A Smith & Wesson One & a Half
Here we have a very clean 1st issue 1-1/2 Old Model S&W revolver retailed in England by George Gibbs of Bristol.
Ours is in .32 rimfire (black powder) and was made towards the end of the First Series in around 1868. Smith & Wesson produced 26,300 of these 5-shot pieces between 1865 and 1868. The three series output was some 223,000 pieces, most of which were in fact made by King & Smith, Middletown Ct. S&W merely assembled, finished and sold them.
The model you see is in very good condition, featuring substantial frame areas of original blue and blue-fade to barrel. The five-shot cylinder bears London proofs and it rotates very tightly. Overall, the revolver is in excellent mechanical condition.
The grips are of varnished rosewood and the green-baize lined case comes in four compartments but aside from a steel cleaning rod, no other acoutrements. The case lid has George Gibbs’ trade label fixed to the inside.
Not many of these pistols found their way onto foreign markets back in the day. Ours is somewhat unusual in this regard, and has lain dormant with successive British owners and in UK collections for over 150 years.
It would make an interesting and valuable addition to the collector’s portfolio.