SMITH & WESSON FOR J. CRANE, LONDON
A GOOD CASED .32 RIMFIRE POCKET-REVOLVER, MODEL '1 1/2', serial no. 18945,
first issue version circa 1867, with blued tip-up octagonal 3 1/2in. barrel, the raised sighting rib signed 'SMITH & WESSON, SPRINGFIELD MASS.' over 'PAT'D. APR. 3. JULY 5. 1859 & NOV. 21 1865', nickel crescent fore-sight, blued hinged frame with cylinder lock forwards of the spur trigger, plain five-shot cylinder, colour hardened hammer, flared smooth rose-wood grips and blued grip-straps, the back strap engraved 'J.H. CRANE, SOLE AGENTS, ROYAL EXCHANGE E.C.', the pistol retaining much original finish (cylinder lock at fault), complete with its English market oak casing (missing circular brass escutcheon to lid), J.H. Crane parchment trade label inside lid, the tray compartmented and lined in green baize accommodating the pistol and a cleaning rod, with compartments for ammunition and sundries and also including a period magazine cutting advertising the revolver and two airweight paper sheets from Smith & Wesson describing the revolver and their agent J.H. Crane
Provenance: The rare magazine cutting reviewing and advertising the revolver reads as follows:
"SMITH & WESSON'S BREECH-LOADING REVOLVER - The above American invention which has been extensively tried across the Atlantic has been submitted to our notice by the London agent Mr Crane, of 3 Royal Exchange, London. We have fired several hundred rounds from it and can strongly recommend it to our readers as by far the best we have yet seen. We have not ascertained its exact figure of merit, but can make sure of a 12in. circle at twelve paces with it in ordinary practice, while its range is fully 200 yards, even with the lighter charge of powder. Its mechanism is extremely simple, and the facility of loading leaves nothing to be desired. It is necessary to caution those who may try this pistol that the cartridges should be pressed firmly home, without which precaution, after a few rounds, the grease in which they are enveloped accumulates, and prevents the edge being nipped, thus causing a misfire. After firing the five rounds the barrel opens upwards on a hinge, by pressing a catch below, and, after taking out the cylinder, the empty cases are easily pushed out backwards by means of a little ramrod fixed below the barrel. We have seen nothing to equal the ease with which this revolver is manipulated, and for all purposes to effect which a small bore is sufficient we can strongly recommend it."
The cutting lists three models available of differing calibres and sizes, this particular version originally selling in its oak box for £3.15s. with ammunition costing 5s. per 100
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Sold as an exempt item under Section 58 (2) of the 1968 Firearms Act, to be held as a curiosity or ornament