This is a nice example of some of 19th-century master engraver Louis D Nimschke's work. Nimschke engraved many Smith and Wessons for the company's New York distributors, MW Robinson and JP Storr. This Model 1-1/2, 2nd Issue was built circa 1875 at the height of Nimschke's work. It features a blued finish with mother of pearl grips. Caliber .32, five-shot cylinder, tip-up frame, with standard 3-1/2" barrel. Sides of the frame feature classic winding and overlapping scrolls...precisely executed with punch dot reliefs. From there, we counted a number of Nimschke sub-patterns including knotted arrows on both sides of the barrel, an eight-pointed star on the barrel lug area, entwining line patterns on the cylinder and backstrap, and a simplified dot pattern accenting the top and bottom straps of the frame. This is not one of Nimschke's more elaborate presentation/exhibition level works but a very good representation of his style and work.
Overall Condition grades to NRA Antique Fine retaining 50% of what appears to be a 19th century factory refinish. There are no rounded corners or excessive wear but some of the engraving in the high spots is a bit thin and/or lacking fine details. Engraved revolvers seemed to be purchased by two types of customers in the 19th century...one paid extra for engraving as art and occasional use...while the other carried it every day, loved to show it off, and when it lost its lustre, often had them redone. You will see this quite frequently with engraved Colt Single Action Army's. This one seems to fall in the latter category...it was carried for show. Hammer shows good traces of faded case colors. Good screws. Mother-of-pearl grips are in Very Good Condition with no cracks or breaks...with one chip at the top of the right panel. Action is in Good Working Order. Fair bore. This is a great opportunity to add the work of a master engraver to your collection without breaking the bank!