This is a minty example of a Forehand and Wadsworth early Pocket Cartridge Revolver that was built in the early 1870's just after the expiration of the Rollin White Patent controlled by Smith and Wesson. Caliber is .32 Rimfire with 4" octagonal barrel and birdshead grips. This one is very well made with highly polished blued/case colored finish and rosewood grips. No doubt, it was designed to compete with the Smith and Wesson Model 1-1/2.
Several thousand were built in the early 1870's and are usually found in .32 rf, .38 rf, and .41 rf. The .32 calibers were nicknamed the "TERROR", the .38's called the BULL DOG or BULL DOZER, and the .41's were known as the "SWAMP ANGEL" which came from a Civil War cannon that was used to shell the city of Charleston in 1863. This one is fairly early in the 1,300 serial range and never had the nickname stamped on the top strap. It has a nice barrel address with two F&W patents from 1861 and 1871. The 1861 patent dates back to when the company was known as Ethan Allen & Company. In the 1850's, it was also known as Allen & Thurber which was famous for their pepperbox pistols. Forehand and Wadsworth were both married to daughters of Ethan Allen and took over the firm in 1871 after Allen passed away. F&W would eventually be sold to Hopkins and Allen at the turn of the 20th century which was of no relation to Ethan Allen. The 1871 patent date probably pertains to a rather clever design where the cylinder pin was made hollow and houses a removable cartridge ejector rod. See photos.
Overall Condition is NRA Antique Excellent Plus with nearly all of the bright original blue remaining with the exception of some flaking on the barrel. The case colors on the hammer are vivid. Rosewood grips are also excellent and have nearly all of their original varnish. The cylinder has nearly all of its original blued finish on the front and rear faces. This may be still unfired as I can find no wear rings on the back of the recoil shield. The are some very very slight wear rings around the chambers suggesting that this revolver was loaded at some point but I don't think it was ever fired. Bore is mint. Mechanics are perfect. This one would be a challenge to improve upon.