This rifle was sold at auction in October 2002 for US$72900.00
Auctioneer: James D. Julia Inc.
Dealers Catalogue Description (Lot 289)
IMPORTANT AND EXTREMELY RARE WHITWORTH CONFEDERATE SNIPER RIFLE. SN C529. Cal. .450 Whitworth Hexagonal, 32-13/16” bbl. Marked “WHITWORTH RIFLE Co MANCHESTER” on the lockplate with Birmingham proof marks and the serial number C529 on the upper left quadrant of the bbl. The trigger guard is marked “2nd QUALITY” behind the trigger. The initials “JSW” are neatly carved into the bottom of the stock in front of the trigger guard. The brass tube Davidson telescope was adjusted for elevation by turning the knurled knob on the right side of the forearm. This loosened the clamp on the left side so the 1-1/2” bar graduated in 1/16 inch increments, with numbers from 0 to 4, could be raised and lowered, pivoting on the rear mount secured by the rear lockplate screw. The normal bbl sights could be used for normal short range shooting. There is extensive documentation on the acquisition of this rifle in Georgia along with correspondence regarding the use of these guns during the Civil War. This gun was originally found with the telescopic sight missing, which was later located and put back on the rifle. From the known Confederate ordnance documents only 250 of these rifles were purchased by the Confederate Government and only twenty or thirty were run through the blockade to the Confederacy in 1862. A recent letter from noted Whitworth Authorities Dr. D. W. Bailey & W. S. Curtis who will soon be publishing an authoritative book on the Whitworth rifles include the following comments regarding this specific gun. “The telescope mounted Whitworth ‘2nd Quality’ no. C529 Rifle described here conforms to the specification of all the other known surviving examples of the Confederate Purchase Special Arms. Specifically, it is in the correct serial number range, the simple form of the iron sights, two bbl bands, lack of a safety bolt, common breech rather than patent breech, very short muzzle projection beyond the forend cap (note that the bbl appears to have lost 3/16” at the muzzle, it should be 33” exactly), the method of mounting the telescope the form of the chequering and everything else about it confirm this. The total number shipped in this telescopic configuration is not known but only 8 have been traced up to this moment.” One identical to this gun, is pictured in Firearms of the Confederacy, plate XXIII and discussed on pages 27 and 28. An extremely rare and authentic Confederate snipers rifle in “out -of-the-attic” condition. This rifle will be featured in two books currently in progress, as noted in the attached document. CONDITION: Rust brown patina overall with moderate to heavy pitting at the breach. The wood is worn and has minor dents and gouges along with flaws mentioned above. The very rare Davidson scope has traces of the black finish on the brass tube and more of it on the eyepiece. There is a small chip in the rear lens of the telescope causing an occlusion in the viewing field. This does not affect the overall view of the scope or crosshairs and is easily fixed. This is an extraordinarily rare Confederate used sniper rifle that probably represents a once in a lifetime to acquire such an example.