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Price Realized: $5,750 With Buyer's Premium Show Hammer Price
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Sale 2486 Lot 230
"DELIBERATE AIM & A STEDEY PULL AT THE TRIGER WILL SECURE MY GAME" (BUSINESS.) Colt, Samuel. 3 letters regarding his burgeoning firearms business. Autograph Letters Signed "Sam'l Colt" to George W. Pomeroy. The first 2 letters each 4 pages, 7 1/4 x 4 1/2, on one folding sheet; minimal wear * The third letter, one page, 9 3/4 x 7 3/4 inches; folds, tape remnants on top edge, moderate ink spotting in signature area. Vp, 1849-52
Estimate $4,000 - 6,000
This lot includes 3 letters from the famed firearms manufacturer Samuel Colt, all addressed to merchant George Williams Pomeroy (1799-1856) of New York and Stockbridge, MA. The two had been partners in a telegraph company in 1846.
The first letter dates from Colt's time in London, attempting to secure a British patent on his weapon. On 25 May 1849 he wrote from a hotel in Trafalgar Square: "I have been very busy among the steel makers at Sheffield & the patent office here since my arrival & as yet have not seen much of the elefent. These are grate times, or rather the begining of grate times in Europe. . . . I tel you what it is, old boy. This business of being secretary to a Yankey minister plan is no small advantage to your humble servant. In connection with my inventions it will give me the eare of any crown head or partey in power in Europe & if I don't turn it to account then I ain't smart. I don't intent to moove to strong at first. Deliberate aim & a stedey pull at the triger will secure my game. . . . Kendal says he could have sold 50,000 pistols if he had had them."
Colt wrote from Paris on 28 September 1849: "Paris is a grate town & there is no getting away from it. The city is fild with Americans . . . it really seems at times as all America was here. . . . Since I have been in Europe I have sent several boxes containing trifling things . . . among the things sent there are a few sample cases for pistols & writing desks &c which are wanted at once at my armoury." He also discusses the prospects for continued war in Hungary and their president Louis Kossuth: "The president's future hope is on the Republican side. One blow & a general war will follow for universal liberty." This letter is signed awkwardly on the letter's center vertical fold.
The third letter was dated 25 March 1852 from Hartford, where Colt had built his first armory. "The drawings, plans &c you forwarded came duly to hand. Ned [lawyer Edward N.] Dickerson has not yet been here, but I am daily expecting him, and if it is not necessary that the drawings should be returned immediately, I would like to retain them until after his arrival. Will then write to you again. P.S. Please continue enquiries, as I may yet select another locality."
with--a retained copy of a letter from Pomeroy to Samuel Colt, 30 March 1852 * and a small archive of 25 letters to Pomeroy from other correspondents: 10 from Samuel Colt's brother Christopher Colt, a silk manufacturer of Paterson, NJ, 1850-52 * One from Samuel Colt's lawyer Edward Wilkinson regarding the Colt family silk business, Dedham, MA, 26 November 1851 * and 14 from miscellaneous correspondents.Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $5,750