This little cased Colt just came from the estate of an old well-known collector in the midwest who owned it for many years. It's a very early Colt 1849 Pocket Revolver that was built at the Colt London Factory in 1853. Standard 5" octagon barrel, five-shot cylinder in .31 caliber with iron gripstraps. Serial number is in the 540 range which makes it first year production and just a few months after Colt opened his London plant on Jan. 1, 1853. Colt brought with him a number of "Yankee mechaniks" to get production started alongside a number of newly hired but seasoned English gunsmiths. In the beginning, many of the first several hundred 1849s were assembled from components shipped over from Colt's Hartford plant in the United States. These will often have small brass trigger guards but with London barrel addresses. This is one of the first true London Pocket Models with the large iron trigger guard and slim contoured grips. Note the sharpness of the cylinder scene...they do not get any better than these early Londons. As it was one of the first true Londons, the roll die used for applying the scene must have been brand new! Wow, it's crisp! Comes in its original deluxe grade English case made of mahogany (oak was standard) with original red velvetine lining. Case comes with a nice compliment of original accessories including Colt-marked bullet mold, correct English bag flask by Dixson & Sons, and nipple wrench.
Overall Condition grades to NRA Antique Fine+. 100% matching numbers throughout. Barrel shows 60% thinning original blue which is flaking. Cylinder has turned to silver with all five safety pins in Good Condition with 99% strong cylinder scene. All five nipples are original and are stamped "COLT'S PATENT". Hammer and loading lever show 30% original case colors. Case colors on frame have dulled and faded to silver but still show about 15-20% of its original color. High quality English walnut grips show 99% strong original varnish with zero chips, cracks, or repairs. Iron trigger guard and backstrap are blued with strong traces in protected areas. 75% fire blue on trigger. Excellent screws throughout with 40-50% original blue remaining. Action is perfect. Bore is near mint...mirror bright with strong lands and grooves. Case is in Very Good Condition with all of its original red lining intact. Brass hinges have a patent date and makers name. For 160 years old, it's in pretty good shape as the only flaws I can find are two chips in the wood on the rear corners of the lid top piece which were repaired. The lid shows a bit of warpage on the right side which is common on cases of this age. If you've looking for a nice untouched cased Colt that hasn't been put together or had components swapped out over the years, this is a fantastic example from a decades-old collection.