Ithaca Model 37 $2,500 Grade 12 gauge. Subject of the first Ithaca history letter ever produced by the Cody Firearms Record Office, serial number 730182 once occupied a showcase position within the Ithaca factory collection and today stands tall among the world’s finest slide action shotguns. Features include a 28-inch barrel with fixed choke (full), matted vent rib with double beads (Raybar front and white or ivory mid) and a jeweled action (internals). ENGRAVING: Engraved by Bill McGraw (per Snyder book), the receiver showcases extraordinary gold relief game scenes, each bordered by an intricate shaded vine pattern to full coverage. The right side features three rising pheasants, the left 20 ducks and the guard a setter bust. The bordering pattern appears at both ends of the barrel, on the barrel nut bracket, inside the action (underside) and over the guard. WOOD: Stocked from a staggering exhibition walnut blank set with thick contrasting primary and crossing grain highlights, the checkering pattern is every bit as impressive as the engraving. A bordered pattern of 26 lines-per-inch with multiple fleur accents envelops the entirety of the slide, runs from a scalloped border with the receiver along the grip and touches the butt with a final flourish. The “S-shape” wood grip cap, initial shield (blank, on the toe line) and logo recoil pad complete the presentation. CODY LETTER DETAILS: Beginning in 1960, this masterpiece traveled across America for promotional display. From September, 1960 to April,1965, 19 such instances are specified. Recipients included Outdoor Life Magazine and the NRA. It is important to note that the consignment to the NRA referred to the shotgun as a $3,000 Grade*. ADDITIONAL PROVENANCE: As noted in the book Ithaca Gun Company, From the Beginning by Snyder (Walsworth, 1991, pages 222-23), this shotgun originated from the factory collection and was engraved by Bill McGraw. LOGICAL ATTRIBUTIONS: Careful examination and comparison strongly suggest that this shotgun is pictured on the back cover of the 1966 Ithaca catalog (engraving detail image at center of page), even though the catalog refers to the pictured model as a $3,000 Grade*. Also, the book Ithaca Featherlight Repeaters, The Best Gun Going by Snyder (Walsworth, 1998, page 183) appears to show this same shotgun in an obviously reversed image (slide release is not visible, hence what is shown is actually the left side), states that it was used to illustrate the back cover of the 1965 and 1966 catalogs, and labels it a $3,000 Grade*. DIMENSIONS: Weight is 7.6 pounds. Length-of-pull is 14.4 inches, drops are 1.5 and 2.25 inches. The stock appears to be absent cast. CONDITION: Having received especial care and attention over its lifetime, condition remains at least 98 percent. Barrel bluing shows what are almost certainly shipping crate rubs near the locking nut and there are a few minor imperfections in the varnish. INCLUSIONS: Cody Firearms Records history letter (three pages), Cody Firearms Records cover letter stating that the history letter is the first they have ever produced and a framed original 1966 Ithaca catalog.