Cased London Marked Colt Model 1855 "Root"
Rare, Very Fine Pocket Percussion Side-hammer Revolver
Model 7 variation, manufactured in 1868
Displaying the desirable and very rare "ADDRESS COL. COLT / LONDON"
Silver case plate: "No. 2751. S.S.M. E.F. WILKINSON / 5th ROYAL IRISH
LESS THAN SIX EXAMPLES EXTANT SOLD
The Model 1855 .28-caliber Pocket revolver series were manufactured in seven main variations
plus sub-variants for barrel lengths [this being 3.5-inches], as well as various markings and
finishes. They are the only Colt percussion revolvers that used solid frames and were
mechanically quite different than the Model 1849 Pocket series that filled the same role. The
much larger scale Model 1855 revolving rifles were also based on the same basic design. This
attractive Model 1855 is the Model 7 variation and was manufactured in 1868 with the desirable
and very rare "ADDRESS COL. COLT/LONDON" barrel address, London proof and view marks
on the barrel and cylinder, "L" serial number suffix on the butt, and a smooth grip. "P," "H," and
"B" are marked on the grip frame on the bottom right. It has a post front sight, the stagecoach
cylinder scene and standard patent marking as well as the retainer screw on the cylinder,
matching serial numbers (barrel, cylinder, and butt), and standard groove rear sight. The pistol
and accessories remain in the original oak case with a silver plaque marked "No. 2751. S.S.M.
E.F. WILKINSON/5th ROYAL IRISH LANCERS" and cap tin, "COLT'S/PATENT" dual cavity
bullet mold with sprue cutter, L-shaped combination screwdriver and nipple wrench, and a bag-
shaped Dixon & Sons powder flask.
The 5th Royal Irish Lancers served in India from November 1863 to December 1874 primarily at
Lucknow and Sealcote after which they served in England until 1881 when they returned to
Ireland. No matching name was found among records available on the Royal Irish Lancers in
the period. If the number listed is a service number, Staff Sergeant Major Wilkinson would have
joined in 1883 or 1884 when a percussion revolver would clearly be antiquated [a good 30 years
or more after the pistol was made]. Perhaps the revolver is something he purchased as a
memento or it “came-down’ in his family.
The unit was involved in the Nile Expedition and subsequent Mahdist War in 1884 and 1885
during which the British supported the Egyptian Kendive against the Mahdist rebels after telling
the Egyptians to give up their claims in Sudan, but British General Charles Gordon defied orders
and defended Khartoum and required relief. Winston Churchill served in the war in the 21st
Lancers and participated in one of the last British cavalry charges.
Very fine with 90% (+) of the bright original blue finish and all case colors to hammer, most of
the wear concentrated on the cylinder and the “very-outside edge” of heel, general minor
light/fine scratches, crisp marking (white highlighting on the barrel), and distinct cylinder scene.
Mechanically needs some very minor work; it does not always lock up properly (it needs a
trigger return spring which we will take care of). Although the grips are very fine, we note minor
shrinkage and a tiny chip to one corner of heel. The case and accessories are very good; slight
cupping to lid; an inch of beaded edge is missing from front led edge above lock. There is
almost no storage wear.