Here is something we don't come across very often...an original 1870's era pocket revolver still in its original box. During the latter part of the 19th century, the gun market was flooded with these inexpensive and cheaply made nickel-plated pocket revolvers. Today, collectors call these revolvers "Suicide Specials" as it was rumored that they might function just long enough to accomplish such a task. Given their generally poor quality of workmanship, inferior materials, and fragile mechanics, finding one of these little guns in nice condition can often be a challenging task. The manufacturers of these cheap little guns were so ashamed of their handiwork that they rarely put their names on their products. Instead, they resorted to trade names like "Red Jacket", "Hard Pan", "JOKER", "Defender", etc. This particular example has a more patriotic theme and is stamped "LIBERTY" on the barrel and features a small bust of George Washington on the grips.
During the mid-1870s, mainly in and around the year 1876, there were a few guns that were manufactured with patriotic themes as the US celebrated its 100th anniversary. For example, a few years back we had a "Centennial" revolver in its original picture box which featured a backdrop of the 1876 Exposition held in Philadelphia...the nation's first capital. See the following link:
While it's just a theory, this may be the case with the "Liberty" trade name on this revolver as it could have been a marketing ploy to convey the nation's patriotic enthusiasm during the year 1876. As to the manufacturer of the Liberty, we did find one online reference to the Norwich Falls Pistol Company which was owned by Otis Smith.
Condition is NRA Antique Excellent++++ to MINT with 99.9% original nickel plating. The cylinder holds seven shots of .22 caliber ammunition (which was back when everything was black powder). There is no way this could withstand modern .22 ammo. The round barrel was never rifled...it's just smooth and shows no evidence of ever being fired. The hammer and trigger are nothing but crude raw castings that were never filed or polished. Grips are very nice but as you can see in the photos...exhibit only mediocre fit to the handles/gripstraps. Since it was never used, the mechanics still work perfectly. The original box, which is worth far more than the gun itself, is in Very Good condition with all panels intact. End label is marked "LIBERTY" with correct specs, "Round Barrel and Cylinder", "Saw Handle", and "Rubber Stock". All in all, this is a really interesting piece of what one might describe as a disposable product. It is American consumerism at its worst and symbolic of what we have learned to accept in terms of quality in the products we buy. Essentially, this was 100+ years ahead of its time. It was never built to last...which is why it's such a rarity to find something like this still practically new in its original box.