Image Lot Price Description


RARE DELUXE ENGRAVED & INSCRIBED WINCHESTER MODEL 1866 LEVER ACTION RIFLE. SN 36050. Cal. 44 RF Henry. Fine deluxe early ’66 with 24-1/4″ oct bbl, full magazine, replacement ivory blade front sight and a 900 yard Henry ladder rear sight. Mounted with spectacular, flame grain, about 3X, uncheckered American walnut with straight stock & crescent brass buttplate with trap containing an orig 4-pc brass & iron cleaning rod. Bottom of buttstock & forend cap have factory sling swivels. Left side of lower tang, under the wood, is marked “XXX”. Top tang channel of the buttstock has the last four digits of the matching SN, which is also found inside toe of buttplate. Wrist of the buttstock has a very old repaired crack which appears to have been a very old, period of use repair that utilized a 2-3/4″ x about 1-3/8″ rectangular metal patch on each side that was probably secured with 22 screws on each side, which in recent years were removed and the crack repaired with modern glues and the orig screw holes plugged. That area of the buttstock has been refinished. Receiver is beautifully engraved probably by master engraver, L.D. Nimschke, with large flowing foliate arabesque patterns on both sides with scrolls that terminate in flower blossoms. Left side is engraved “MONTGOMERY / guards” on a scroll. Right side is engraved with an urn pattern inscribed “From / a Friend”. The front side flats are engraved with urn patterns, all of which are surrounded by a zig zag border pattern. Engraving extends over the top of the receiver, top & bottom tangs and the carrier. Forend cap & buttplate tang are engraved to match. The Montgomery Guard was mustered into service in Dec. 1859 as part of the California State Militia. They were named in recognition of Gen. William Reading Montgomery who was an 1825 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and served in the 3rd Infantry. He fought in the War with Mexico and was twice wounded but remained at the head of his regiment until the capture of Mexico City. He continued in service into the Civil War and was commissioned Brig. General of U.S. volunteers in May 1861 and served until 1864 when failing health forced his retirement. In 1866 the Montgomery guard was mustered out of service but returned to service in 1868 as Company A 1st Infantry Battalion of the State of California. There is no record of their Civil War service as the records simply do not exist, but it is likely they did serve throughout the war. On July 23, 1876 their entire brigade was called up in anticipation of the Chinese riots in San Francisco. They remained on call and ready until nearly the end of Jan. 1878. Since 1880 there have been numerous redesignations of the unit. It seems likely that this rifle was probably a shooting contest prize in 1870 prior to them being mustered out of service again in Feb. 1871. No other information is currently available. CONDITION: Fine to very fine. Bbl retains about 85% orig blue, thinning toward the upper 1/3 with a cleaned area around the front sight; magazine tube retains blue in sheltered areas with outer radius a plummy brown patina; receiver retains about 20-25% orig gold wash with the exposed brass a dark mustard patina; receiver has sharp edges showing only very light wear; hammer retains most of its orig case colors, moderately faded; lever retains traces of case colors being mostly a silver/brown patina. Stock has the aforementioned repaired wrist, otherwise wood is sound with usual light nicks, dings & scratches with buttstock retaining about 80% bright piano varnish refinish with wrist area a matching varnish finish; forearm has a series of small nicks on the bottom with other light nicks & scratches and retains virtually all of its brilliant piano varnish finish. Mechanics are crisp, strong bore with good shine and frosty pitting. This is a truly fine & rare ’66 rifle especially with the very highly figured stock & forearm which is most rare on any ’66 rifle. 4-41515 JR286 (25,000-35,000)

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.