"COLT SINGLE ACTION ARMY REVOLVER. SN 213651. Cal. 45 Colt. Nickel finish with 5-1/2" bbl, full front sight with 1-line address and caliber marking on left side. It has 2-line patent dates & rampant Colt in a circle on left side of frame and has factory raised carved steer head right hand pearl grips with ruby eyes in the steer that appear orig to the revolver. It is engraved by Cuno Helfrecht in his standard deluxe patterns with his trademark sunbursts on left recoil shield and loading gate. It has snake & dot patterns down top strap & ejector rod housing gullet with his fan at top of back strap. Frame, sides of bbl and lands between the flutes on cylinder are engraved in Helfrecht's typical foliate arabesque patterns with punch dot background. This revolver has a tiny additional flourish of a snake & dot pattern in gullet on bottom front of frame and around each edge of cylinder. It also has the zigzag Moorish patterns down back strap, butt strap and on sides of trigger guard. Trigger bow has a curious engraved diamond with a dot in the center. Accompanied by an unusual pigskin single loop holster with attached loop and a large nickel plated concho on the front. The back edge & toe are buckstitch laced and the skirt has a scalloped edge around with shoe eyelets in the scallops. It is unmarked. It also has a 2-1/4" wide x about 30" buffalo hide or elk hide belt with fine calf skin lining with a money slot on the inside behind the buckle. Buckle is a square nickel plated open type and it has forty-two 44/45 caliber laced loops. Accompanied by a Colt factory letter identifying this revolver with 5-1/2" bbl, silver finish, carved buffalo head pearl grips, factory engraved and shipped to Walter Tips, Austin, Texas, c/o W.E. Smith on Dec. 11, 1901 in a shipment of one revolver. William E. Smith, also known as Australian Billy, was born in Adelaide, Australia and emigrated to the United States at an unknown date. He was a gifted athlete and played left tackle on the first football team in El Paso, Texas and was reportedly a formidable boxer. He was a Deputy U.S. Marshall in New Mexico and served as a Private in Troop G of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry (Rough Riders) under Teddy Roosevelt. In 1899 he was working as a policeman in El Paso and later became Chief Detective of El Paso Police which job he held for eight years. Just before that he was a railroad detective for the El Paso & Rock Island Railroad. When he left the El Paso Police Department he worked for the El Paso Health Department, apparently working against bootlegging & prostitution. In May of 1911 he was a private detective working for the famous or infamous Francisco I. Madero who later became President of Mexico. When he left Madero's employment he returned to the El Paso Police Dept. as a detective, which position he held until Sept. 1911 when he was commissioned an undercover detective investigating liquor law violations in Galveston. On Sept. 1, 1911 he enlisted as a captain in the Rangers in Company C, which was a one man company, and on Oct. 5, 1911 was transferred to Company D, which was also a one man company. In both instances Capt. Smith was used primarily undercover investigating liquor law violations. In August 1913 Capt. Smith was discharged from the Rangers, whether from political considerations or lack of funding is not known, but regardless, he was once again in El Paso as a City Detective and later became the house detective for the Paso del Norte Hotel. Also accompanied by the book The Texas Rangers and The Mexican Revolution, Harris & Sadler, in which Capt. Smith is mentioned on pp. 76, 77, 88, 98, 102, 103, 114, 115, 267 & 314. Also accompanying is a copy of Smith's Enlistment and Oath of Service dated 1 Sept. 1911. Under the remarks section it lists "Private Troop "G" 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry / Deputy U.S. Marshall, New Mexico, Chief Detective, El Paso". The reverse side shows that he was transferred to "D" Company on Oct. 5, 1911. An additional accompaniment is a copy of p. 401 from Colt Peacemaker Encyclopedia/Volume II, Cochran, which lists this exact revolver by serial number with a brief description and biography of Smith and also on p. 154 it is again listed under Texas Ranger Guns. CONDITION: About fine. Overall retains about 75% fine nickel finish with some flaking around trigger guard and on back strap. This finish appears to be an old factory style restoration but the web of the trigger bow is unmarked. Grips have a small chip at frame on left side, otherwise are absolutely outstanding with tremendous fire & color. Mechanics are fine, strong bright bore with scattered light pitting. Holster & belt are somewhat dry but completely intact & functional. Belt has some minor stitching loss on the top edge. Book is new. 4-31758 JR202 (45,000-65,000)"
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