59. Rare Winchester Model 1873 Factory Engraved Rifle Made For the Paris Exhibition of 1889

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Description Update (3/15/17): Repaired 1 1/2" sliver left of forend with the original piece of wood

serial #289069. 44 WCF, 24" round barrel with button magazine and a very good bore that shows just a little light pitting in a few areas with strong rifling throughout. This rifle is signed "J.ULRICH" on the lower tang to rear of trigger and is engraved in $4.00 pattern. The action and sideplates feature English scroll engraving with a dog head on right sideplate emanating from the scroll and a bull elk on the left sideplate surrounded in English scroll. Scroll also appears on the nosecap, dust cover, cartridge carrier and the top of the smooth steel shotgun buttplate. The condition of the rifle is wonderful with the barrel retaining 95% evenly thinning original blue finish overall. The action and sideplates retain 90% plus original color case-hardened finish which as just softened slightly over the years and has a lovely appearance. The checkered pistolgrip buttstock and forend are of exhibition grade walnut with straight grain through wrist and with tremendous shimmering crotch-wood figure emanating from the top of the comb just behind the nose and throughout the body of the stock. The stocks rate excellent with 95% of their original Winchester finish and with checkering remaining crisp. The buttplate retains about 90% original blue finish while the loading gate retains strong original fire blue. The rifle comes in a green baize lined, partitioned case canvas case with leather trim and a brass disc in the lid which is engraved "YB". The rifle comes with a copy of its factory letter which confirms the configuration including the casehardening and factory engraving and shows receipt in the warehouse on March 13, 1889 and being shipped on February 6, 1890. A note at the end of the letter reads "Returned by Paris and sent to New York". in addition to the factory letter also included is a copy of an R.L. Wilson letter outlining the rifle in detail calling the case a factory supplied item. Winchester sent 45 model 1873's to Paris, mostly carbines, many in nickel plated finish and only four engraved rifles. One engraved rifle had $50 of gold inlay and is illustrated on page 195 of Winchester Engraving, two carbines with $2.50 and $4.00 engraving and this rifle which also has $4.00 engraving. Only the two rifles are known along with an engraved 1886 rifle, all three of these engraved Paris exhibition rifles (two 1873 rifles and one 1886 rifle) were all found in South America according to Wilson's letter. Included with the rifle is a bronze disc from the "Exposition Universelle / 1889" with the reverse side being marked "W.R.A. Co." and the outer edge being marked "WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS" and "GRAND PRIX". Winchester was the only American arms company to receive this award. Exhibition Arms are among the most sought after of collectible arms and this rifle is well-documented, signed by the engraver, complete with case and bronze disc and remains in very fine condition. Wilson's letter concludes with the following sentence: This exciting new discovery is worthy of the finest museum or private collection of embellished and historic American firearms. (18087-22) {ANTIQUE} [Kenneth Fry Collection] (40,000/60,000) SOLD FOR $43,125.00

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