Bonhams selling rare Colt found in house clearance


An exceptionally rare cased deluxe .34 percussion Colt Paterson no. 2 belt model revolver, made around 1840, is expected to fetch between £200,000 and £300,000 at the next Bonhams Antique Arms, Modern Sporting Guns and Exceptional Firearms auction.

Found by Bonhams specialists during a routine house clearance in 2002, the revolver sold at Bonhams that same year for what was then a European record and is now reappearing on the market. It remains a mystery as to how the firearm ended up in the UK.

The gun bears the serial number 576 and is considered one of the two finest surviving Colt Paterson no. 2 belt model revolvers in the world; the other one is known as the Serri Paterson.

Bonhams’ Head of Arms and Armour, David Williams said: “This is an incredibly rare survivor especially given its outstanding condition.  Each revolver of this type was decorated individually, and the standard of workmanship is considered to be in a class of its own.”

Other highlights of the Exceptional Firearms section of the sale in London on Thursday, December 3rd, include a fine cased pair of French 32-bore flintlock pistols by top gunmaker Boutet à Versailles, circa 1815-18, a highly unusual cased pair of 56-bore percussion rifled target pistols by James Purdey, a exceptional pair of ‘flintlock’ repeating air pistols from Blair Castle, Scotland, by Edward Bate, London, circa 1770 – thought to be the only pair of their type to survive, plus an Austrian .577 (25-bore) percussion ormolu-mounted sporting rifle in mid-18th century fashion from the armoury of Archduke Franz Karl of Austria, circa 1840.

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