SCRIMSHAW IVORY Colt 1849 Belonged to SEA CAPTAIN
WHALING, Sealing Ship Captain, Attacked by the Alabama!
Here we present an antique percussion Colt 1849 Pocket Revolver, made in 1852 in Hartford, Connecticut and was owned by Captain R. H. Glass of New London, Connecticut. Captain Glass was a whaler and sealer and the owner of the ship “Francis Allyn” based in New London, Connecticut in the second half of the 19th century. He was born July 21, 1825 on the Island of Tristin de Achuna (Acuña), which is between the continents of South America and Africa in a very remote part of the Atlantic Ocean. In fact, it is the most remotely inhabited archipelago in the world and was inhabited by as few as 50 people in the 19th Century. As a legal petition from 1883, described them, the inhabitants were “mainly the descendants of runaway or ship-wrecked mariners, who live thereon without any laws, officers, government, protection, or flag.” Glass came to the US in 1849.
The legal petition from which this information comes to us is from a rather interesting legal case. During the Civil War, British ship builders made and sold vessels to the Confederacy and these were used for piracy and smuggling. The most famous of these raiding ships was called the Alabama, and it devastated many ships. The United States sought damages after the war since Britain was supposed to be neutral during the conflict. A treaty was signed and $15 million was the amount of the settlement. This commission was set up so that plaintiffs could seek compensation out of this pool of money. Robert H. Glass’s petition states that his ship, the Alert, was attacked near the island of Flores, Azores, just West of Portugal on September 9, 1862. The cargo and ship (the bark Alert) was seized or destroyed.
Finally, Captain Glass also has the distinction of having Glass Point named for him in the Shetland Islands after he rescued a stranded survivor from a sealing ship from Potter Cove in the Shetlands.
This revolver appropriately features scrimshaw ivory grips with “CAPT./R.H. GLASS” and “NEW LONDON” on the bottom of the grip. The left side of the grip features an eagle while the right features a bark. The grip frame is silver plated. There is an “X” under the serial number on the trigger guard, denoting a special piece. The case has a silver plaque with the same inscription and is full of accoutrements to include lead ingots, lead balls, a small powder flask, an original Colt’s patent .31 caliber bullet mold, and a tin of caps.
The overall condition is near fine. 75% of the silver plate remains. The markings are clear. The numbers match. The cylinder scene is quite clear. The scrimshaw is superb. The grip is in fine shape. The bore is very good with sharp rifling. The action is excellent. The case is in fine condition. Here is a wonderful example of a Colt Model of 1849 with provenance to a sea captain of some renown!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 5-7/8 inches.
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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