A fine .455 (Eley) 'Model 1911' semi-automatic pistol by Colt, no. W29124

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Lot 69S5
A fine .455 (Eley) 'Model 1911' semi-automatic pistol by Colt, no. W29124

Sold for £ 4,250 (US$ 5,465) inc. premium
A fine .455 (Eley) 'Model 1911' semi-automatic pistol by Colt, no. W29124
Retaining virtually full original blued finish, the left side of the slide stamped Patented Apr.20.1897.Sept.9.1902/Dec.19.1905.Feb.14.1911.Aug.19.1913/Colt's Pt.F.A.Mfg.Co./Hartford Ct. U.S.A., the right side with Colt Automatic/Calibre .455, the right side of the frame stamped Government Model, the butt with panel chequered walnut grips, two-tone magazine, the base-plate with lanyard-ring and stamped Cal. 455/Eley
5in. barrel, contemporary London nitro proof

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Issued to Squadron-Leader Bernard Broackes-Carter
    Thence by descent to the vendor

    The serial number of this pistol falls within the range of the last group of four hundred and fourty-four pistols shipped to the London Armoury Company in January 1916

    Squadron-Leader Bernard Purvis Broackes-Carter DFC (1895-1984)
    Bernard Broackes-Carter was educated at King Edward VII School, Manchester, before training as an architect, joining the South Lancashire Regiment in 1916 just after taking his Architectural Articles. He underwent basic training in England before being posted as a subaltern to Calais, where he escorted new drafts of recruits to the front lines

    After seeing a notice asking for volunteers to the Royal Flying Corps he transferred, training at Montrose before being posted to No. 16 Squadron, where he was later under the command of Major C.F.A. Portal DSO and Bar MC. Whilst there he flew a mixture of aerial reconnaissance, photography and artillery spotting missions, carrying a cut-down rifle in the cockpit early on for use in aerial combat. After several near misses, including a brush with the Von Richthofen Jasta (Jasta 11), he was seconded to command No. 4A Squadron, then attached to the Portuguese forces on the Western Front for artillery observation. This lasted only a few months, as the Portuguese suffered badly in the front line and were eventually withdrawn in April 1918, and he was moved to a meteorological squadron tasked with flying at 19,000 feet without oxygen. He was amongst the first forty-four men to receive the newly inaugurated Distinguished Flying Cross when they were gazetted in June 1918, and was also appointed Chevalier of the Military Order of Avis by the King of Portugal in 1919.

    After demobilisation he discussed a transatlantic flight with the Blackburn Aircraft Company, but their plane was not completed and they were beaten by John Alcock and Arthur Brown flying a Vickers Vimy in June 1919. He held a variety of jobs, including time in West Africa and a spell as Managing Director of a Manchester-based optical company, before moving into gyroscopes with the Sperry Gyroscope company. It was in this role that he was responsible for servicing the gyroscopes of Mussolini's seaplane when it refuelled in Southampton on its way to New York. At the outbreak of the Second World War he was recalled and promoted to Squadron-Leader, serving at RAF North Walsham before being made officer in charge of RAF maintenance units at Kidbrooke, St. Alban and 4MV at Ruislip, his age preventing him from flying. After the war he was offered the rank of Group-Captain and a posting to India, but instead chose to enter the family's property firm, where he was to work until retirement. It is believed that this pistol was issued to him for use in place of his cut-down rifle .

    This pistol is in excellent condition and appears to have had little use
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