This is a nice example of the Colt Model 1889 Double Action Revolver. Antique pre-1898. serial number on this 1889 is in the 15,000 range and was built in the year 1891. 4-1/2" barrel. Caliber .41 Colt. These are one of the scarcer Colt models that rarely turn up possessing this level of condition. Colt built just 31,000 of these from 1889 to 1894 with the first 5,000 units going to the US Navy.
The 1889 was essentially the grandfather to the modern Colt Double Action revolver. The design is so sleek that it's hard to believe this revolver is actually 120 years old. This was Colt's first revolver with a "swing-out" cylinder. Part of the beauty to the 1889 are the long cylinder flutes. Note the absence of any visible stop notches at the rear of the cylinder. The chambers were simply aligned with the barrel by the hand that rotates the star at the rear of the cylinder. Furthermore, there is no hammer blocking device to lock up the action when the cylinder is swung open. Following its introduction, it didn't take long for the Navy to realize this was a problem. Colt quickly improved the 1889 by adding dual sets of stop notches on the cylinders in addition to various other internal improvements. At Colt, the 1889 was soon phased out of production and these new improved models went on to become known as the Colt New Army or Navy Revolver with various year designations defining the improvements, i.e. 1892, 1894, 1895, 1896, 1901, 1903, etc. While nearly all of the US Navy's 5,000 Model 1889's were upgraded with new cylinders and locking bolts, it's still possible to find Civilian Model 1889's in their original configuration. This one is still in its pure original configuration.
Overall condition grades to NRA Antique Excellent Plus. All matching numbers. Metal retains 95% bright original blue. The screws, trigger, and rear face of hammer retain nearly all their original fire-blued finish. Sides of hammer still have most of their original bright polish intact. Hard rubber grips are Excellent with nice early 1889 type "COLT" logos. Checkering is perfect. Mechanics are nice with cylinder indexing properly. Fine Bore. A landmark gun that's an important part of any Colt collection. This one would not be easy to improve upon, especially in this price range as most nicer 89's we see on the market are priced between $2K-$3K.