BEAUTIFULLY ENGRAVED PRESENTATION WINCHESTER 1866 LEVER ACTION RIFLE
Cal. 44 HRF
Some who have observed this rifle have attributed the engraving to renowned Master engraver Gustave Young. After Working for Colt as their Primary engraving contractor, Young worked as an independent engraver from 1863-1869 in Hartford, CT. It is widely accepted that Gustave young was only commissioned by Winchester to engrave a select few firearms making surviving examples absolute rarities. This rifle, being dedicated to an individual (John Freeman) as a sportsman in 1868 has features suggesting it as an independent work from Gustave Young. Since his work was not signed, attribution of Young engraved Winchesters is made through comparison of his unique Germanic scroll to known examples from his time as an engraver at Colt as well as Main spring boss on inside of lower tang is stamped “G” with small intersecting “T”, which is also found on Gustave Young’s gold plated 1866 that was sold at auction on Dec. 9, 2022; S# 25501. Bbl. 24″ octagon. Sporting front sight w/ sporting leaf rear sight. Full length mag. 4th model brass action w/ some remaining original gold finish. The engraving consists of floral patterns on the forward sections of the frame w/ borders & scroll work on the remainder. Brass forearm cap & peak of buttplate have complimenting engraving. Fine Germanic style engraving is typical of that done by master engraver Gustave Young. Forearm & straight grip stock of fancy walnut have added fine point pattern borderless hand checkering. Features include brass trapdoor crescent buttplate & sling swivels, front swivel is mag. cap mounted. Left side of stock has a brass oval presentation plate marked “June 1st, 1868 / JOHN A. FREEMAN / SPORTSMAN”. Inside toe of buttplate has matching serial number. Mfg. 1868. UNATTACHED ACCESSORIES: proper 4 piece cleaning rod held in butt compartment.