 Lt. Albee and his unit were involved in a major action against hostile Indians on the Brazos River in Texas for which action he was awarded the Medal of Honor. He retired as 1st Lieutenant in June 1878 and was advanced to the rank of Captain on the retired list in April 1904 and died March 1918. Apparently some time before his retirement in 1878 Mr. Albee became interested in firearms and built a sizable collection. Upon retirement he was employed by Winchester in developing the Hotchkiss rifle. He became a company exhibition shooter and won the Lorillard Rapidity Match at Creedmoor, Long Island in 1882 firing 20 shots in 60 seconds at 200 yards without a miss. Mr. Albee apparently kept a journal of his service fighting Indians in Texas and reported some of the exploits in the Wisconsin State Journal in 1874. Details of Mr. Albee’s life are found in the book Volcanic Firearms, Predecessor to the Winchester Rifle, by Edmund Lewis and Stephen Rutter, where this pistol is also illustrated along with a photo of George Albee wearing his Medal of Honor and a photo of his actual Medal. One additional note is that Mr. Albee is known to have received at least two patents, one for a magazine firearm on Dec. 14, 1886 that appears to be a pump action rifle and the other a rifle sight patented April 30, 1907, copies of which accompany this pistol. PROVENANCE: George E. Albee Collection; Carey Strong Selby; Norm Flayderman; Edmund Lewis Collection CONDITION: Extremely fine, all matching. Bbl & magazine tube retain about 95% strong, bright orig blue with some light rust & pitting on right side and a few freckles on left side; frame & sideplates retain crisp sharp edges with a dark mustard patina; lever retains about 75% orig blue. Right grip has a hairline in bottom edge adjacent to the locator pin hole and another near the top edge, otherwise grips are sound showing light edge wear, a few very fine nicks & scratches and retain most of their crisp orig varnish. Mechanics are crisp, bright shiny bore, appears to be unfired. 4-46815 (30,000-40,000)

Auction: Firearms - Fall 2012
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.