Antique Winchester Model 1866 Lever Action Rifle
Fully Engraved & Inscribed to Noble Spanish Family
Here we present an antique Engraved Winchester Model 1866 Third Model Lever Action Rifle, made circa 1874. This beautifully engraved rifle is truly a work of art.
New and compelling evidence has been presented on this item that points to this rifle being the subject of both John and Conrad Ulrich, two of the most famous Winchester master engravers. Gary Gianotti, FSA Scot, of the blog American Relic Hysteries has identified several places where the artists may have left their mark hidden in the engraving. These include both of their initials, “CU” and “JU”, as well as the number “79”, the number of the Wooster Masonic lodge in New Haven, Connecticut, of which the Ulrichs were in membership. Other significant markings include the multiple Vesica Piscis and Maltese Crosses, both important Masonic symbols. Check out Gary’s blog articles on various other rifles that he himself has identified and their similarities with this one.
This specimen features extensive and impressive engraving from butt to muzzle, sling swivels and a rear sight graduated out to 900 yards. About 75% coverage of the receiver. The top of the butt plate, frame, elevator, breech end of the barrel and the muzzle end of the barrel are all engraved. Engraving is characterized by large scrolls and heavy punch dotting in the background. Vesica Piscis and Maltese Crosses are located all over the receiver and on the top of the butt plate. There is a single flower present, just behind the ejection port on top of the frame. The name “Antonio Errázuris Ortúzar” is prominent on the left side of the gun in three overlapping circles.
In this case, Antonio Errázuris (Errázuriz) Ortúzar (1831-1891) was a Chilean aristocrat, whose Errázuriz ancestors can be traced back to Navarre, Spain, an ancient Basque region, currently sitting on the modern border of France. The name Errázuriz goes back to at least the 12th century, when it is recorded that Pedro de Errázuriz was the personal tutor of King Alfonso IX (an interesting side note is that King Alfonso IX is responsible for one of the very first democratic meetings in Europe—the Cortes de León—, predating the first session of the Parliament of England and setting the stage for European democracy). The first Errázuriz in Chile was Francisco Javier Errázuriz y Larrain in the 1730s, who held a number of official titles. A total of three of his descendants would achieve the office of President in Chile in the country’s history, and many more have held other high offices and been influential in the former Spanish colonial holding. This rifle would only have been a few years old during the War of the Pacific (1879-1883), the conflict that Chile eventually won against the alliance of Bolivia and Peru.
This specimen is in very good condition. All markings and engravings are clear. Serial numbers match, including the butt plate and the butt stock. Patina on the barrel and magazine tube is an even brown. Bore is in good condition. Action is fine. Walnut stock shows handling, but only serves to add to the allure of this fine and historical work of art.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction. Don’t miss an opportunity to own a fantastic and historic engraved Winchester “Yellow Boy” for yourself!
Barrel is 26 inches in length.
Caliber: .44 rimfire
Bore is in good condition and the mechanism is very good.
Overall condition as seen in photos.
Here is a fantastic, investment worthy Winchester 1866 with masterful engraving, interesting historical provenance worth further exploration, as well as compelling evidence that this was indeed engraved by the Ulrichs.
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