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Lot #9127
Johnny Cash Colt Model 1851 Navy Revolver with Ivory Grips Presented to Gene Ferguson of Columbia Records

Given by Johnny Cash to his Columbia Records promo man—a handsome Colt Model 1851 Navy Revolver with ivory grips

 
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Estimate: $8000+
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Description

Given by Johnny Cash to his Columbia Records promo man—a handsome Colt Model 1851 Navy Revolver with ivory grips

Colt Model 1851 Navy Revolver with ivory grips presented by Johnny Cash to Gene Ferguson of Columbia Records, serial #206375, .36 caliber, 7 1/2" octagon barrel with a very good bore that has light pitting within the grooves. This is an 1868-made, 4th type revolver that has matching numbers on the frame, barrel, cylinder, gripstraps, wedge, and cylinder arbor. The metal has an overall dull, pewter gray patina mingling with thin, plum-brown freckling along the surfaces. Additionally, there are hints of muted color case-hardening still present on the frame. The brass trigger guard and backstrap have a dull yellow-ochre patina throughout. The one-piece ivory grip is in good condition, with mellow age-toning to a pale caramel color, and dark age cracks at the butt on both sides. The lock-up is tight and the action is fully functional, but the sear is worn and slips when the hammer is fully pulled back.

The revolver is accompanied by a framed presentation letter signed by Johnny Cash, March 17, 1962, stating that this "1851 Navy Colt with Ivory Grips in Caliber 36, Serial Number 206375" was a gift to Gene Ferguson as "a token of my friendship." Gene Ferguson was a longtime promotions executive with Columbia Records, and a close friend of Johnny Cash from 1957 until Cash’s death in 2003. He discussed their relationship—and the guns that Cash gifted him—in a 2016 interview for the NRA Blog. As a fine Colt 1851 Navy with a documented connection to one of the most well-respected figures in 20th-century music, this is a remarkable piece of American history.

This is an antique firearm and transfers with no federal restriction.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Marvels of Modern Music
  • Dates: #679 - Ended December 14, 2023