Magnificent Winchester, Deluxe, J Ulrich Signed Factory Engraved, First Model 1873 "One of One Thou

Currency:USD Category:Antiques / Firearms & Armory Start Price:80,000.00 USD Estimated At:200,000.00 - 400,000.00 USD
Magnificent Winchester, Deluxe, J Ulrich Signed Factory Engraved, First Model 1873   One of One Thou
This Winchester Deluxe First Model 1873 Rifle was sold on November 21, 1876, and is documented in the Winchester factory ledgers as a "1 of 1000" rifle. The rifle has a full blue finish with fancy grain walnut stock and forearm. The stock and forearm have deluxe checkering with a high polish "piano" finish. The rifle is engraved with the monogram "ERG/1876" in low relief on the left side plate and has "CENTENNIAL" engraved in relief on the dust cover. This rifle is pictured on page 49 of "WINCHESTER AN AMERICAN LEGEND" by R.L. Wilson. In his description of the rifle, Wilson states that it was probably made as a display piece for the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. The Winchester ledger has "Eng. Mon. E.R.G." listed under "Remarks" in the description of the rifle. The rifle was engraved and signed by master engraver John Ulrich. The touch mark "J.ULRICH." is stamped on the lower tang behind the trigger. The receiver sides and side plates are fully engraved with detailed scrollwork and floral designs on a punch-dot background. The engraving extends to the top and bottom of the receiver, upper and lower receiver tang, dust cover, cartridge elevator, forearm cap and buttplate heel. The top of the barrel is inscribed: "One of One Thousand" in a panel with scalloped borders located between the rear sight dovetail and the receiver. The sides of the barrel surrounding the panel are decorated with scroll engraving on a punch-dot background. The barrel muzzle is decorated with scroll and punch-dot engraving. There are inlaid gold bands on the barrel breech and muzzle. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped with the two-line legend: "WINCHESTER'S-REPEATING ARMS. NEW HAVEN. CT./KING'S - IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 29. 1866. OCTOBER 16. 1860.". The serial number is located on the lower tang behind the lever latch. The barrel has a Lyman Winchester Express front sight with ivory bead. A factory blank is fitted in the rear sight dovetail. An early style Peep sight with exposed spring is mounted on the receiver tang. An example of this sight is shown on page 322 of "WINCHESTER'S NEW MODEL OF 1873, A TRIBUTE" by James Gordon. The rifle sights are listed as "PG&BH" in the Winchester ledger entry. The rifle has a single set trigger and sling swivel eyelets on the forearm cap and stock. A jointed steel cleaning rod is present in the butt trap. Gordon states that Winchester manufactured 132 "One of One Thousand" Model 1873 Rifles and that 57 of these rifles were known to the author. The Winchester "One of One Thousand" Model 1873 Rifles are perhaps the most sought-after Winchester firearms. This particular example is a fully documented, engraved, exhibition grade, Model 1873 "One of One Thousand" Rifle engraved and signed by John Ulrich, one of the foremost 19th Century firearm engravers. Provenance: A. I. McCroskie collection. The accompanying factory letters dated April 18, 1989 and May 19, 2009 verify the rifle configuration, octagon barrel, set trigger, checkered stock, peep, globe and beach sights, blue finish, swivel eyes, 1of1,000, "ERG" monogram and that it was shipped on November 21, 1876 to order number 7602.The Winchester Museum letter dated January 18, 1971 gives the same information with a "?" behind swivels.
BBL: 24 inch octagon
Stock: walnut checkered
Gauge: 44 WCF
Finish: blue
Serial Number: 23385
Condition: Very fine. The rifle has been factory refurbished as most Winchester display guns were, and retains at least 98% of the high polish blue finish. The engraving remains very sharp and the barrel markings are crisp. The highly figured, fancy, walnut stock and forearm have nearly all of the high polish "piano" finish with very sharp checkering. This is an impressive, fully documented example of one of the most desirable Winchester firearms.