The lot features a rare early first year of production U.S. Colt 1848 First Model Dragoon percussion revolver serial number 3672 noted as being owned by famed Hunkpapa Lakota Chief, Sitting Bull and carried by him into many battles. The revolver is marked in togia and was examined by Wendell Grangaard of The Guns of History with accompanying paperwork.
Noted in the early 1860’s Slow / Sitting Bull worked for Garreau, a trader at Fort Berthold for the Chouteau Firms Trading Posts. Slow bought furs for Garreau and the relationship ended after two years with Garreau failing to pay Sitting Bull. In exchange for pay, Sitting Bull accepted an 1848 Colt Dragoon Percussion Revolver and some goods. Wendell notes this 1848 Colt Dragoon revolver as the very same and being used by Sitting Bull in many battles starting with the Badlands Battle in North Dakota July 1862, followed by Big Mound on July 24, Dead Buffalo Lake on July 26, Stoney Lake on July 28th, a year later at White Stone Hill and later at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Included are testimonies documented about Sitting Bull including by White Bull to Stanely Vestal and David Bald Eagle his grandson.
When Sitting Bull was killed on December 15, 1890, his cabin was raided and all his personal items were taken. David Bald Eagle, Sitting Bull’s grandson noted that One Bull testified that his old “Hutela Atanka” or big 44 cal six shot percussion revolver was taken by Black Pheasant, a Standing Rock Indian Police Officer during the raid of Sitting Bull’s cabin. In Lakota tradition Black Pheasant marked the gun as well. Included with the lot are Standing Rock 1890 Indian Police records with his name on the roster.
Marked in togia as follows; on the left side of the grips reads, “Slow / Sitting Bull Hunkpapa Chief – Black Pheasant - Hunkpapa Chief Sitting Bull / Slow” (illustration 1), on the right side of the grip, “Slow / Sitting Bull – Black Pheasant Chief Hunkpapa Slow / Sitting Bull” (illustration 2), again the name on the upper left side, on the butt, “Slow / Sitting Bull Chief Hunkpapa – Greasy Grass Battle (and his name again) (illustration 4), the name again on the bottom right and left butt, on the back of the trigger guard, “Slow Sitting Bull Hunkpapa” (illustration 7), on the bottom of the frame around the serial numbers, “Slow / Sitting Bull Hunkpapa (twice)” (illustration 8), on the cylinder, “Slow / Sitting Bull – Hunkpapa – friend – Crawler – Heralder – Silent Eaters” (illustration 9), signed at the end of the barrel (illustration 10), remnants of black paint on the bottom because of Sitting Bull’s belief of the Thunder Dreamer of hunka, the Thunder spirit of the Spirit World which would make bullets go straighter (illustration 11). Included in a Silent Eaters Ceremony with similar markings on a stone axe from the same.
The revolver is marked atop the octagonal barrel section, “ADDRESS SAML. COLT NEW-YORK CITY”, on the left side of the frame “COLT’S PATENT U.S.” on the cylinder “3672” along with the engraved horse scene, on the barrel frame / frame / brass trigger guard / and brass butt of the revolver with all matching serial numbers of “3672”, on the loading ram rod “67” (center numbers of the 3672 SN). This early first year of production 1848 is United States martial inspected showing the U.S. under Colt’s Patent and the SN 3672 falls in the same year as the rare pre-production U.S. Walker Replacement Fluck dragoons. The horse engraving is present on the cylinder and the early revolver has the silver single blade site is still present at the front and the oval cylinder stops and square back trigger guard (both noted as early and Fluck features). The brass still has remnants of the high grade silver plating and the piece is in high condition for its age. Noted with the U.S. mark and silver as being a rare overrun martial U.S. civilian revolver. Antique Firearm.