This is a nice example of a Smith and Wesson Model Number One, 2nd Issue Pocket revolver. Standard 3-1/16" octagonal barrel with 7-shot cylinder in caliber .22 short. It features a 7-shot cylinder in .22 caliber short, silver plated frame, blue barrel & cylinder, German silver front sight, with varnished rosewood grips. Cylinder has nice markings with the correct 3 patents dated 1855, 1859, and 1860...all clear and legible. Examples slightly earlier than this will have only the '55 and '59 patents. Top of the barrel reads, "SMITH & WESSON SPRINGFIELD. MASS."
The Model One was S&W's first successful revolver design and one of the world's very first cartridge revolvers. It was also the world's first gun to be chambered in .22 rimfire. However, .22 rimfire back in 1860 was not the potent stuff you can buy down at your local gun shop today. S&W's were built to the highest standards with superior fit, finish, and materials but in spite of that, 140-year-old brass frames coupled with delicate hinges and iron barrels are no match to handle modern smokeless ammunition. We recently found a rare Number One, 1st Issue S&W that had its barrel completely blown off the frame at the hinge as a consequence of firing one round of a smokeless .22 short. The Serial number on this one is in the 24,000 range and was likely made in 1862. S&W's were very popular with soldiers during the Civil War who privately purchased them and carried them for extra firepower and personal protection. Over the years, we've seen quite a number of these proudly displayed in the hands of their original owners in old ambrotype and tintype photographs.
This S&W is well above average for an early Civil War era revolver. It's in NRA Antique Fine+ Condition with 97-98% original unpolished silver plate remaining on the brass frame...with no flaking and losses confined to sharp edges. The barrel has 65% original blue. The coverage of original blue is outstanding with the only losses due to wear at extreme edges. The 35% of blue loss is primarily due to mother nature and father time...or simply oxidation. The blue is bright in the protected areas and mixing with a light speckled patina down the more exposed facets of the barrel flats. 50% cylinder blue..again full coverage but 50% turned to patina. The hammer shows 60% case colors. The rosewood grips are in VG+ to Fine+ condition with a few scratches and nicks on the lower portion of the right grip. Overall, the rosewood retains 95% of its lustrous piano varnish...no chips, cracks or repairs. Action works nicely and bore is in Fine condition...still bright with deep lands and grooves. Barrel latch is still tight and locks up to the frame tightly with no wobble or play. A very respectable example of an early S&W pocket from the Civil War.