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Coltautos.com Gun of the Month - December 1998
Colt Model 1908 Vest Pocket .25 ACP Serial Number 125221
Master Engraved by William H. Gough

William H. Gough master engraved Model N sn 125221. 

This gun retains 99+% of the original finish, has full engraving coverage and is fitted with Type II mother-of-pearl grips (featuring rounded top and recessed medallions) 

For other factory engraved Colt Vest Pocket pistols by William H. Gough, See:

Gun of the Month - April 2000

Gun of the Month - March 2002

Gun of the Month - January 2003

Gun of the Month - September 2009

Gun of the Month - January 2010

This gun was engraved by Colt master engraver William H. Gough and features Gough's distinctive style which includes his use of vines, flowers and lined background.  It was shipped from Colt's to the engraver on March 15, 1915 and returned on May 20, 1915.  The Colt factory letter indicates that the gun was produced with a blue finish and fitted with mother-of-pearl grips and confirms the factory engraving.  It was a one gun shipment to H.S. Barton, address "unavailable" on October 8, 1917.  The original price on a gun with these features was $27.00 (Standard variation: $12.00, Master engraved: $12.50, Mother-of-pearl grips: $2.50)  For more on engraving, see Factory Engraved Colt Vest Pocket Models.

In many cases, an unavailable address on a Colt letter is a good indication that a collector's research will hit an instant dead end.  But in the case of this pistol, it was acquired in Kentucky in 1989 and the local collector who purchased it began his research based on the assumption that it had been owned by a local family for several years.  He was correct. 

Much is revealed through H.S. Barton's obituary: 

Henry Shepard Barton, 68, vice-president of the Glenmore Distilleries Co., and the Owensboro Clay Products Co., died at his home, 112 East Fourth street at 12:40 a.m. today after an extended illness 

Born in Louisville on October 6, 1873, Mr. Barton came to Owensboro in May, 1901, built the Glenmore plant on the site of the old R. Monarch distillery, and had been connected with it since that time as vice-president and distiller. 

Mr. Barton was a graduate of the University of Louisville, studied electrical engineering at Rose Polytechnic Institute, studied civil and mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan, and was graduated in law at Columbia University.  He was admitted to the Kentucky bar in 1900. 

To perfect himself in the distilling technique and in the knowledge of fermentology, Mr. Barton studied and worked under the direction of eminent chemists. 

He was prominent in promoting Indian lake, in Hancock county, as a recreation place.

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