Top 10 Sale Prices for the December Premiere Gun Auction

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By Danielle Hollembaek


Another Premiere Gun Auction has come and gone for RIAC, and this one was special.  With a realized total of $18.3 million it now stands as the second best auction in our entire history. From highly detailed antique Winchesters to immaculately preserved Colt firearms, the three day affair had a broad range of extraordinary items. What stood out on top among the over 2,900 items up for bid? Well, let’s take a look at the Top 10 sale prices.


10. Extremely Rare Engraved Winchester Deluxe Model 1890, Rifle, Scope, Silencer
Realized Price: $126,500

Winchester Model 1890 with Maxim Silencer

Every Winchester collector needs a Model 1890 in their collection, and this particular one may be the most unique we’ve ever seen. You will be hard pressed to find another Winchester with an engraved scope and Maxim suppressor, not to mention the beautiful embellishments and excellent condition this rifle has maintained over the years. Typically seen in more austere configurations thanks to its role as a beloved “boys rifle,” this fine example deserves to be displayed proudly by anyone lucky enough to call it their own.



9. Extraordinary Documented Winchester Semi-Deluxe Model 1886
Realized Price $138,000

mint Winchester 1886 rifle

Casehardening so vibrant it almost glows in the dark, a Cody Firearms Museum factory letter to accompany it, and a gorgeous stock all combined to make this firearm a showstopper at auction. From the vaunted Mac McCroskie collection, this is an extraordinarily well preserved Winchester Model 1886 that has surely made its new owner quite happy.


8. Extraordinary Colt Second Model Dragoon Percussion Revolver
Realized Price: $161,000

Colt 2nd Model Dragoon revolver


Winchesters weren’t the only guns stealing the show this December, we had a number of high condition, rare Colts in the mix. Coming in as the 8th highest selling item is this Colt Second Model Dragoon Percussion Revolver. Produced in 1850, this revolver has miraculously kept its finish and original polishing lines over more than 150 years! Its outstanding condition lead directly to its high selling price and for good reason. When you want to know what to look for in a 2nd Model Dragoon, look no further than this example. It was so good, we had to give it its own video.



7. Extremely Rare Documented Experimental Briggs Patent Henry Lever Action Rifle
Realized Price: $195,500

Briggs Patent Henry rifle


Many a Winchester collector has spent their fair share of time seeking a Briggs Patent Henry to complete their rifle repertoire.  From the Robert M. Lee collection, this gun has been meticulously kept and represents a fascinating point of development between the traditional Henry rifle and the King’s patent loading gate seen on the Winchester Model 1866. The finishing touch on this rarity is the beautiful exhibition wood with a piano finish. Considering this rifle’s rarity, in future years the sale price of under $200,000 may seem like a steal.



6. Extremely Rare Documented North American Arms Model 1911 Semi-Automatic Pistol Serial Number “73”
Price Realized: $218,000

North American Arms Model 1911 pistol

Estimated at the high-end of sale for just under $100,000, this single semi-automatic pistol earned over double its valuation. Perhaps it sold so well because only 100 North American Arms Model 1911 pistols ever made, or maybe it was the excellent condition.. A true piece of history now belongs to a new collector.


5. Iconic Presentation Special Factory Order William Gough Master Exhibition Engraved and Gold Inlaid Colt Government Model Semi-Automatic Pistol
Price Realized: $241,500

Colt Government Model serial C5

The number 5 highest selling gun is one that happens to bear the serial number C5, and is certain to make any Colt 1911 Model collector’s eyes light up. This masterfully engraved and golden inlaid Colt Government Model Pistol is the handiwork of the one and only, William Gough. A work of art from a masterful designer, plus being a first DAY production Government Model make this a one-of-a-kind piece.


4. Stunning, Factory Cased Colt/Ehlers Pocket Model Paterson Percussion Revolver
Realized Price: $471,500

Colt Baby Paterson revolver

A Colt Paterson is one of the highest sought after arms and one of the most prestigious to have in a collection. This particular Colt Paterson was once owned by famed collector Robert M. Lee. It has been immaculately preserved for years and is as close to mint condition that any historic firearm can hope to be. This seldom seen condition helped it bring nearly half a million dollars at auction, which, believe it or not, is still a fine value for the buyer of this outstanding Colt.



3. Magnificent Finest Known Monarch Grade Factory Relief Engraved Exhibition Quality Savage Model 1899 Lever Action Rifle
Realized Price: $540,500

Monarch Grade Savage Model 1899 rifle

Possibly one of the finest 19th century guns still in existence, this Monarch Grade Savage Model 1899 was one of the brightest highlights this Premiere auction. An unrivaled beauty that truly can only be given justice when seen and handled in person. The engraving, golden inlays, and unique all over design is one-of-a-kind. Art like this is more than a gun, it is a masterpiece.



2. Spectacular and Well-Documented J. Ulrich Signed Engraved & Inlaid Winchester Model 1886 Rifle
Price Realized: 586,500

Winchester Model 1886 rifle John Ulrich

From the hands of Master Engraver John Ulrich, this platinum and gold inlaid Winchester Model 1886 with marvelous detail is another high art tour-de-force. It bears a striking resemblance to the Finest Known Winchester 1886 sold by RIAC in September 2018 for $1.18 million. This is near the pinnacle of 19th century American art and thankfully it still retains approximately 90% of its original finish. It is a study in embellishment that would have a place in even the most distinguished Winchester collection.


1. Ultra-Rare Documented Winchester “One of One Hundred” Model 1873 Lever Action Rifle with Factory Letter and 1878 Inscription, Identified as the Last of the One of One Hundred 1873 Rifles
Realized Price: $805,000

Winchester Model 1873 One of One Hundred

The firearm we’ve all been waiting for, the number one highest selling item of the December Premiere Auction was the Winchester “One of One Hundred” Model 1873. From the Robert M. Lee collection, this Winchester is one of eight ever produced with only six still known to be in existence today. The rarity of production alone makes this gun well worth the price tag. The detail in the firearm itself, from the special order features to the rare use of a straight grip stock on a deluxe gun, makes it is easy to see why it took the number one spot.

The 2018 December Premiere Auction was one for the books. The top 10 item highlights are just a sampling of the magnificent firearms we had up for bid. Having the opportunity to consign, handle, and auction historic masterpieces is something we take to heart at RIAC. If you don’t want to miss out on any of our upcoming auctions, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We have daily pictures and videos showcasing items in our auction. Our next auction is January 3rd and is online only. Check out our catalog for January now and start bidding on the firearms of your choice.



Firearms continue to be attractive investments.



Rock Island Auction
7819 42nd Street West
Rock Island, Illinois 61201 USA


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