This is a nice undisturbed example of the Colt Model 1849 Pocket Revolver. Serial number is in the 174,000 range and was made in 1860. 4" barrel with early two-line NY address. Five-shot cylinder. Large trigger guard. Numbers are 100% matching including barrel wedge. I found this one at a show on the table of a Maryland-based dealer. He had no history on it...just that it was brought into his shop by a family in untouched condition. How untouched? I don't think the dealer noticed but one chamber is still loaded probably from the Civil War...what's left of the lead ball has oxidized to white. It comes with what appears to be its original leather flap holster that fastens via a leather tab. These simple leather tabs often turn up on holsters accompanying Confederate revolvers although I don't think anything has ever definitively established this type as purely Southern. Let's just say it whistles Dixie! In spite of all the dirt and scattered specks of rust, one could tell it had a lot of original blue and case colors on the barrel, cylinder and frame. The brass backstrap and trigger guard even retained a good portion of their original silver plating and the grips were nearly flawless with almost all of the original varnish intact.
In terms of date of manufacture, the holster, and the untouched condition, I couldn't help but wonder if this Colt hadn't been picked up off a battlefield early in the Civil War. Farmers and civilians recovered a great deal of weaponry from battlefields all over northern VA and Maryland. In fact, during the Civil War, the Confederacy placed ads in newspapers offering rewards to civilians to return recovered weapons. This gun may be just that! It appears to have been nearly new when its service came to an abrupt ending...and mother nature took over. The 1849 Pocket was very popular with soldiers, both Union and Confederate, during the Civil War who privately purchased them for personal protection. Many 1849's produced prior to April 1861 were shipped South and turn up in old ambrotype photographs being brandished by their Confederate owners. This gun has a name on the bottomstrap that was carefully scribed with a sharp object. It simply says "LOPEZ" in the brass with a letter "L" on the butt of the grip.
Overall Condition grades to NRA Antique Fine with 50% original blue mixing with a freckled patina on the barrel. Cylinder has perfect scene with 35% original blue. All five safety pins are intact and in very good condition. Frame shows 50% original case colors that are dark but still visible. 35% case on loading lever. Trigger guard has 50% silver plate remaining. 40% silver on backstrap. Most of the screws appear to be unturned...I don't think I've ever said that about a 150-year-old Colt before. Many still retain significant amounts of original fire blue. Walnut grips are nearly flawless with 98% of their original varnish intact. Bore is in Good Condition. Action still cocks and indexes properly. Barrel to frame fit is tight, wedge is tight. Wish this one could talk because it would certainly have an interesting story to tell.