I don't suppose I have to describe how rare this holster is, but I'll do it anyway. I've seen two military style flap-holsters for the Colt Walker, two civilians that were very nice and two sets of pommel holsters that were bonafide originals. Everything else I've seen has been extremely questionable. This one is an absolute no-brainer, and it is world-class in terms of form, artistry and condition. When I first received photos of this holster, I couldn't tell exactly what it was other than the fact that it swallowed up a Dragoon in the photo. I was pretty sure that it was for an 8" Dragoon or a Walker. When it came in, I tried an 8" and it swallowed that as well, with the hammer dropping an inch into the holster, an absolute no-no as that hammer spur would have torn the holster up in no time. I then shipped it off to a Walker owner and lo-and-behold, we found ourselves one of the great rarities in Colt Accessories. The Colt Walker is the only gun I know of that fits this rig properly. The carving and bordering is exquisite, with about the finest detail I've ever seen on any early holster regardless of origin or period.
This holster isn't just carved, it's a combination of incised and relief carving and rivals the height and grandness of that on a fine, Golden Age Kentucky Rifle. The entire field of display is carved with a single flower stem, starting at the muzzle and rising with larger and more detailed foliage of leaf clusters and stems to terminate at the breech end with a large flower, possibly a Texas Rose. Lined backgrounds adorn each leaf and a simulated punch-dot background is scattered in other areas. The bordering is extremely detailed and the coverage is virtually 100% on the front side. The back-side shows some of the same bordering but the rest of the panel is absent of decoration. The leather is in wonderful condition and is softer than one would expect, probably due to age and a breakdown of leather fibers over time. I would expect that it was quite stiff originally. The plug is missing and that doesn't surprise me. This is not a slim-jim type holster that was closely form-fit. To hold a revolver the size and weight of a Walker, form-fitting at the front of the cylinder and trigger-guard would have distributed the weight of the gun better. I would expect that the plug blew-out on this holster within a few months of carry, and that's probably why it remained in such wonderful condition over the years. It's original belt loop is still on the back and there's an additional scabbard loop on the front that shows it was definitely used to hold a dirk or small Bowie. The rub lines from a sheath are still present. The interior is lined but now torn and creased in several areas and deteriorating. This may have been padded with raw cotton or other media originally.
Walkers were a big heavy gun and issued with pommel-holsters. All those government issued guns ended up with Texas Rangers and frontiersmen as well as in the California gold-fields. They didn't wear pommel holsters with a waist-belt, so a fine Martial Revolver would be just as appropriate with this rig as a Civilian Gun. All in all and in my opinion, this is one of the rarest and finest antique holsters ever discovered. Several years ago there was an original Walker Revolver in very good to fine condition that was period engraved. It was in an auction in California. If you know who currently owns that gun, please let him know I have a holster for him. That, or buy a great piece of Antique American leatherwork to park your own Walker in.