Identifying Colt Engraver

Pmangelos

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I'm wondering what the chance is of identifying the engraver of this Colt. It letters as a factory engraved gun from 1902. Thanks all for any help and or suggestions. If there are additional details that need photography I can get them. We removed the grips and the only marking I can see are the number 603 and the letter N, both stamped into the grip frame and backstrap. Also any suggestions on how to track down who "Bob Wilkes" may have been would also be appreciated.
Thanks again,
Paul
 

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Roger Bleile

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#3
Two of the engravers, that I know of, working for Colt at the time your revolver was made are Charles A. (Cuno) Helfricht and Herman Leslie Ulrich. The work looks more like that of Ulrich though the poor execution of the scrollwork is not up to his usual ability. Nonetheless, Ulrich had been engraving at Colt for 27 years by the time your gun was made and he was 52 years old. There may have been other engravers working for Colt in 1902 that I am unaware of.

Regarding the name on the backstrap, since no inscription is listed on the Colt record, it is most likely that the inscription was added at the point of sale or later. Therefore, it will be very difficult to determine just who Bob Wilkes was. Wilkes is definitely not the name of the engraver. Also the stamps on the grip frame do not denote anything about the engraver.
 

MikieDu

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I agree Roger, this is not the typical quality of work you should expect to see from Helfricht or Ulrich. The style and formation of scrolls and others detail matches the period and style of work, but the quality of execution it is very suspicious. I could point out a long list things that are not right, but that "Nimschke Star on the crane knuckle is the worst I've ever seen.

At the very least I would say that the gun has been severely polished and re-cut by a rank amateur...then plated again. A Colt Factory Letter describes how the gun was configured (number, finish, engraving, etc.) when it left Hartford. #220791 did not leave the Colt Factory looking like this.

For instance: look at the wriggled border around the Hartford Address on the barrel (top). It is apparent that the wriggled border does not follow the original (look for the faint original). It's not that difficult to follow an original cut line, but it is very difficult, if not impossible to re-cut an original wriggled line exactly as it was cut.
 
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pilkguns

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#5
At the very least I would say that the gun has been severely polished and re-cut by a rank amateur...then plated again. A Colt Factory Letter describes how the gun was configured (number, finish, engraving, etc.) when it left Hartford. #220791 did not leave the Colt Factory looking like this.
.
yeppppppppp, that's my assessment at first glance.
 

Pmangelos

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Jan 10, 2018
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Thread starter #6
Thank you for the sincere replies, I appreciate them. I’m strictly an amateur when it comes to engraving, I had no real idea of the quality of this engraving. I was aware that the gun had been replated and was curious about the engraving as the barrel stamp was faint compared to the engraving. Thank you once again.
 

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