Lot 1001: Spectacular Documented J Ulrich Signed Factory Panel Scene Engraved Gold Inlaid Winchester Model 1894 Fancy Takedown Lever Action Rifle with Carved Stock and Factory Letter
December 1, 2012
Rock Island, IL, USALive Auction
Estimate: $85000 - 130000
This is a spectacular, never offered to collectors, new find Deluxe Panel Scene Ulrich Factory engrave gold inlaid Winchester Model 1894 Fancy Sporting Rifle that was manufactured in 1901. The rifle was engraved by Master Winchester Engraver John Ulrich and signed "J. ULRICH" in tiny letters on the lower tang behind the trigger. This rifle features deluxe Winchester "No. 4 Engraving" and "Style D" carving and checkering on the stock and forearm. The left side of the receiver is engraved with a highly detailed game scene that depicts a hunter taking two elk and the right side of the receiver is engraved with a solitary grizzly bear. The receiver, loading lever link, takedown collar, barrel, forearm cap and buttplate heel are inlaid with gold bands and borders. The loading lever, hammer and screw heads are all engraved. A Model 1894 rifle with identical engraving and stock carving and checkering was illustrated and described on pages 10-11 of the 1897 edition of the Winchester catalogue "HIGHLY FINISHED ARMS". Pages 10-11 of "HIGHLY FINISHED ARMS" are reproduced on page 214 of "THE BOOK OF WINCHESTER ENGRAVING" by R.L. Wilson. Winchester Model 1894 Fancy Sporting Takedown Rifle serial number 475011 with No. 4 engraving and Style D carving and checkering and identical game scenes is illustrated on page 246 of "THE BOOK OF WINCHESTER ENGRAVING". Identical engraving, inlays and carving on Model 1894 serial number 325531 is shown on page 421 of "THE WINCHESTER BOOK" by George Madis. This rifle, serial number 266180, has a blue finish on the barrel, magazine, forearm cap and receiver. The loading lever, hammer and crescent buttplate have a color case-hardened finish. The loading gate is niter blued. The highly figured carved walnut pistol grip stock and forearm have a high polish 'piano' finish. The pistol grip has a black, hard rubber cap embossed "WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS". The barrel is fitted with a dove-tail mounted, gold washed, Beach or Lyman folding combination front sight and a scarce Winchester tangent style rear sight for Model 1894 rifles chambered for high velocity, smokeless, cartridges (an example of this sight is pictured on page 438 of "THE WINCHESTER BOOK"). The top of the barrel is roll-stamped with the two-line legend "MANUFACTURED BY THE WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO./NEW HAVEN. CONN. U.S.A. PATENTED AUGUST 21 1894" ahead of the rear sight. The left side of the barrel is roll-stamped "NICKEL STEEL BARREL/ESPECIALLY FOR SMOKELESS POWDER" between the rear sight and the take-down collar. Oval WINCHESTER "W/P" proof marks are stamped on the top barrel flat and the top of the receiver. The caliber "32 W.S." is roll-stamped on the top of the barrel just in front of the receiver in an engraved scroll and border panel. The serial number, "266180" is roll-stamped on the underside of the receiver. The upper receiver tang is roll-stamped "MODEL 1894/WINCHESTER/TRADE MARK" in three lines. The inside of the rear sight elevator is roll-stamped "MANUFACTURED BY THE WINCHESTER REP. ARMS CO." over patent information in four lines. The included factory letter confirms rifle takedown configuration, caliber, octagon barrel, plain trigger, fancy pistol grip stock with carved D pattern and graduated peep and beach sights. The rifle was received in the warehouse on December 23, 1905 and shipped from the warehouse on December 23, 1905 on order number 37912.
BBL: 26 inch octagon
Stock: style d walnut checkered
Gauge: 32 W.S.
Serial Number: 266180
Condition: Excellent plus. The rifle retains 95% plus of the bright original high polish blue finish on the receiver and barrel assembly. The only significant finish wear is on the heel and face of the buttplate which have light pitting and some scattered surface discoloration. All of the other components have half of the original case-hardened finish and show minimal wear. The magazine tube and barrel take-down collar are nearly completely free of the take-down scuff marks usually found on those components. The flawlessly executed engraving and game scenes are crisp and deep. All of the markings on the barrel and receiver are sharp. The stock and forearm have flawless checkering and relief carving. At least 98% of the high polish piano finish is present on the stock and forearm; wear is limited to a few scattered and very minor handling and storage marks. This is a spectacular example of a Winchester Model 1894 Fancy Takedown Sporting Rifle factory engraved and signed by Master Factory Engraver John Ulrich.