An historic factory engraved Colt single action army revolver carried by Bob Dalton when he was killed at the Coffeyville raid

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Lot 2034
An historic factory engraved Colt single action army revolver carried by Bob Dalton when he was killed at the Coffeyville raid
Sold for US$ 159,000 inc. premium

Antique Arms & Armour

29 Jun 2005, 10:00 PDT

San Francisco

Lot Details
An historic factory engraved Colt single action army revolver carried by Bob Dalton when he was killed at the Coffeyville raid
Serial no. 147299 for 1892, .45 Colt caliber 5 ½ in. blued barrel. Casehardened frame and hammer. Blued triggerguard and backstrap. Scroll engraved overall in the Cuno Helfricht style. Two-piece mother of pearl grips.
Condition: Fine. With approximately 30 percent overall original finish remaining. Considerable blue on ejector housing, cylinder flutes, frame screws and triggerguard. Mottled case color on frame and hammer. Small chip at heel of each grip.

Footnotes

  • Factory records confirm that Serial no. 147299 was part of a shipment of ten (10) factory engraved Colt single action armies, with 5 ½ in. barrels, .45 caliber, shipped to Simmons Hardware of St. Louis for A.E. Williams, August 1892. The other revolvers in the shipment (147298, 147303-308, 147311, 147338) have been associated to the Dalton Gang.

    W.H. Clark purchased this revolver at a public sale of Bob Dalton’s personal effects in Coffeyville Kansas on January 14th, 1893. The probate records record that Clark purchased “1 Colt 45 revolver” from the Estate of Robert Dalton (Photocopy included as part of lot). He then passed the revolver to his son Ray H. ‘Champ’ Clark. Champ is best remembered as the face of the little boy peering thru the fence of the laid out corpses of the Dalton Gang in the now famous photo. Champ had worked at Isham’s Hardware where on the fateful day, October 5, 1892, it served as a focal point for the townspeople to successfully fend off the gang. Champ moved to Portland, OR where he opened his own hardware store. When he died he left the gun to his stepson Richard H. McGregor. It is now being sold by the Estate of his widow Alice M. McGregor; the proceeds of the sale will be donated to charity.

    The Dalton Gang epitomized the last of the great frontier gangs and outlaws that prowled the lawless American West in the 19th century. According to Emmett Dalton, the raid on Coffeyville and its brazen simultaneous two bank hold up was Bob Dalton’s attempt to one-up the reputation of Jesse James. Considering the timing of the delivery of the group of Colts to Saint Louis in August 1892 and the raid in October, it is highly likely that the gang ordered these fancy Colts especially for this attempted robbery.

    Literature
    Barndollar, Lue Diver, What really happened on October 5, 1892: an attempt at an accurate account of the Dalton Gang and Coffeyville, [Coffeyville, Kan.]: Coffeeville Historical Society, c.1992.
    Gerber, William, The Dalton Gang's Fancy Engraved Revolvers, The Gun Report, June 1995
    Wilson, R.L. The Book of Colt Engraving, Minneapolis, MN: Blue Book Publications, c.1993.
    [Valcourt-Vermont, Edgar de] The Dalton Brothers and their astounding career of crime by an Eye Witness. [1892]. With an introduction by James D. Horan. Reprint edition. New York: Jingle Bob/Crown Publishers, 1977

    Provenance:
    Robert Dalton, ‘Highwayman’
    W.H. Clark
    Ray H. ‘Champ’ Clark
    Richard D. McGregor
Activities
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