Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 428: DWM Model 1902 Pre-Production Gold Inlaid Luger

Auction Date: September 7, 2018

Outstanding Presentation DWM Model 1902 Pre-Production Gold Inlaid Luger Semi-Automatic Carbine with "GL" Marked Toggle, Stock and Leather Storage Case

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $80,000 - $130,000

Outstanding Presentation DWM Model 1902 Pre-Production Gold Inlaid Luger Semi-Automatic Carbine with "GL" Marked Toggle, Stock and Leather Storage Case

Manufacturer: DWM
Model: 1902 Carbine
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 7.65 mm Luger Auto
Barrel: 11 3/4 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut checkered
Stock: walnut checkered
Item Views: 2169
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 176
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun

This is a fabulous examples of an extremely rare, pre-production presentation DWM Model 1902 Luger Carbine. This beautiful example is engraved and gold inlaid on top of the barrel extension with a "Crown/stylized flat fop letter A". This combination has been identified as a presentation Luger to "Prince Alfons of Bavaria, 1862 - 1933". Originally it was part of the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz until 1919. This rare Luger has a serial number of 9110c which places it in the fifth group of early Luger presentation carbines that fall into the serial number range of 9106-9115 all with the "c" suffix. Also in this range of presentation carbines are ones to the president of Mexico and President Roosevelt. The historical lineage on this wonderful Luger is that it was intended as a gift to the Prince of Furstenburg and was presented to him circa 1902. It remained with his family until it was given to Governor Andre Noelm of Konstanz in 1946 for saving his life when he was about to be lynched by a group of French soldiers for reportedly hanging the French flag upside down on the various flat poles in his town. Unbeknownst to the French, the flag of Furstenburg is actually the same as the French national flag except the colors are reversed. Reportedly, it remained with the Noel family until it was sold through the Sotheby's auction years ago (so the provenance is very solid.) This example has the all correct blued metal finish with straw colored smaller parts. There are only a handful of these original pre-production presentation carbines known with this one being the only known royal crest carbine in existence that is correctly marked on the rear of the toggle train with intertwined "GL" markings of George Luger. These carbines have unique 11 3/4 inch barrels with the small walnut forends that houses small spring accelerators inside. This forend is attached to a small hanger on the front end of the frame installed by the DWM factory. The purpose of this accelerator is to help cycle the heavier carbine barrel during firing. This example also exhibits all the desirable early features such as: ramp mounted front sight, the carbine type adjustable rear sight graduated 1, 2, and 3 (100,200 and 300 meters) which are also all filled in with gold wire, the early long old style frame, flat mainspring, grip safety, dished toggles with toggle lock on the right side, and the recessed/flat breech bolt. The top of the chamber carries the presentation engraving, as noted, and the front toggle is marked with the DWM logo. The full serial number (9110c) is marked on the underside of the frame hanger/extension. Since this was a presentation Luger pistol under the supervision of George Luger, there are no other factory proof or acceptance marks. The various other parts, to include the underside of the barrel, face of the recoil lug, inside the small walnut forend, toggle train, breech block, side plate, back side of each grip panel and the take down lever are all stamped with "10", the last two digits of the serial number. The grip safety is unnumbered. As noted, this early presentation Luger carbine is accompanied by one of the early style push button prototype Luger shoulder stocks; only a few are known to exist. The stock attaching iron is unnumbered and is retained to the walnut stock with only a single screw. The checkered walnut stock is complete with a black horn buttplate and lower sling swivel. The magazine has a nickel plated body with the correct wood base marked with only a single small bomb type proof. It is accompanied by three correct style wood base magazines and a rare carbine length brass cleaning rod with the steel oiler handle on the end. The carbine itself, stock and magazines and rod are all carried/storage in a beautifully made soft, embossed leather storage/carrying case. The period case is also fitted with double loop on the side with an accompanying shoulder strap all made from the same period soft saddle leather type material. 1902 carbine cases in this remarkable condition are practically unheard of, and this must be among the best surviving examples and is virtually in unused condition. The leather covering of the metal buckles and rings is only observed in the early 1900-1904 period. Provenance: the world famous Dr. Jeff Sturgess collection. Import marked in the magazine well.

Rating Definition:

Excellent with 97% plus of the original blue finish overall, only minor edge and high spot wear, and all matching visible numbers. The smaller parts retain 75% of their straw colors with finish loss on the face of the trigger and lower area of the safety lever. The grips are also in excellent condition with nice distinct checkering overall and a light mark visible at the top left edge. The stock is in very fine condition with a professionally revarnished wood showing some minor handling/storage marks on the both sides. The gold inlaid presentation markings are all distinct and excellent. The leather storage case is also in excellent condition overall with tight stitching and only minor scuff marks on the cleaning rod pouch and edges of the flap. A super rare, very high condition DWM Model 1902 royal presentation Luger Carbine rig worthy of the finest automatic pistol collection or savvy investment buyer.

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