12 gauge, 32" barrel, S/N 84. The top of the barrel is marked Spencer Rptg. Shot Gun Pat. Apl. 1882. The frame features period engravings on either side and the top. The left side of the frame features an engraved scene of a shotgun shooter and a judge looking downrange at target balls. The top is engraved in old English script For - Dr. W.F. Carver's and features the date 1887 in a scroll. The top of the frame is engraved in the same script Rocky Mountain & Prairie Exhibition. The right side of the frame features an engraving of a gentleman, presumably Carver, on horseback shooting a target ball in the air.
The Rocky Mountain & Prairie Exhibition was the name of W.F. "Doc" Carver's wild West show. This gun was engraved and presented to Carver when he took his show from Minnesota to Toronto. Carver was known to use a Spencer shotgun, and such use is documented in The Golden Age of Shotgunning, by Bob Hinman, on page 74, describing carver breaking 1,000 glass balls in 41 minutes with his Spencer shotgun, or his "pumping machine". Another book, Spirit Gun of the West, by Raymond Thorpe, also documents the event on page 148.
This shotgun is accompanied by a December 5, 1997 signed letter from noted firearm collector Jerry L. Murphy, stating "Upon inspection of this model 1882 Spencer shotgun serial #84 I find it to be all original, in very good condition, and from the first year of production." He also states "I find this to be a very nice item of historic value which has been documented in several books and articles as Doc Carver's "pumping machine". "
The barrel has a slightly mottled plum and steel patina, with the frame having a mostly gunmetal patina with some plum showing. The stock has a light age crack near the rear of the tang, and is in otherwise great condition. The bore and the action are good.