This wonderful 1866 Winchester Rifle is a true classic, with glorious engraving of American Patriotic Art by L. D. Nimschke. It is easily one of the most recognizable engraved Winchester Rifles in the world, gracing page 56 of "WINCHESTER ENGRAVING" and page 56 of The Texas Gun Collectors Associations 1971 "ANTIQUE ARMS ANNUAL", among others. Its engraved designs in brass are among the most elaborate and beautiful known, with spectacular and nearly perfectly executed vine scrolls about a large central panel on the left side of its frame of “Columbia” in superb, bank-note quality detail. The image of the iconic "Columbia" was the symbolic personification of the Americas and New World beginning in the early 1700's. A similar panel is pictured in Nimschke’s scrapbook, dated in his hand December 1869. The opposite side of the frame consists exclusively of similar scrolling. This wonderful rifle has the standard 24" octagon barrel with standard fixed sights, beautiful straight grain wood stock with matching SN found in lower buttstock channel, the assembly letter “V” found on lower tang of its frame, and an engraved crescent shaped buttplate with trap containing its original 3-pc cleaning rod.It is in extraordinary condition with 90% bright glossy blue on the barrel and fine case colors on the hammer and lever. The piano style glossy finish stock is also in excellent condition with only a few minor handling marks. Its receiver was originally gold gilded and retains a considerable amount of gold in the engraving cuts. When light hits the receiver at certain angles, the gold still jumps out, albeit a very thin coating remaining and most of that within the engraving cuts. This superb Winchester has impressive collection provenance as well. It was actually brought to public notice by Winchester Manufacturing in 1950 when its owner sent them pictures to help in its identification of what the he presumed was a 1 of 1,000 rifle. Since that time, it has built a fantastic provenance of premier collector ownership to include West Coast Collector Elmer Taylor, then to Doug Bennet of California, to renowned Winchester Collector Wes Adams of Las Vegas, Nevada, to Winchester dealer Leroy Merz, to collector Michael Worley and finally to the Michael E. Simens Collection, (yours truly) the current owner. It is truly worthy of a world-class museum or personal collection. I would love to keep this rifle but I can't keep them all. This gun is completely untouched and original in all respects and has a track history of selling more than once in the $250,000 range. I'm sure it will find a new home in an advanced personal or institutional collection.