COMING IN DECEMBER 2020
WELL DOCUMENTED WINCHESTER MODEL 1873 ONE OF ONE THOUSAND DISPLAYED AT THE ORPHEUM THEATER FOR THE PREMIERE OF “WINCHESTER 73” & LATER EXHIBITED AT THE CODY FIREARMS MUSEUM.
inv # 01-17685
Cal. 44 WCF (44-40).
During the 1950’s Steve Hannigan prepared a report of “1 of 1000 Model 1873”. This report is the result of the One of One Thousand Search, which promoted Universal-International’s feature film “Winchester 73” starring Jimmy Stewart. This rare rifle was number 18 among the One of One Thousands discovered during the movie publicity search. This search fostered the popularity of gun collecting as we know it today. At the time of the 1950 movie search, this rifle was owned by US Navy Cmdr. T.R. Jordan, of Seattle, Washington and in the notarized letter to Universal, Cmdr. Jordan states he acquired the rifle a few years back (1946 or 1947).
This exact Winchester One of One Thousand was at the “Orpheum Theater” in a glass case for the initial release of the movie in 1950 “everyone stopped in the theater to view the rifle & Wanted Poster in the lobby”. The promotional search for the surviving Winchester One of One Thousand by Universal created far more enthusiasm than the original sales promotion conducted by Winchester. The original marketing by Winchester for the One of One Thousand rifles targeted clients seeking a superior level of performance from their rifles. The firearms were built around barrels found to have extra merit & built into special guns with set triggers & extra finish. This rifle exhibits even further scarcity with a 2″ longer than standard 24″ octagon barrel which is engraved in script font “One of One Thousand” on the breech end of the top barrel flat. This marking is highlighted by vine type foliate scroll with punch dot backgrounds on the adjacent flats & around the muzzle. Muzzle & breech end of the barrel inlaid with silver bands. Sights consist of a gold washed Beach’s combination front & short semi buckhorn V notch rear sight with serrated edges. Full length magazine. First Model action having a mortised thumb print dust cover & set trigger. The factory “XX” stock & forearm are of non-checkered tiger striped American black walnut and fitted with crescent steel trapdoor buttplate that holds a four piece cleaning rod. This is the only One of One Thousand known with this stock configuration. Left inside of lower tang is marked with assembly number “732” & wood grade marking “XX”. This rifle was recently displayed at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming for the grand reopening of the Firearms Museum.
PROVENANCE: Cmdr. T.R. Jordan, USN – 1947; F. Theodore Dexter – 1958; Hank Vogel collection – 1968; William F. Mitchell Collection – 1968; Leroy Merz; Collection of Dr. Edmund Lewis; James D. Julia Auction – Oct. 2017; The Esteemed Personal Collection of Native South Texan, Vicente Sepulveda. Thanks to Cmdr. Jordan’s & Steve Hannigan’s meticulous records & extensive additional research at the Cody Museum Library by the current owner, this authentic rifle is now one of the best documented One of One Thousands in existence.
This is a rare opportunity to own a One of One Thousand discovered during the 1950 “Winchester ’73” movie search, the actual rifle displayed at the Orpheum Theater during the movie premier and perhaps one of the most prized American made collectible rifles in existence.