New Frontier Auction, July 21, 2018, 3:00 PM MST, Loveland, CO,
Lot 249: Buffalo Bill Cody’s Colt 1860 Army
Estimate: $50,000 – $80,000
This Colt revolver comes with approximately 15 pages of documentation and provenance, and additional research done by noted expert R.L. Wilson. Lineage on this revolver attributes only four previous owners. Mr. Wilson wrote a definitive book on Buffalo Bill memorabilia of which this was an item of focus. The revolver is a standard Model 1860 Colt Army, shipped in 1868, with factory nickel finish. All legends are sharp. The rebated roll-engraved Naval cylinder scene is nearly 100%. Frame and barrel markings are sharp. It retains its original nipples. This is a full plated example, which includes hammer and trigger, and retains 80%-85% of its original bright nickel finish. All matching numbers, even including the wedge. The ivory grips show wonderful aged color, and are well-fitting. The backstrap is professionally engraved “TO W.F.C. THE SCOUT”. Wilson reiterates the propensity to nickel and ivory handguns by Buffalo Bill. He points out several nickel and ivory Colt 1860 Army models in the same Civil War Ledger book No. 3 with the same proximity of serial numbers. Mr. Wilson’s documented ownership lists collector James Aplan as purchasing this revolver in 1994 from Mr. David Molleck along with a Buffalo Bill trunk that came from Mr. S.R. Randolph, who owned a bar/ museum on Lookout Mountain, Colorado near the gravesite of Buffalo Bill. According to Randolph, these items were obtained from Johnny Baker, the adopted son of Buffalo Bill. The information comes with an old copy of photograph of S.R.Randolph at Lookout Mountain with trunk, letter from James Aplan, documented history, and a 1993 letter from S.R. Randolph stating he obtained said revolver from Johnny Baker, and is listed by serial number. Included also is an early photograph of Buffalo Bill in his scout attire with cohorts, showing nickel and ivory Colt Army in his belt. While numerous pictures exist of Buffalo Bill sporting a nickel Colt and its presentation to Cody, along with the wonderful all original condition and special order finish and ivory grips of the revolver, makes this a very historical and extremely early weapon belonging to the iconic William F. Cody.
Along with, Lot 250: W.F. Cody’s Presentation 1873 Winchester in .38 Winchester
Estimate: $30,000 – $50,000
He could be holding the same rifle.