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(A) NOTED COLLECTOR MEL GUY'S LEGENDARY COLT "BUNTLINE

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(A) NOTED COLLECTOR MEL GUY'S LEGENDARY COLT "BUNTLINE
Item Details
Description
The now famous moniker for a long-barreled Colt, "Buntline Special", was first introduced and made legend by a 1931 Western Novel written by Stuart Lake titled "Wyatt Earp / Frontier Marshall". In the book, Lake makes claim Edward Zane Carroll Judson, author of dime novels and better known by his pen name, "Ned Buntline", special ordered five Colt Single Action Army revolvers with extra-long barrels and detachable stocks from the Colt factory in 1876. According to Lake, Judson or "Buntline" gave these five special Colts to Dodge City, Kansas lawmen, including Wyatt Earp as gifts of his appreciation. Unfortunately, this claim has never been factually proven, or disproven for that matter. Nonetheless, the story made for a best-selling read on the life of Wyatt Earp. During the 1950 era when T.V. Westerns became the number one source of entertainment in America, both Hollywood and Colt Firearms capitalized on the Ned Buntline story. One of the most popular shows of the period was "The Life and Times of Wyatt Earp" starring actor Hugh O'Brian playing the role of Wyatt Earp. The actual star of the show became Wyatt Earp's Colt Revolver known as the "Buntline Special". This show launched many other T.V. shows and Hollywood movies immortalizing Wyatt Earp and his long-barreled Colt. It wasn't until this time that Colt actually used the term "Buntline" to describe any of their revolvers and began manufacturing special limited numbers of large bore Single Action Armies with 12-inch barrels, naming them "Buntline Specials." These models became in such demand that several toy companies manufactured replica “Buntline” cap guns, and Colt began producing smaller frame revolvers chambered in .22 caliber with “Buntline Scout” marked on their 9-1/2 inch barrels. Though Colt didn't begin this marketing campaign until the 1950s, what advanced students and collectors have known all along is Colt did indeed build a very limited number of Single Action Army revolvers, with special frames, sights, extra length barrels and accessory detachable stocks beginning in 1876. Colt originally introduced these special guns at the Historically important American 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, calling them "Buggy Specials". The limited production of these unique revolvers became one of the rarest models Colt ever produced and are highly coveted by collectors today. This example, serial number 28818 is the highest condition and best documented original Colt Single Action Army "Buntline Special" or "Buggy Special" to ever come to auction. This special revolver is the last original Buntline Special shipped by Colt on May 13, 1884. Colt collectors generally agree that thirty unique flat-top frames with channels machined in the top straps to house integral flip-up ladder style sights were manufactured by Colt in 1876. Over a course of nine years from 1876 – 1884 only nineteen of these special frames are documented in Colt archives as being assembled into completed revolvers. The guns were produced with special extra-long barrels ranging in lengths of 10, 12, and 16-inches. These revolvers are commonly known today as “Buntline Specials” Made famous by Western lore and legends. Twelve of these revolvers are documented in Colt records as having sixteen-inch long barrels. Four are listed with ten-inch barrels, and one with a twelve-inch barrel. The balance are listed with “unknown” barrel lengths. The Buntline Special being offered in this sale includes the only known detachable skeleton stock with a factory installed wrist mounted sight. The sixteen-inch barrel has a high mounted front sight properly regulated to the stock sight. It is further believed the unique stock mounted sight is pictured in the famous Colt factory display cabinet presented at the Philadelphia 1876 Centennial Exhibition. Serial number 28818 has all the original special “Buntline” features including, sixteen-inch barrel with “high” front sight. Integral frame mounted flip-up sight. Chambered in .45 Long Colt caliber. Finished in high polish blue on the barrel, cylinder, triggerguard and backstrap. Frame and hammer are case hardened. Grips are one-piece varnished walnut. Outfitted with a nickel-plated detachable stock, with wrist mounted adjustable sight. The configuration of serial number 28818 is documented by several accompanying Colt Factory Letters ordered by previous owners, with earliest letter dated January 20, 1955. The revolver was originally shipped on May 13, 1884 in a single gun shipment to Retail Dealer & Jobber, Way & Company that was located in close proximity to the Colt Factory in Hartford Conn. It is interesting to note this is the only Buntline shipped to Way & Co. This exceptional Colt is accompanied with a notebook containing various documents, letters and testimonials verifying its history and ownership beginning in 1884 through to present day. One of the most significant is a letter written on March 11, 1955 and signed by Robert Louis Stevenson. This letter very accurately and descriptively traces ownership of the revolver from a period prior to 1917 until 1953 when Mr. Stevenson inherited the gun from his father John H. Stevenson. Robert makes the following and most profound statement in his letter: "The story of this gun was a part of my life from the time I was old enough to understand what it was. It had been recounted both to me and in front of me many times by my father Mr. John H. Stevenson. It was always the same story, the same group of facts without variation, and I accepted it without question". Robert's letter documents the gun was originally purchased by a Colt employee named Louis Getske. This possibly would explain why it is the only one documented in records as being shipped to local dealer, Way & Co. Considering Way & Co’s close proximity to the Colt factory would provide a most convenient vehicle for acquisition by a Colt employee? Mr. Getske sold it to Robert's uncle Mr. Adelbert Stevenson in 1917. Adelbert left it to his wife Mrs. Marjorie Stevenson. Mrs. Stevenson passed it on to Robert's father in 1922, and Robert inherited in 1952. Robert sold the gun to noted Colt Collector, John S. duMont in 1953. Following is the complete provenance of ownership: Shipped to Way & Co.1884 Hartford Conn.Louis Getske1884 to 1917Hartford Conn.Adelbert Stevenson 1917 to 1921Hartford Conn.Marjorie Stevenson1921 to 1922Hartford Conn.John H. Stevenson1922 to 1952Hartford Conn.Robert L. Stevenson1952 to 1953Winsor Conn.John S. duMont1953 to 1955Greenfield Mass.Gerald Fox1955 to 1965 Long Meadow Mass.Charles Brinker1965 to 1973Ferndale Mich.Alan S. Kelly1973 to 1975Ridgefield Conn.Mel Guy 1975 to 2016 Garden Grove Calif.Mel Guy Estate 2016 to Present Garden Grove Calif.The accompanying documentation notebook also includes numerous letters from well-known Colt collectors and experts attesting to the revolver’s 100% authenticity and originality. Including letters from Ron Graham, Richard “Dick” Burdick, Brad Witherell, Greg Martin, Tommy Haas Jr. and Michael Salisbury. An interesting topic of discussion are serial numbers. This revolver’s serial number 28818 is correctly marked on all appropriate components and locations for the time of its assembly. Including “28818” observed on the frame, triggerguard, backstrap, inside grips and “8818” observed on the barrel breech under the ejector rod housing. In addition, the number “4” is marked inside the frame sight channel and on the bottom back side of the flip-up sight. Assembly number “5” is observed inside the loading gate. On a few, earlier assembled “Buntline Specials” serial numbers are also observed on the cylinder. Serial number 28818 correctly, does not have a serial number marked on the cylinder for the following reasons. Beginning in 1881 Colt began the process of eliminating serial number markings from their revolver’s cylinders. It stands to factual reasoning one would not expect to observe a cylinder serial number on a revolver assembled in 1884. This writer had the great fortune to examine results of a 50-year diligent effort by a friend and fellow Colt collector Tommy Odom, who assembled a detailed catalog of every known Colt Buntline. This remarkable documentation includes photographs of most the known authentic guns. In reviewing the photographs, we found six revolvers having serial numbers marked on the cylinders and five revolvers that did not. All six of the guns found with serial numbers located on cylinders were shipped from the factory prior to 1880. CONDITION: Excellent+ retaining most all of the original bright high polish blue on the barrel, cylinder, triggerguard, and backstrap. The only discernable loss of blue are areas along the barrel which have blended with a pleasing blue/brown patina. Balance of barrel shows 80-85% bright original blue. Bright original case color on the frame and hammer. The grips are excellent showing minimum wear with 95+% original varnish. Bore is bright and clean. The action is tight and crisp as new. Most all the original nickel remains on the detachable stock, tuning a lovely mellow patina. This Colt is a “Benchmark” quality example of a rare, and most important original “Buntline Special”. Impeccably documented, and presents a unique opportunity to acquire one of the “Holy Grails” of Colt gun collecting. MKS
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(A) NOTED COLLECTOR MEL GUY'S LEGENDARY COLT "BUNTLINE

Estimate $400,000 - $800,000
Nov 17, 2021
See Sold Price
Starting Price $200,000
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1263: (A) NOTED COLLECTOR MEL GUY'S LEGENDARY COLT "BUNTLINE

Sold for $240,000
4 Bids
Est. $400,000 - $800,000Starting Price $200,000
Extraordinary Firearms - Day 1
Nov 17, 2021 9:00 AM EST
Buyer's Premium 28%

Lot 1263 Details

Description
...
The now famous moniker for a long-barreled Colt, "Buntline Special", was first introduced and made legend by a 1931 Western Novel written by Stuart Lake titled "Wyatt Earp / Frontier Marshall". In the book, Lake makes claim Edward Zane Carroll Judson, author of dime novels and better known by his pen name, "Ned Buntline", special ordered five Colt Single Action Army revolvers with extra-long barrels and detachable stocks from the Colt factory in 1876. According to Lake, Judson or "Buntline" gave these five special Colts to Dodge City, Kansas lawmen, including Wyatt Earp as gifts of his appreciation. Unfortunately, this claim has never been factually proven, or disproven for that matter. Nonetheless, the story made for a best-selling read on the life of Wyatt Earp. During the 1950 era when T.V. Westerns became the number one source of entertainment in America, both Hollywood and Colt Firearms capitalized on the Ned Buntline story. One of the most popular shows of the period was "The Life and Times of Wyatt Earp" starring actor Hugh O'Brian playing the role of Wyatt Earp. The actual star of the show became Wyatt Earp's Colt Revolver known as the "Buntline Special". This show launched many other T.V. shows and Hollywood movies immortalizing Wyatt Earp and his long-barreled Colt. It wasn't until this time that Colt actually used the term "Buntline" to describe any of their revolvers and began manufacturing special limited numbers of large bore Single Action Armies with 12-inch barrels, naming them "Buntline Specials." These models became in such demand that several toy companies manufactured replica “Buntline” cap guns, and Colt began producing smaller frame revolvers chambered in .22 caliber with “Buntline Scout” marked on their 9-1/2 inch barrels. Though Colt didn't begin this marketing campaign until the 1950s, what advanced students and collectors have known all along is Colt did indeed build a very limited number of Single Action Army revolvers, with special frames, sights, extra length barrels and accessory detachable stocks beginning in 1876. Colt originally introduced these special guns at the Historically important American 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, calling them "Buggy Specials". The limited production of these unique revolvers became one of the rarest models Colt ever produced and are highly coveted by collectors today. This example, serial number 28818 is the highest condition and best documented original Colt Single Action Army "Buntline Special" or "Buggy Special" to ever come to auction. This special revolver is the last original Buntline Special shipped by Colt on May 13, 1884. Colt collectors generally agree that thirty unique flat-top frames with channels machined in the top straps to house integral flip-up ladder style sights were manufactured by Colt in 1876. Over a course of nine years from 1876 – 1884 only nineteen of these special frames are documented in Colt archives as being assembled into completed revolvers. The guns were produced with special extra-long barrels ranging in lengths of 10, 12, and 16-inches. These revolvers are commonly known today as “Buntline Specials” Made famous by Western lore and legends. Twelve of these revolvers are documented in Colt records as having sixteen-inch long barrels. Four are listed with ten-inch barrels, and one with a twelve-inch barrel. The balance are listed with “unknown” barrel lengths. The Buntline Special being offered in this sale includes the only known detachable skeleton stock with a factory installed wrist mounted sight. The sixteen-inch barrel has a high mounted front sight properly regulated to the stock sight. It is further believed the unique stock mounted sight is pictured in the famous Colt factory display cabinet presented at the Philadelphia 1876 Centennial Exhibition. Serial number 28818 has all the original special “Buntline” features including, sixteen-inch barrel with “high” front sight. Integral frame mounted flip-up sight. Chambered in .45 Long Colt caliber. Finished in high polish blue on the barrel, cylinder, triggerguard and backstrap. Frame and hammer are case hardened. Grips are one-piece varnished walnut. Outfitted with a nickel-plated detachable stock, with wrist mounted adjustable sight. The configuration of serial number 28818 is documented by several accompanying Colt Factory Letters ordered by previous owners, with earliest letter dated January 20, 1955. The revolver was originally shipped on May 13, 1884 in a single gun shipment to Retail Dealer & Jobber, Way & Company that was located in close proximity to the Colt Factory in Hartford Conn. It is interesting to note this is the only Buntline shipped to Way & Co. This exceptional Colt is accompanied with a notebook containing various documents, letters and testimonials verifying its history and ownership beginning in 1884 through to present day. One of the most significant is a letter written on March 11, 1955 and signed by Robert Louis Stevenson. This letter very accurately and descriptively traces ownership of the revolver from a period prior to 1917 until 1953 when Mr. Stevenson inherited the gun from his father John H. Stevenson. Robert makes the following and most profound statement in his letter: "The story of this gun was a part of my life from the time I was old enough to understand what it was. It had been recounted both to me and in front of me many times by my father Mr. John H. Stevenson. It was always the same story, the same group of facts without variation, and I accepted it without question". Robert's letter documents the gun was originally purchased by a Colt employee named Louis Getske. This possibly would explain why it is the only one documented in records as being shipped to local dealer, Way & Co. Considering Way & Co’s close proximity to the Colt factory would provide a most convenient vehicle for acquisition by a Colt employee? Mr. Getske sold it to Robert's uncle Mr. Adelbert Stevenson in 1917. Adelbert left it to his wife Mrs. Marjorie Stevenson. Mrs. Stevenson passed it on to Robert's father in 1922, and Robert inherited in 1952. Robert sold the gun to noted Colt Collector, John S. duMont in 1953. Following is the complete provenance of ownership: Shipped to Way & Co.1884 Hartford Conn.Louis Getske1884 to 1917Hartford Conn.Adelbert Stevenson 1917 to 1921Hartford Conn.Marjorie Stevenson1921 to 1922Hartford Conn.John H. Stevenson1922 to 1952Hartford Conn.Robert L. Stevenson1952 to 1953Winsor Conn.John S. duMont1953 to 1955Greenfield Mass.Gerald Fox1955 to 1965 Long Meadow Mass.Charles Brinker1965 to 1973Ferndale Mich.Alan S. Kelly1973 to 1975Ridgefield Conn.Mel Guy 1975 to 2016 Garden Grove Calif.Mel Guy Estate 2016 to Present Garden Grove Calif.The accompanying documentation notebook also includes numerous letters from well-known Colt collectors and experts attesting to the revolver’s 100% authenticity and originality. Including letters from Ron Graham, Richard “Dick” Burdick, Brad Witherell, Greg Martin, Tommy Haas Jr. and Michael Salisbury. An interesting topic of discussion are serial numbers. This revolver’s serial number 28818 is correctly marked on all appropriate components and locations for the time of its assembly. Including “28818” observed on the frame, triggerguard, backstrap, inside grips and “8818” observed on the barrel breech under the ejector rod housing. In addition, the number “4” is marked inside the frame sight channel and on the bottom back side of the flip-up sight. Assembly number “5” is observed inside the loading gate. On a few, earlier assembled “Buntline Specials” serial numbers are also observed on the cylinder. Serial number 28818 correctly, does not have a serial number marked on the cylinder for the following reasons. Beginning in 1881 Colt began the process of eliminating serial number markings from their revolver’s cylinders. It stands to factual reasoning one would not expect to observe a cylinder serial number on a revolver assembled in 1884. This writer had the great fortune to examine results of a 50-year diligent effort by a friend and fellow Colt collector Tommy Odom, who assembled a detailed catalog of every known Colt Buntline. This remarkable documentation includes photographs of most the known authentic guns. In reviewing the photographs, we found six revolvers having serial numbers marked on the cylinders and five revolvers that did not. All six of the guns found with serial numbers located on cylinders were shipped from the factory prior to 1880. CONDITION: Excellent+ retaining most all of the original bright high polish blue on the barrel, cylinder, triggerguard, and backstrap. The only discernable loss of blue are areas along the barrel which have blended with a pleasing blue/brown patina. Balance of barrel shows 80-85% bright original blue. Bright original case color on the frame and hammer. The grips are excellent showing minimum wear with 95+% original varnish. Bore is bright and clean. The action is tight and crisp as new. Most all the original nickel remains on the detachable stock, tuning a lovely mellow patina. This Colt is a “Benchmark” quality example of a rare, and most important original “Buntline Special”. Impeccably documented, and presents a unique opportunity to acquire one of the “Holy Grails” of Colt gun collecting. MKS

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