A rare engraved Henry Second Model rifle is aiming for the top bids at Heritage Auctions' June 9 Arms & Armour Signature Auction in Dallas.
A Henry rifle was a source of pride for many civil war-era soldiers, who would save their wages to buy one due to its rapid firing rate. This example is valued at $100,000.
The gun was gifted to Unionist soldier Henry E Darby by his friends, with the inscription reading: "Henry E Darby/ From his Friends/ Cincinnati Ohio, May 6, 1867."
Darby received the gun at a reunion of his Company G of the 181st Ohio Infantry. He had started his first commission with the 134th Regiment, Indiana Infantry early in the US civil war, before moving to Salisbury, NC and then to Georgia, where he received a 30-day furlough.
He is then listed as a deserter, before re-appearing with Company G. The gun will be sold along with a notarised letter from one-time owner Thurston Van Horn attesting to its history, as well as copies of select records belonging to Henry Darby.
It is lightly scroll-engraved across its brass frame, with the left side having a pictorial panel depicting an American eagle with a ribbon in its beak reading "E Pluribus Unum". A scroll-engraved border and flanking scroll motifs surround this.
Heritage's Arms & Armour auction will follow its Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction the previous day, which is headlined by a flag that was present at Appomattox and a rare Colt Gatling gun.
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