In all the years we've bought and sold Martini Henry's, this is the first Mark One we've ever listed for sale. We hope to have more in the future but for a Mark I, this is the cream of the crop. If you're a Martini fan, then you know how frightfully scarce these are! The British military upgraded nearly all over to the Mark II configuration during the latter half of the 1870's.
This one was built in 1874 by Enfield. It has the early Mark I cleaning rod with rounded tip and divided shoulders to lock into place under the nose cap. It also has the early Mark I wide-V rear sight and early checkered style buttplate. The frame has the Mark I grade. The stock has a nice cartouche and also bears the early Mark I grade. I believe this was the first or second year for the iron breech pin...a lot of people think these are supposed to be brass....but only from around 1871-73. The 1874 Mark I's had the improved steel breech pins just like the Mark II.
Overall condition is NRA Antique Fine with 80% receiver blue, great markings, and 80% barrel blue that's beggining to plum. Nice screws and pins throughout. A few traces of silvered out case colors on the cocking lever...balance a smooth brown patina. The wood is in fine condition and exceptionally nice for a military weapon. Still fairly light in color, it has nice cartouches. Good wood to metal fit that has never been sanded. One arsenal chip repair just behind the back of the frame that's barely noticeable...otherwise, the wood is solid with no cracks. Action works. Bore is excellent. Bright and shiny with strong rifling!