SOLD FOR: $3026.03
Make: Philip Webley & Son
Model: Mark I Revolver
Year of Manufacture: Circa 1890-1894, Antique
Caliber: .455 Manstopper
Action Type: Single/Double-Action Top-Break Revolver with an Ejector and Birdshead grip
Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked “ENGLAND” and the left side of the top-strap is marked “VR” above crossed arrows with “BP” at the center (the Royal Cypher of Queen Victoria; VR stands for Victoria Regina or Queen Victoria in Latin), a Broad Arrow above “WD” (War Department) and a crown over “B / 9”. The left side of the frame is marked “WEBLEY / MARK I / PATENTS” under the cylinder and has a Broad arrow above “WD” (War Department) adjacent to a crown over “B / 9” next to the top of the grip. The left side of the barrel latch is marked with the Broad Arrow. The left side of the hammer has a Broad Arrow. Each chamber on the cylinder is marked with a British martial proof and London commercial proof. The front of the barrel assembly and bottom of the frame, ahead of the trigger guard, are both marked with the serial number “4702”. The right side of the barrel assembly and frame have commercial London proof marks. The right side of the trigger has a Broad Arrow. The back-strap has faded markings; “N”, a struck out “100” and “67”.
Barrel Length: 4”, Octagonal
Sights/ Optics: The front sight is a fixed blade by the muzzle and the rear sight is a V-notch at the center of the barrel latch.
Stock Configuration & Condition/ Grip: The grip panels are two-piece checkered black synthetic with smooth borders. The grips have some light handling marks, nicks and scuffs. There are no chips or cracks. The checkering remains sharp. Overall, the grips are in Very Good condition for Antiques.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright with sharp rifling. There is some light erosion concentrated in the grooves. The bore is especially well preserved as an antique considering that most antique firearms have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the use of black powder as well. When fired, black powder reacts corrosively. NRA Antique Firearm Conditions Standards are quite lenient for bores. In some cases the NRA standards disregard the bore’s condition altogether.
Overall Condition: The revolver retains about 75% of its metal finish. There are some light handling marks, nicks and scuffs. Notably, there is light wear along the leading edges, there is a turn-line on the cylinder and some scattered light surface oxidation. The markings remain mostly clear. The screwheads are lightly tooled but serviceable. Overall, the revolver is in Very Good condition as an Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder locks with barely palpable play on each chamber. We have not fired this revolver. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.
Box Paperwork and Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: The Philip Webley & Son Mark I Service Revolver was the first variant in the iconic line of Webley Revolvers that would see service with the British military during the country’s most grueling conflicts. The gun was designed in the late 1880s and approved for service in 1890. The gun was chambered for the British .455 Manstopper round (a blackpowder round) and was produced until 1894 when the Mark II was introduced. These guns were sold both commercially and directly to the British War Department. At the time it was common practice for British military officers to privately purchase their service revolvers. During the 1890s a commercially sold Mark I revolver went for only 61 Shillings! This particular specimen was adopted for British military service, evidenced by the War Department proof marks and Queen Victoria’s Royal Cypher. Although superseded by 1894, these stalwart and ergonomic revolvers saw service in a number of conflicts including the Great Boer War (ca. 1899-1902). This particular specimen has no surviving unit markings, but it is a very nicely preserved British martial arm from the early 1890s with an unaltered cylinder, strong bore and solid mechanics. Good luck on your bid!