Samuel Colt's Henry Rifle offers unique opportunity in Rock Island auction



2015-06-26 13:39:22

Samuel Colt's Henry Rifle offers unique opportunity in Rock Island auction

A Henry Rifle bought by Samuel Colt is preserved in pristine, near new condition

A Henry rifle owned by gun maker Samuel Colt will be sold as part of Rock Island Auction Company's May 2-4 Premiere Firearms Auction in the US.

 Colt bought the Henry rifle for his museum, which traced the history of repeating guns

The pristine lever action repeating rifle has not yet been given an estimated value, yet the auction house describes it as "one of the most desirable pieces of collectable firearms history", so it is sure to command strong bids.

The rifle was acquired shortly after production commenced in 1861, to be included in Colt's Patent Firearms Mfg. Co Museum. Many of the firearms featured in the museum were acquired by Samuel Colt himself, who had set about forming a collection that charted the history of repeating arms.

 Colt personally inspected the rifle

The gun is accompanied by a host of documents from former Colt firearms historical consultant RL Wilson, who writes that the rifle "joined the Colt Museum Collection c. 1860-1861.

"It shows no sign of ever having been firedNote that Colonel Colt died early in 1862, and there can be no question that he examined #'s 205 and 250 personally."

The rifle at auction is a brass-framed example, serial number 205.

The other serial number Wilson mentions, 250, is an iron frame Henry rifle that was also part of Colt's museum, and is currently on display at the Museum of Connecticut History.

However, this second Colt-owned Henryis never likely to appear at auction, given a law explained by Wilson:

"By state law only duplicate arms can be disposed from this historic collection, and for that reason only #205 was allowed to leave.Furthermore, only via trade could the arms considered duplicates be permitted to depart the Colt Museum."

Paul Fraser Collectibles keeps you up to date with the latest collecting news in our free newsletter.

Share on social media
Write a response...

The bookmarklet lets you save things you find to your collections.

Note: Make sure your bookmarks are visible.


Click and drag the Collect It button to your browser's Bookmark Bar.

collect it