"COLT SINGLE ACTION ARMY REVOLVERS. SN 208657 & 208673. Cal. 45 Colt. Extraordinary and the only known matched pair of engraved, silver plated Colt single action revolvers with backstrap inscriptions. They have 4-3/4" bbls, standard sights, 2-line bbl addresses with 2-line patent dates and rampant Colt in circles. Both are fitted with fine, smooth pearl grips and have the last three digits of their respective serial numbers on the backs of the cylinders. These pistols are silver finished with fire blued screws & beautifully engraved by, probably from the hand of the master, Cuno Helfrecht, with about C+ level coverage. Engraving consists of about 60-70%% coverage wonderful foliate arabesque patterns with very fine punch dot background. Top straps have feather patterns and top of bbl has Moorish patterns. The gullets of the frame in front of cylinder on each side have tiny flower blossoms and top of back straps have beautiful fans with central "V"s. Top & bottom of actual back straps have beautiful incised patterns and the central part of back straps have the individual's names. No. 208657 is inscribed "JOE PERIA" and No. 208673 is inscribed "N. GARZA". The butt straps are lightly engraved and trigger bows have patterns that match the back straps. Accompanied by a very large volume of information contained in a 3-ring binder including a Colt Factory letter which fully identifies these revolvers in cal 45 with 4-3/4" bbls, silver finish, pearl grips and factory engraved. They were shipped May 13, 1901 to A. Baldwin & Co., New Orleans, LA c/o Calixto Valle in a matched pair shipment of two guns. Under remarks section it is reported "subject revolvers also have the following engraved on their backstraps. Serial number 208673 bears the inscription 'N. Garza', and serial number 208657 is inscribed 'Joe Peria'". Much of the enclosed research material was obtained by a previous owner and initially disclosed that a Texas land owners survey in the 1970's disclosed that someone named Juan N. de la Garza owned a large ranch of over 50,000 acres spanning over three counties in Texas. This previous owner learned that there had been a Calixto Valle who lived in Rio Grande Texas in the time frame of these revolvers. He traveled to Rio Grande Texas and learned that Mr. Valle's granddaughter, Dolly Pope, was still living there. He interviewed Ms. Pope and one of Mr. Valle's former employees, Lino Perez. These interviews are documented on a video which accompanies this lot. During his time in Rio Grande it was learned that Calixto Valle was the Mayor of Rio Grande and also owned and operated a saloon as well as the only hardware/gun store in Rio Grande. Mr. Valle ruled Rio Grande with an iron fist and was known to supply guns to Poncho Villa and his supporters. The residents of the area referred to him as "Papa", a term of reverence on the order of "Don". Mr. Valle's home is still standing and is occupied by his grandson and the buildings that housed his saloon and hardware/gun store also still stand. Mr. Valle also owned a Ford dealership in town. Also accompanying is a reprint of a photograph of Mr. Valle and two beautiful ladies and another of him in formal clothes wearing a Shrine Fez. There are several reprints of old photos of main street Rio Grande showing the car dealership. Another old photograph is included which has the image of 18 or 19 Mexican gentelmen all dressed in suits and ties, seated and standing in front of a building. Some of them are identified, which included Poncho Villa, Garibaldi, F. Garza, F.I. Madero and F.I Madero Sr., and others. F.N. Garza was the Mayor of Montery Mexico and a strong supporter of Poncho Villa. Another copy of an old photo shows Mr. Valle standing on the street in front of his automobile dealership with several Model T's. Additionally accompanied by a four page letter from internationally known Colt single action expert, Ron Graham who authenticates these revolvers are absolutely original and "definatly created by a master, probably Helfricht (sic) himself". Mr. Graham further states "both revolvers are totally factory original, except for the replaced stocks on 208657". CONDITION: Extremely fine plus, all matching. Both revolvers have virtually identical condition, retaining about 96-97% strong orig silver plating and most of the orig fire blue on the screws with only minor muzzle edge wear and some sharp edge wear on the frame. Grips on No. 208657 are replacements, as noted and should be professionally fitted. Grips on No. 208673 are extremely fine with a minor chip on the left heel, another on the right toe and a small repaired chip on the right heel and show beautiful fire and color. Mechanics on both revolvers are crisp with both showing more than a little use internally. Both bores are strong with good rifling and some shine and moderate pitting. 4-32966 JR212 (200,000-250,000)"
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