Sold for $3026.72
Make: Colt, Customized by American Master Engravers for The Heritage Guild
Model: L.D. Nimschke 1 of 50 Special Edition Third Model Dragoon, 2nd Generation “F” Series
Serial Number: 24983
Year of Manufacture: 1978
Caliber: .44 Caliber Ball
Action Type: Single Action Cap and Ball, Black Powder Revolver
Markings: The left side of the frame is marked “COLTS / PATENT”. The top of the barrel assembly is marked “ADDRESS SAML COLT NEW – YORK CITY”. The underside of the barrel assembly, frame, trigger guard, and the butt of the back strap are each marked “24983”. The cylinder is marked “MODEL U.S.M.R. / 24983 / COLT’S PATENT” and is roll-engraved with a Texas Ranger and Indian scene. The left of the barrel is engraved “L. D. Nimschke / ENGRAVER / 1832-1904”. The revolver has extensive Nimschke-style scroll engraving with wolfs-head motif on the sides of the hammer and punch-dots in the negative spaces.
Barrel Length: 7 1/2” Round
Sights / Optics: The front sight is blade fixed to the barrel. The rear sight is notch in the hammer, visible when cocked.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grip is one-piece bone with deep relief carved american eagles holding banners marked “LIBERTY”. The grips have no notable wear or damage, only light handling marks. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Excellent condition.
Type of Finish: Nickel and Silver Plate
Finish Originality: Colt supplied parts for these revolvers in the white with the finish applied by American Master Engravers after the engraving was applied.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 98% of its metal finish. There is some discoloration in the silver plate which should polish out easily. Otherwise, there are only light handling marks. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this revolver is in Excellent condition.
Mechanics: Due to the condition and type of finish, we have elected not to operate this revolver. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: The pistol comes in an Arlo Werner hand-made presentation case with a gold tooled blue faux-leather exterior, French-fit purple velvet lined interior, marked “THE HERITAGE GUILD / L. D. NIMSCHKE / FIREARMS ENGRAVER / 1832-1904 / THE ONE OF FIFTY DRAGOON” on the lid. The case has light storage wear with some fraying on one edge of the lid.
Our Assessment: Louis Daniel Nimschke was born in Germany but moved to the United States where he was essential to the creation of the American engraving design, featuring rich scrollwork, a heavily punched dot background, fine edge curls and delicate borders. Nimschke frequently incorporated animal heads into the hammers of revolvers. While many engravers of his era would work for a single firearms manufacturer, Nimschke’s skill was sufficient that he remained self-employed, performing his work on a contract basis for many different companies. He would frequently be approached for special items which required the highest level of quality, engraving guns for luminaries such as George Custer, Buffalo Bill, Napoleon III and Theodore Roosevelt. Working out of New York City, it should come as no surprise that the museums which display examples of his work includes the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In 1978, Colt supplied parts for 50 of these 3rd Model Dragoons to American Master Engravers who had them engraved in Nimschke’s style, silver and gold plated and shipped with Arlo Werner hand-made presentation cases for The Heritage Guild. This is a beautiful tribute to one of America’s most influential and skilled firearms engravers and is in Excellent condition, appearing to have spent more time in the included presentation case than out. For fans of Nimschke, Colt revolvers, or anyone who can simply appreciate a gorgeous revolver, this will be a wonderful addition to your collection. Please see our photos and good luck!