Colt martially purchased and marked US Navy M1851 Colt percussion revolver serial number 90883, .36 caliber, 7 ½-inch octagonal barrel with single-line Hartford address. Iron mounted. Blued finish. Case-hardened lever and frame. Frame marked: Colts/Patent/U.S. Large triggerguard. Left side of triggerguard assembly stamped: “G”. Iron triggerguard and gripstrap assembly with the butt clearly stamped U.S.N. ; oil-finished one-piece walnut grips, the left butt US inspector stamped: “MM”. Manufactured in 1859.
This rare handgun is one of only 600 produced that year with half being shipped to the US Navy Yard in New York and the other half to the US Navy Yard in Boston. Many of these in this range are known issued to the USS Pawnee. The USS Pawnee was a sloop of war in the US Navy during the Civil War. Named for the Pawnee Indian tribe, she was laid down in 1858 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and launched 8 October 1859 (sponsored by Miss Grace Tyler) and commissioned 11 June 1860 with Commander H.J. Hartstene in command.
This very rare Colt surfaced in an estate sale in New England decades ago and came in the original and equally rare USN marked Boston Navy Yard holster.