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Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by Ironbarr, Jul 6, 2003.

  1. Ironbarr

    Ironbarr Member In Memoriam

    last evening, milling around the channels, I caught the image of a decent sized older revolver. The program was one of those antique "bring it in and I'll tell you the value" kind. The antique person asked the owner how much was his estimate... "one or two thousand" he replied. After a bit of chatter that sounded like the revolver was - let's say - mediocre in value, the antique guy drops FORTY thousand on the owner.

    This revolver had a two-name MFR... it was a Dancer - xxxx (wish I'd taped it). Maybe just Dance - xxxx. I'm not sure.

    Just wondering what make it so valuable - looked to be in decent condition - on the TV color pallette it looked brownish-gray (something like a tin-type color); the cylinder was lighter. And it was rather large - a "full-sized" Civil War weapon.

    Info? Ideas?


  2. Dave McCracken

    Dave McCracken Moderator In Memoriam

    Saw that too.

    That was the Antiques Road Show, Dance Brothers revolver. Confederate copy of the Navy Colt,only a few hundred made.
  3. Steven Mace

    Steven Mace Well-Known Member


    Here's some history on the J. H. Dance revolvers:

    J. H. Dance and Brothers revolver

    This rare six-shot Confederate revolver was made in .36 and .44 calibers. Soon after the Civil War began, the Confederate government and individual states issued a call for firearms. As a result, a large variety of firearms—from flintlock rifles, pistols, and shotguns to current weaponry seized from federal properties—was used by Confederate soldiers at the beginning of the conflict. It became expedient for the South to begin manufacturing guns to keep their troops armed. Those organizations that did begin manufacturing arms largely used United States weapons as models, though this model is distinguishable by the lack of recoil shield protrusions on the frame. J. H. Dance and Brothers of Columbia, Texas, modeled their revolvers after the Colt Dragoon. The firm started manufacturing firearms in 1862. The men who worked for this company were granted exemption from military service by the state because the need for firearms was so great. In 1863 the workshop was moved farther inland due to fear that the Union gunboats would shell it, but operations apparently ceased following the move. Approximately 325 to 500 revolvers were manufactured by this firm.

    Division of the History of Technology, Armed Forces History
    National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
    Behring Center
    Bequest of Charles Bremner Hogg Jackson

    ref: http://www.civilwar.si.edu/weapons_dance.html

    Note: Flayderman's Guide To Antique American Firearms - 8th Edition lists the 44 Caliber Model (10-006) at $20,000 in fair condition and $55,000 in very good condition. The 36 Caliber Model (10-007) is listed at $22,500 in fair and $60,000 in very good condition. Hope this helps!

    Steve Mace
  4. Ironbarr

    Ironbarr Member In Memoriam


    Steven, thank you for that. Years ago you could still find airplanes hanging in old farm barns; I wonder if there are any Dance's stagnating in some old box under the bed, or hanging on a wall in an old tavern somewhere.

    Thanks again.

    Dave, I didn't get it all but was intrigued by the size and looks. When I heard the value I couldn't believe it. But it's true.

    Take good care, fellows.


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