A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, June 09, 2008

Interesting Provenance

This auction is for a used Smith and Wesson Volcanic pistol. It is chambered in .31 caliber. It has a 4.25 inch barrel on it. It is a lever action repeater pistol. It has serial number 77 and all the parts match. It is stamped on the frame, grips, and lever. All of the markings are correct and matching. Several of the screw heads are "buggered up". There are traces of the original blueing under the grips and at the face of the receiver on the receiver itself. The blueing on the barrel is very nice and is in about 80% condition. Both the front and the rear sights appear as they should. This pistol is mechanically perfect. The bore is very nice with a few pits the length of the barrel. The gun is as we received it, very clean. There is not old look to this gun, it is very clean and oiled. All the engraving all looks correct and is not "touched up" at all. The whole gun looks very correct. This pistol comes from the family of the original owner and this is the first time ever offered for sale since first purchased in the 1850's by Peter Gremps II. The history is associated as follows: Peter Gremps came from New York;s Mohawk Valley and started the village of Paw Paw, MI. (Paw Paw is located in the southwest corner of the state of Michigan at exit 60 of I-94. It is about 12 miles west of Kalamazoo) His son Peter Gremps II carried it while working for the railroad in his duties. It was loaned to a Pinkerton man guarding Abraham Lincoln when he visited this area in the campaign for president in 1860. It was then passed down through the family to this day and proceeds go to help offset costs for caring for its present, aged, owner. It was displayed in a store window at the centennial celebration in Paw Paw in 1958. This is the story as it was recounted to the store owner with several documents enclosed. Along with this auction comes many letters of authenticity, and attempts to receive information on this gun. There are also several other documents on the guns history that come with the gun.
Isn't it odd that a "Pinkerton man" would have to borrow a gun for protecting a candidate for the presidency? Started at $19,000.00. Actual market value is difficult to discern. According to Supica's Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, these handguns rarely come up for sale. Rough examples sell in the low four figures. Nice examples sell in the low five figures.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

the Pinkerton loan sounds like the sort of story a grandfather might tell his young grandson with a glint in his eye, and then never get around to explaining it was a joke.

discounting that part, the provenance sounds credible, and the pistol does look like a decent specimen, so it might be in that "low five figures" ballpark you mentioned. still, it's not the kind of money i'd feel happy handing over without getting to personally inspect the goods first... perhaps i'm odd that way?

7:30 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Buy the Gun, not the Story.

Regardless, it's a fascinating piece.

9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was once a "Pinkerton man". Bwhahahahaha!

I'm not kidding though. I worked for "Pinkie" on the East Coast for several years as a part-time security guard. Ah, I was young and in need of money (still am... In need of money I mean).

11:36 PM  
Blogger Tam said...

Who knows? It might even be true.

It was a different world back then. No "police departments" anywhere. Into the early 20th Century you could walk up to the White House, knock on the door, and expect someone to answer...

7:05 AM  

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