W. Winans Esquire
Presentation : Alexander Henry Double Rifle



Alexander Henry


ALEXANDER HENRY Hammer double rifle presented by the PRINCE OF WALES TO WALTER WINANS, (Ca. 1890) Cal. .450 BPE. 28-1/4" Fine
Damascus dovetailed barrels with high, flat, full length file cut rib, are engraved "Alex'r Henry Edinburgh and London." and "Maker to Their Royal Highness' The
Prince of Wales and Duke of Edinburgh." on tops. Top of left bbl toward center is engraved "Presented by H. R. H. the Prince of Wales to W. Winans. Esq." Bbl flats
show London proofs at .440 and are stamped "A.H" and SN. There is also a later stamping "325" probably referring to bullet weight for which the rifle is regulated.
Bottoms of barrels are stamped "Henry's Rifling A & T 5695" on the right and left bbl has "5696" (patent use numbers). Sling eye is mounted to bottom rib. Long
round bar, Jones under lever action has finely filed fences with two cuts in action bar to make rifle lighter. Back action rebounding locks have front mounted stalking
safeties. Action and lock plates have 80% coverage of very finely executed English scroll engraving, with "Alex'r Henry" on each lock plate. Short, round bodied,
serpentine hammers have scroll engraved bodies and dolphin heads. Long top action tang has folding Lyman peep sight. Trigger guard has SN at grip. Broadly streaked
European walnut full pistol grip butt stock over checkered wood butt with engraved steel heel and toe plates. Stock features double shadow line right hand cheek piece,
and 22 LPI checkering with mullered borders. There is a sling eye on toe line, and grip has engraved steel trap cap, containing two spare strikers. Grip cap has most of
its case color, silvered on edges. Heel and toe plates retain over 50% of their color. Stocks have nearly all of their original oil finish. The grain has lifted a bit over the years,
and there are a fair number of minor nicks, dings, and scratches. Action is tight. Barrels are on face. Locks are crisp. Bores are excellent, nearly perfect. Books are good,
but show evidence of some use. Lithograph has some tears, but is clean. Plaque is excellent. Exceptionally fine rifle in exceptionally fine condition owned by one of the
most dynamic characters of his day. He was an author, world record marksman (gold medal 1908 Olympics, 2 shot running deer), passionate hunter (he leased thousands of
acres of hunting grounds in Scotland).

Colt Single
Action Army

Blue & color case hardened, 7-1/2" bbl with Walter Winans patented front sight, 1-line block letter Hartford & Pall Mall London address and the caliber marking
on left side. Bore is most unusual in that it is Metford-style rifled with a right hand twist vs. the deep rifling with left hand twist as usually found in Colt revolvers
undoubtedly something special ordered by Mr. Winans. Left side of frame has 2-line 3-patent dates and rampant Colt in a broken circle. Top strap has the usual
sighting groove which has been altered by widening the V-slot at the rear end. Bottom of bbl has a tiny "45" underneath base pin. Bottom of bbl & cyl have tiny
British proofs and it is mounted with a 1-pc varnished walnut grip that has the matching last four digits of SN in blackstrap channel. Butt strap is fitted with a lanyard
stud & ring with the inside of grip relieved to accommodate the screw , finally, accompanied by a green velvet lined leather motor case for this single action revolver
with the initials "WW" on the front. Inside the lid has a small label "COLT'S PATENT FIRE ARMS MANUFACTURING CO., / 26 GLASSHOUSE STREET
PICADILLY CIRCUS LONDON, W". Bottom right end of the case has a small snap secured flap which exposes a cleaning equipment compartment. It is unclear
if this is a Colt company casing or one that Mr. Winans had created. Walter Winans was born April 5, 1852 in St. Petersburg, Russia to American parents while his
father was working on the Russian railroad system. He died August 12, 1920 in London, England while participating in a trotting horse race. Mr. Winans was descended
from the Wynants family who changed their Dutch name to Winans when they immigrated to America. Mr. Winans was educated in St. Petersburg and later moved to
London where his multi-talented personality was developed. He was immensely talented in a number of fields including art, sculpting, equestrian and pistol & rifle shooting.
In the 1908 Summer Olympics he won an Olympic Gold Medal for rifle shooting and in the 1912 Olympics he won a silver medal in a similar event. And most unusually he
also won a gold medal in the 1912 Olympics for mixed sculpting. He participated in a number of Olympic events in 1908 and in 1912. Mr. Winans died while participating in
a trotting horse race. Mr. Winans always considered himself to be an American and competed for America in the Olympics although he never set foot on American soil.
Over his career Mr. Winans won numerous shooting matches in both rifle & pistol and was a prolific designer & inventor, inventing several different styles of sights for
handguns, particularly Smith & Wessons. His inventions were so successful that Smith & Wesson presented him with an extraordinary revolver, art nuveau decorated
by Tiffany. That his expertise was appreciated by Smith & Wesson is most significant and is evident by this presentation from Smith & Wesson as they, unlike Colt, made few
presentations.Case has worn and fuzzed edges with some loose stitching, otherwise is fine. Interior is lightly to moderately faded.



Copyright© 2004 Gun-Data.com. All reproduction rights reserved