Rare & Historic 1st Model 1873 Winchester Rifle Identified to 19th Century California Pioneer & Sea Captain H.H. Buhne

First Model Winchester 1873 rifle manufactured in 1875, serial number 9564. 24-inch octagon barrel with full length magazine tube. Standard “buckhorn” rear and German silver blade front sights. Chambered in .44-40 W.C.F. cartridge. “Thumbprint” dust cover located on top of frame. Straight grain walnut buttstock and forearm. Crescent, rifle style buttplate. Blue finish with case hardened buttplate, hammer, and loading lever. Right side of frame marked “H.H. BUHNE”. In 1838, at age of sixteen, Hans H. Buhne sailed from his home in Flensburg , Denmark as a cabin boy aboard a Whaling Ship. He sailed for eleven years on Whaling vessels, becoming first mate on several ships before arriving in San Francisco during the Gold Rush of 1849. He tried his hand at gold mining but, dissatisfied, he returned to his love of the sea to explore the rugged Northern California coast for a pathway to the Trinity Gold Mines. He discovered a bay, later to become “Humboldt Bay” which was surrounded by endless old growth redwood forests. This area became his home. He enjoyed notoriety and fortune in his adventures as a Humboldt Bar pilot, purchased a chandlery store, a lumber mill, and developed several thousand-acre ranches. When he died in 1894, he was one of the wealthiest men in Northern California. In 2011 author Marvin Shepherd wrote a Biography of Captain H. H. Buhne titled: “The Sea Captain’s Odyssey”, a copy of Shepherd’s book is included in this lot. Accompanying the rifle is a Winchester Museum Letter dated February 24, 2023, signed by Jessica A. Bennett, Cody Firearms Museum Records Specialist. Letter documents serial number 9564 configuration, and shipment from the Winchester warehouse on September 22, 1875. Also included in the lot is a binder of information documenting Captain H. H. Buhne’s life. Size: 43 inches long overall, with a 24 inch barrel. Processing and shipping within the continental U.S $85 plus a 1.5% replacement cost insurance fee. Discounts given on combined lot shipping.

Provenance:Guy Gerhard Collection


Good overall. Metal surfaces are an overall “gunmetal” grey patina with modest scattered abrasions. Wood is sound showing moderate to heavy use. Left side of forearm is missing a longitudinal section of wood. Rear sight is missing the elevator. Front barrel band is loose. Action operates properly. Bore is turning dark. Overall, a most colorful, and rare First Model 1873 Winchester rifle with great early California history. -MKS-

Estimate: $5,000 - $10,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


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