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Museum-Quality Reproduction Of An 1876 Gatling Gun And Carriage, estimated at $25,000-$50,000 at Lewis & Grant.

Buffalo Bill Cody and Robert Eden Handy military firearms bring history to life at Lewis & Grant May 24

NEWPORT, KY — Two 19th-century firearms related to the Texas independence war with Mexico and the War Between the States come to market at Lewis & Grant Auctions Friday, May 24 as star lots in its Historic Arms and Armor sale. The catalog is now available for review and bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

Leading the sale’s estimates at $50,000-$75,000 is a Texas presentation fullstock percussion rifle owned by Robert Eden Handy (1807-1838). A Pennsylvanian by birth, Handy moved to Texas in 1834 and during the Texas Revolution, he served on Sam Houston’s staff and fought at the Battle of San Jacinto. He had also been dispatched to the Alamo in San Antonio by Houston, but arrived too late. On the top of the rifle’s barrel in a silver escutcheon inlay is the phrase Robert Eden Handy San Jacinto April 21, 1836. The is one of the only known firearms that can be documented to have been present at both the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto.

The legend of William F. ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody (1846-1917) is well known. A consummate showman who popularized the American West worldwide, his life remains a fascinating chapter in American 19th-century history. Less well known is that he began his career at age 17 as a teamster with the rank of private in Company H of the 7th Kansas Cavalry Volunteers. Cody’s military career ended upon his discharge in 1865, and this Civil War-era Sharps New Model 1863 with serial number C26310 was issued to Companies A, B, and H of the 7th Kansas Cavalry Volunteers, who were known as ‘Jennison’s Jayhawkers.’ As was common, soldiers would mark, brand, or even carve their names into the stock or other wood parts of their firearms. This Sharps New Model 1863 is hand-carved on the inside of the forearm with the name Wm. F. Cody, and the carving appears to be as old as the rifle. Accompanying it is a file folder containing all the documentation of a loan agreement with the Buffalo Bill Museum of the West. The Cody-documented rifle is estimated at $25,000-$50,000.

Though not antique, this 1876 Gatling gun is fully operational and full size. Built by Chester ‘Chet’ Fudge in early 2000, it fires .45-70 caliber rounds and boasts a 38in barrel. With an oak carriage and wheels and a brass yoke and housing, the retro firearm is estimated at $25,000-$50,000.