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Author Topic: Cased Presentation Colt No. 3 Belt Model Paterson Revolver with Original and Ful  (Read 2421 times)

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Cased Presentation Colt No. 3 Belt Model Paterson Revolver with Original and Full Compliment of Accessories

Serial #: 659 Manufacturer: Colt
Model: Paterson Type: Revolver
Gauge: 31 percussion
Barrel Length: 5 1/2 inch octagon
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut
Description: This extremely rare, factory cased presentation, Colt No. 3 Belt Model Paterson revolver was manufactured somewhere between

1837 and 1840. The revolver is complete with a factory mahogany case with beveled lid and brown velvet lining, extra cylinder and full

complement of accessories. The revolver has a blue finish on the barrel, cylinder and frame and is fitted with a varnished, walnut grip

with flared butt. Both of the five-shot cylinders have round shoulders and are roll-engraved with "Colt", the four horse-head trademark

and the Centaur and Horsemen scene. The octagon barrel has a nickel-silver front sight blade and no provision for a loading lever. The

top of the barrel is roll-stamped: "-Patent Arms M'g Co. Paterson N-J Colts Pt-" reading from the breech to the bore. The serial number,

"659" is stamped on the front of the barrel lug below the arbor pin hole, the bottom of the wedge, the rear face of both cylinders, on

the left side of the trigger and on the butt of the left grip. A larger numeral "6" is stamped on the rear face of both cylinders and on

the cylinder turning ring. The top of the beveled case lid is inlaid with a silver plate inscribed: "W. Watson/from A. P.". After

further research "A.P." can be identified as Andrew Parsons. Andrew Parsons appears as a stock holder, owning 10 shares in Patent Arms

Manufacturing Company in August of 1837. This stock holder list now resides in the Connecticut Historical society but is listed on page

208 and 209 of Paterson Colt Pistol Variations by Phillips and Wilson. Mr. Parsons served in the upper house of the New Jersey

Legislature which was established under the New Jersey Constitution of 1776. The legislative council replaced the New Jersey Provential

Council which had been the Upper house under colonial rule. The Provential council consisted of twelve members appointed by and serving

under the British crown. This body was overwhelmingly aristocratic so in 1776 when the state drafted a new Constitution it provided an

elected legislative council with one member of council elected in each county for a one year term. One member of the council was elected

Vice President of the council and would succeed the Governor if a vacancy occurred in the office. Mr. Parsons served two consecutive

terms as Vice President of Council of the New Jersey Legislature 1837, and 1838. 1837 is of course the same year Mr. Parsons is listed

as a minority share holder in the Patent Arms Manufacturing Company. Even more interesting is that Mr. Parsons was elected from Passic

County, the same county where Paterson New Jersey is located. Now on to the initials "W.Watson." to whom this cased pistol was

presented. After further research we can identify "W.Watson." was a Mr. William Watson. Mr. Watson was an attorney from New York city

and is cited for working on Colts behalf in the same book noted above; Paterson Colt Pistol Variations by Phillips and Wilson page 160.

By the late 1830's the Patent Manufacturing Company was doing worse and worse. Further Samuel Colt was growing further in debt in the

Company and by that point a man by the name of John Ehlers had become the majority shareholder in the Company. As Colt struggled to

secure government contract or capture a share of the civilian market Ehlers and Colt often clashed over the direction of the company. It

was during one of these clashes that attorney William Watson was authorized on Colts behalf to compose a letter to Mr. Ehlers. The clash

occurred over a 100 carbine order that was placed by the state of New Jersey. As Wilson writes "Ehlers and Colt became embroiled over

differences on the matter of accounting, and was further aggravated by Colt's use of a $100 draft from Ehlers for security payment of

board with his landlady in Washington: Ehlers did not honor the draft" which is when Mr. William Watson working on Colts behalf was

asked to draft a letter to "ascertain that Mr. Ehlers is good for the amount, and proceeded forthwith if you must" While the connection

between to two men is not entirely clear, it is clear that both men have strong associations with the Patent Arms Manufacturing Company

and Samuel Colt himself at approximately the same time. Furthermore with Andrew Parsons strong political associations in the state of

New Jersey, he was of course in position to succeed the governor, and the State of New Jerseys recent purchase of 100 Paterson Carbines

which William Watson acting as Colt attorney during the accounting "dispute", the pistol could have been presented at this time possibly

as payment or simply showing gratitude, which Samuel Colt was known for. Why it was presented from "A.P." may point to Colts debt issues

or the fact that many of the lesser share holders were not thrilled with the direction John Ehlers wished to take the company. The case

contains: (1) extra cylinder mounted on a wooden dowel, (2) iron, single cavity, round ball bullet mold with three wooden handles, (3)

Paterson combination tool with ball-seater, screwdriver, nipple wrench and nipple pick, (4) cleaning rod with turned wooden handle,

brass ferrule and 5 1/2-inch steel shaft with threaded end, (5) brass Paterson cap primer (capper), (6) Paterson No.3 Belt Model charger

and (7) key. The accessories are secured by wire retainers. The capper is the first pattern (CP#1 Rapley) with the lid embossed with the

Rampant Colt, crossed Paterson revolvers and "COLT'S PATENT ARMS MANg. CO.PATERSON N.J." in a double border around the edge of the lid.

The lid die has a crack running through the horses mane and the "N" in "PATENT". The back of the capper lid has a locking post and

swivel bar. The charger is 5 1/2 inches long with a copper body and three gold-plated brass rings. The upper and lower rings are knurled

and the center ring is inscribed: "PATENT ARMS M'G. CO.PATERSON, N.J. COLT'S PT.".

NRA Life Member
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