Winchester model 1866 rifle RARE RELIEF ENGRAVING GOLD PLATED NEW YORK EXPOSITION BEST OF BEST

  • Date:
  • Number: 1194
  • Year:
  • Status: Available

PRICE ON DEMAND

A FINE AND RARE RELIEF-ENGRAVED .44 (R.F.) 'MODEL 1866' LEVER-ACTION RIFLE BY WINCHESTER, NO. 38894B (CIRCA 1870)

The 'Third Model' brass receiver, profusely  engraved with bold foliate-scrollwork on a stippled background, six engraved panels, the left side-plate engraved with a scene of a moose fighting a bear while a further sleuth of three bears and cub look on, the right side-plate with a vignette of a stag in its natural surroundings, the front flats on both sides with vignettes of a dog putting up birds, the right rear flat with a bear in a boat, the lower tang with an American shield motif, gilt finish, the left side of lower tang stamped with "NY. EXH."  indicating its status as an exhibition piece at the New York American fair ( see chapiter below), full serial number is found in the top tang channel of buttstock and last four digits of serial number "8894" found inside of butt-plate, the highly-figured  stock retains most of the varnish.  With brass butt-plate and trap engraved en suite, sling-swivels, the brass fore-end cap engraved en suite, the octagonal barrel  has deep rifling, showing light corosion, engraved Winchester's Repeating Arms New Haven, CT. King's Improvement-Patented-March 29 1866. October 16 1860 with full-length magazine tube, Rocky Mountain-style nickle-blade foresight and folding adjustable ladder rear-sight
24½in. barrel

Condition : 

Barrel and magazine have approx. 90 % orig. finish starting to dull a bit.  All brass parts still retain at least 65 to 70 % of the original gold guilding. 
The engraving is of the very expensive high relief and scalloped borders.  This was the highest quality avaliabe and ofcourse also the most expensive, at the time. 

The stock and fore-end have 2 X quality but the tang is only showing one X.  Works perfect. 

THESE EXPOSITION WINCHESTERS RARELY COME TO THE MARKET, THIS IS AN UNBELIEVABLE PIECE AND WORTHY OF THE BEST COLLECTIONS. Considered as the second best produced and engraved Winchester 1866 rifle. 
 

The American Institute Fair was held annually from 1829 until at least 1897 in New York City by the American Institute. The American Institute was founded in 1829 "for the encouragement of agriculture, commerce, manufactures, and the arts." The fair is sometimes considered the first world's fair in the United States, though it was fairly small by later standards, drawing about 30,000 attendees per year. It was held at Niblo's Garden in New York before being moved to the Crystal Palace in New York.

Image of Annual Fair of the American Institute at Niblo's Garden c. 1845 by Benjamin Johns Harrison

"At these fairs were displayed the finest products of agriculture and manufacturing, the newest types of machinery, the most recent contributions of inventive genius...[the fairs] served a two-fold purpose: that of playing the part of demonstrator to the public and that of furnishing an incentive to the exhibitors, both through competition and through the desire to win the very liberal awards and premiums."

 

ReferencesEdit

  • F. W. Wile, ed., A century of industrial progress, New York (published for the American Institute of the City of New York), 1928.
  • E. Robey, "The Utility of Art: Mechanics’ Institute Fairs in New York City, 1828-1876," Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University, 2000.