Colt Model 1849 Pocket .31 Cal Percussion Cap & Ball Revolver, 1850 Antique

SOLD FOR: $1,793

WOA#: WY240120EC007

Make: Colt

Model: 1849 Pocket

Serial Number: 14112

Year of Manufacture: 1850 (, Antique

Caliber: .31 Caliber Ball

Action Type: 5-Shot, Single Action Percussion Revolver

Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “ADDRESS SAML COLT / NEW YORK CITY”. The left side of the frame is marked “COLTS / PATENT”. The bottom of the barrel assembly, bottom of the frame, butt of the grip frame, and bottom of the trigger guard are each marked “14112”. The top of the loading lever is marked “4112”. The cylinder is marked “COLT’S PATENT / No 14112 with a roll-engraved stagecoach scene that is partial. The right side of the trigger guard flat is marked “H”.  The backstrap is engraved “C.P. Albee Chicago Ill.”.  (Albee, Cyrus P. died March 25, 1871, aged 68.)

Barrel Length: 5”, Octagonal

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a brass bead at the muzzle, the rear sight is a “V” notch in the hammer, visible when cocked.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The grip is a one-piece smooth walnut. The grip has scattered nicks and scratches with a small loss at the bottom-front corner on the left. There are no cracks. Overall, the grip is in Very Good condition as Antique.

Type of Finish: Blue, Case Color & Silver-Plated Brass

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is gray and the rifling is faint where not interrupted by erosion. There is light erosion and pitting scattered through the bore. In this writer’s opinion the bore rates 4.5/10 for Antique.

Most antique firearms have bores that will show erosion.  This is not only due to age but also to the use of black powder. When fired, black powder reacts corrosively.  NRA Antique Firearm Conditions Standards are quite lenient for bores.  In some cases, the NRA standards disregarded the bore’s condition for collector’s firearms.

Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 5% of its metal finish. The steel parts have mostly worn to white or gone to a light patina with a few spots of finish remaining on the bottom of the barrel over the loading lever. Most of the remaining finish is silver plate on the bottom of the trigger guard and on portions of the grip frame which are covered by the grip when assembled. There is some scattered surface erosion, mostly on the barrel and some light nicks and scratches. The action shows operational wear. The screw heads range from sharp to tool marked with strong slots. The markings range from clear to worn and incomplete. The nipples show wear, but have unobstructed flash-holes. Overall, this revolver is in Very Good condition as Antique.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder locks up with minor play. The barrel has no play to the frame. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.

Our Assessment: The Colt 1849, owned by Cyrus P. Albee, a prominent butcher at Fulton Market in Chicago, Illinois, is a piece steeped in American history and personal legacy. The Colt 1849 Pocket Revolver was one of the most popular handguns of the 19th century, known for its reliability, compact size, and affordability, making it a favored choice among civilians for personal defense and among prospectors and pioneers during the Gold Rush era.

Cyrus P. Albee’s connection to this firearm adds a unique historical dimension, linking the piece not only to the broader narrative of the American West and the expansion era but also to the personal story of a notable individual in Chicago’s history. Manufactured between 1849 and 1872, the Colt 1849 was a cap-and-ball revolver, typically chambered in .31 caliber, featuring a 4 to 6-inch barrel and a distinctive octagonal shape. It was celebrated for its ornate engraving options and was often carried in a pocket, hence its designation as a Pocket Revolver.

The association of this particular Colt 1849 with Cyrus P. Albee, who died in 1871 just before the Great Chicago Fire, and whose residence, the Harry & Myrtle Albee House, has been recognized for its historical significance, enriches its value as a collectible. This revolver symbolizes the intertwining of American industrial growth, the personal histories of its citizens, and the evolution of firearms technology during a pivotal era. Collectors and historians alike would cherish such a piece for its direct link to an individual known in Chicago’s bustling market scene of the 19th century, offering a tangible connection to the past and a story that complements its mechanical and artistic craftsmanship.  Please see our pictures and good luck! – L.S.

Colt Model 1849 Pocket .31 Cal Percussion Cap & Ball Revolver, 1850 Antique
Colt Model 1849 Pocket .31 Cal Percussion Cap & Ball Revolver, 1850 Antique