Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1400: Max C. Fleischmann Inscribed Parker Brothers A1 Special Shotgun

Auction Date: April 14, 2018

Factory Engraved and Gold Inlaid Parker Brothers A-1 Special Double Barrel Shotgun in Extremely Rare 28 Gauge Inscribed to Philanthropist and "Yeast King" Major Max C. Fleischmann

Estimated Price: $190,000 - $250,000

Factory Engraved and Gold Inlaid Parker Brothers A-1 Special Double Barrel Shotgun in Extremely Rare 28 Gauge Inscribed to Philanthropist and "Yeast King" Major Max C. Fleischmann

Manufacturer: Parker Bros
Model: A 1
Type: Shotgun
Gauge: 28
Barrel: 32 inch solid rib
Finish: blue/gold inlaid
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 10134
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 192
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun

Offered here is a highly attractive Parker Brothers A-1 Special double barrel shotgun inscribed to Major Max C. Fleischman of the famed Fleischmann yeast family. The shotgun was manufactured in 1930, and "Parker Gun Identification & Serialization" lists the gun by serial number as leaving the factory as a Grade 8 A1 Special with Peerless steel barrels, ejectors, capped pistol grip, and 28 ga. with 32" bbls. According to the production statistics published in the book “The Parker Story,” this is one of only three A-1 Specials with 32 inch barrels in 28 gauge. The solid matte rib is fitted with dual white bead sights and is marked “PARKER BROS. MAKERS. MERIDEN. CT. U.S.A. PEERLESS. STEEL." The barrels are numbered to the gun and feature ejectors and engraved wedges of fine floral scrollwork at the breech. The receiver features full coverage elaborate floral scroll engraving with raised gold inlaid birds and floral blossoms. Gold inlaid birds are seldom found on Parker guns, including A-1s. Each side of the receiver is engraved “PARKER BROS.” and features three gold birds. The underside of the frame has gold inlaid floral blossoms and leaves. The fine floral scrollwork extends to the forearm hardware, break lever and trigger guard. Additional gold inlaid floral blossoms appear on the trigger guard. The barrel flats and water table are jeweled, and the water table is stamped with the 1910 patent date, the serial number, two “crown/V” proofs, “A16,” and “8”. The barrel lug is marked “28” and “00.” The forearm fitting is jeweled and stamped with the matching serial number and the patent date. The double triggers are plated in gold, the letter “S” for “safety” is in gold ahead of the automatic tang safety, and the serial number on the lower tang is in gold. The highly figured splinter forearm and pistol grip stock feature fine fleur-de-lis checkering. The checkering extends to the relief carved fleur-de-lis stock flats. There is an engraved skeletonized buttplate over a fleur-de-lis checkered butt. The engraved inscription “MAX C. FLEISCHMAN/S.S. ‘Buck’ WHEELER” appears on the brass oval inlay on the grip cap. Barrel and stock measurements are: 2 3/4 inch chambers, full/full chokes. Chambers: 2 3/4 inch. Bore R: .552, L: .551, choke R: 1/2 L: 1/2, wall R:31, L: 34. 15 inch length of pull. The leather bound oak Huey takedown case features brass furniture and a reproduction Parker Gun label on the interior of the lid. The following accessories are included: two-piece brass cleaning rod with wood handle, brass oiler, dust brush, and chamber brush. A leather and canvas case cover is also provided. Max Fleischmann was the son of Charles Fleischmann of the Fleischmann’s yeast empire. In the late 1860s, Charles and his brother, Maximilian, revolutionized the mass production of bread products by establishing America’s first commercially produced yeast. Eventually, Fleischmann Yeast Co. became the world’s leading yeast producer. Max inherited this fortune and made the most of it. When he died in 1951 his entire $192 million fortune was donated through 1,962 grants to various religious, educational, charitable and scientific non-profit organizations vested in the progress and well-being of humanity. Max’s name can be found on plaques in hospitals, libraries, research centers, university buildings and youth centers. His generosity was instrumental in building the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Boy Scout camps in Nevada, the Nevada State Museum and the agricultural department at the University of Nevada. Max worked himself up through his family’s company and was elected Chairman of the Board in early 1925. During World War I, Major Fleischmann commanded a balloon school at Cuperley, France, which was abandoned before becoming fully operational due to advancing German forces. The school was relocated at Souge, and by early November 1918, 199 officers and 623 enlisted men had graduated from the school. Max was a big game hunter who sought adventures all over the world including Alaska, Africa, Outer Mongolia and Indochina. His expeditions were internationally recognized by the Royal Geologic Society of London, the Explorers Club, Arctic Club and others. The specimens he collected were donated to museums and other scientific institutions. In 1939, Max met avid fisherman, high school biology teacher and author Sessions S. “Buck” Wheeler while golfing at Glenbrook, Lake Tahoe. The two men instantly became friends. At the time of Max’s death Wheeler was named trustee of the Fleischmann Foundation and remained in that position until the foundation was dissolved in 1980. Also comes with consignor research and an autograph copy of Sessions Wheeler’s “Gentleman in the Outdoors: A Portrait of Max C. Fleischmann.”

Rating Definition:

Very fine. The barrels and buttplate show 95% of the factory refurbished blue with only delicate storage type surface scratches and handling marks down the length. The receiver and forearm hardware have a bright appearance and were no doubt cleaned sometime ago for preservation still exhibiting crisp engraving and rich inlays. The gun has been restocked showing a few minor handling marks and crisp checkering overall. Mechanically excellent. The case is excellent. This wonderful Parker A-1 special represents the holy grail for American double collectors and students. The combination of this shotguns rich history and deluxe specifications makes it a true best of breed and a once in a life time opportunity to own the best. Carpe diem!

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