This one is a bit ornate for a Hopkins & Allen Revolver. It's the company's Model XL No. 4 Revolver which features factory engraving, original ivory grips, with a nickel plated finish. Caliber is .38 rimfire with a five-shot cylinder and 2-7/8" barrel. The top of the frame is marked:
HOPKINS & ALLEN MFG CO.
The engraving is a bit earlier in style but similar to the revolvers Hopkins & Allen produced for Merwin Hulbert and Co. during the 1880's. Hopkins and Allen produced perhaps dozens of pocket model revolvers...many not marked with the company's name. Quality varied, but the guns with the company name seemed to fare better when it came to quality and attention to detail. While Colt and S&W owned the top end of the American market, H&A seemed focused on making their products within reach of the working man. Thus, it's a little unusual to see one of these with fancy grips and engraving. Most of their best work was reserved for Merwin Hulbert & Co., whose revolvers they manufactured under contract. That's essentially what this XL No. 4 compares best with.
XL No. 4
PAT. MAR. 28. 1871 APR. 27. 1875
Engraved Merwin Hulbert and Co. revolvers are known for their engraved scenes on the left side of their frames...usually featuring an animal, natural scenery, or even insects. This XL No. 4 is no different in that it features a wolf's head but what makes this a bit more interesting is that rather than one scene, there are two identical scenes located on each side of the frame. That said, XL No. 4's wouldn't have been the most ideal gun to embellish from an engraver's point of view as most of the surfaces have rounded contours making them considerably more difficult to engrave. That said, perhaps this is why we don't find many engraved XL No. 4's.
Overall condition grades to NRA Antique Fine with 60% original nickel with the balance of the steel kept bright to blend in better with the nickel. The ivory grips are in Excellent condition overall with no chips, cracks, or repairs...a couple of small stains along the leading edges of the grips. Action cycles properly. Bore is avg. to good...with decent lands and grooves that are a bit frosty. I can't help but wonder if this was used in a store display, a salesman's sample, or perhaps even a gift to a distributor. A very good example of seldom seen, fancy H&A revolver.