99. Rare L.D. Nimschke Engraved and Signed Winchester Model 1866 Lever Action Rifle

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serial #28980, 44 RF, 24" octagon barrel with a good bore that shows strong rifling throughout with some scattered light oxidation and fine pitting. This rifle features full coverage relief scroll engraving on the action, buttplate and nosecap. The right side shows open panels at center of sideplate and front flat of action. The left side shows the same relief open scroll with a wolf's head in panel on sideplate and an open panel on the front section of action. The bottom of the cartridge lifter is engraved with a relief flower blossom surrounded in fine punch dot shading. The bottom of the frame is signed "L.D.N." within geometric border. There is a virtually identical rifle illustrated in L.D. Nimschke Firearms Engraver at the bottom of page 54, it is number 26047, less than 3000 numbers away from this rifle. Winchester produced 10,000 guns the year these two rifles were made making them probably less than 4 months apart, possibly closer considering the fact that they did not complete the guns in consecutive order. The barrel and magazine retain a pleasing even brown patina which remains quite smooth with barrel address remaining clear and legible. The action retains about 30% of its original gold wash with the balance bearing a wonderful untouched patina with well-defined edges and tight sideplates. The buttstock is of nicely figured American black walnut which shows an old quality repair to a break from rear of top tang to the rear of the lower tang. The stocks otherwise rate excellent as very lightly refinished. The rifle is equipped with sling swivels that appear to be factory mounted in bottom of nosecap and in toeline of stock on perfectly inlaid base affixed by two screws. The rifle is sighted with a standard sporting front and Henry style folding ladder rear sights. Overall a very nice Winchester 1866 rifle engraved and signed by one of the 19th century's most respected American free-lance engravers. (18087-4) {ANTIQUE} [Kenneth Fry Collection] (15,000/25,000) SOLD FOR $24,150.00

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