"MARLIN MODEL 1889 LEVER ACTION RIFLE. SN 87609. Cal. 38 WCF (38-40). Spectacular 1893 Chicago World's Fair Model 1889 rifle with 24" oct to rnd bbl, half magazine, German silver Rocky Mtn. front sight & Marlin semi-buckhorn rear sight with adjustable aperture. Mounted with extremely beautiful, very highly figured, center crotch cut, flame grain, B-style checkered American walnut with serpentine grip & Marlin embossed hard rubber buttplate. Receiver is extremely beautifully deep relief engraved by Conrad Ulrich in #9 style with the large vignette of a standing buck deer, a standing doe & a resting doe in a very highly detailed forest scene on left side and a deep relief standing bull elk in a mountain scene on right side, all surrounded by full coverage, very fine foliate arabesque patterns with punch dot background. There is a wide gold inlaid band & a narrow platinum inlaid band at bbl root along with matching foliate arabesque engraving over the visible top five flats. Top & bottom of receiver are engraved to match. Forend cap has light engraving with a chip & dot border. The lever is also, most unusually, engraved with light arabesque patterns and chip & dot borders. Right top flat of bbl is engraved in period script "Presented to H.W. Chester, by The Marlin Fire Arms Co." Left top flat of bbl is engraved in matching script "World's Fair Chicago. 1893." Accompanied by two letters from the Marlin Firearms Co. dated 1956, the first of which is signed by Roger Kenna, President of Marlin, acknowledging receipt of this rifle and transferring it to Mr. Harry Teator, Manager of the Gun Service Dept. Mr. Teator then responded that the rifle "left the factory, Mar. 14, 1894" and was equipped with a 38-40 caliber, 24" half oct bbl with half length magazine tube & pistol grip stock." He further states that this is all the information in the records but that they knew for a fact that a few of these guns were made up for the Chicago World's Fair. He also states that a small piece of the hard rubber buttplate was broken from the toe but they had recovered it & taped it in place, which is now missing. Mr. Teator further offered to "trade" a new Model 336 High Power lever action rifle for this one so that they could put it into the company collection. Additionally accompanying is another Marlin Firearms Co. letter supplying the same technical information as reported above. According to the book, Marlin Firearms, Brophy, only 55,119 Model 1889 rifles were ever manufactured and of that total only 854 had half magazines, only 508 had half oct bbls & only 2,296 had pistol grip stocks. There is no indication of the number of engraved guns but any engraved Model 1889 is very rare and this deep relief engraved presentation rifle is probably one of a kind. Note: This rifle is consecutive numbered to two other consecutively numbered Deluxe case colored Model 1889's from another consignor, being sold together elsewhere in this auction. CONDITION: Very fine. Bbl & magazine tube retain about 98% strong orig blue with a few scattered freckles of light surface rust, slightly dulled on magazine tube. Receiver retains 92-94% strong orig gold wash showing light wear at carry point. Forend cap retains 60-70% orig gold wash. Lever retains about 60% case colors turned silver & hammer is dark. Stock has the aforementioned chipped toe with a couple of small gouges & a couple of small bruises in forearm with usual light handling & use marks and retains most of its orig piano finish varnish. Mechanics are fine, strong dark bore with pitting in grooves. 4-35038 JR53 (40,000-70,000)"
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