Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1444: Singer Manufacturing Co. Presentation Model 1911A1 Pistol

Auction Date: December 5, 2020

Stunning, Near Mint and Historic, Scarce and Desirable, World War II Singer Manufacturing Co. Presentation Model 1911A1 Semi-Automatic Pistol

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $90,000 - $180,000

Stunning, Near Mint and Historic, Scarce and Desirable, World War II Singer Manufacturing Co. Presentation Model 1911A1 Semi-Automatic Pistol

Manufacturer: Singer
Model: 1911A1
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 45 ACP
Barrel: 5 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: checkered plastic
Item Views: 7192
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 316
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun

This is an outstanding and scarce variation of a World War II era U.S. Model 1911A1 pistol that was manufactured by the Singer Manufacturing Company. Singer Model 1911A1 pistols certainly need very little introduction, and their desirability in the 1911 and 1911A1 collectors market is unmatched. There were 500 of these extremely rare pistols produced as part of Educational Order No. W-ORD-396 awarded April 17, 1940. It is reported that almost all of the 500 that were produced were issued to the Army Air Corps early in World War II. Standard production Singer 1911A1 pistols are incredibly rare in their own right, but this pistol is a true scarcity, as it bears no serial number, frame markings, or inspector markings, and was presented to a member of management of the Singer factory. These guns are often referred to as "lunchbox guns", examples of which can be seen from all of the manufacturers of 1911A1 pistols. These "lunchbox guns" were often produced at the end of production runs for presentation to high ranking officials of the company. This example appears to have been assembled from parts pulled off the standard assembly line early in the process, which are lacking most of the normal government markings seen on the standard production pistols, and it displays the same high quality fit and finish that makes the standard production Singer 1911A1 pistols so desirable to collectors. This particular pistol when previously sold, had documentation (which has subsequently been lost to time) identifying its presentation to Shirley James Murphy upon his transfer from the Singer Elizabeth Works to manage their largest factory at the time, located in Clydebank, Scotland. Murphy attended Purdue University where he was a member of the R.O.T.C. and graduated in 1942. Upon graduating, he entered active duty and was part of the 401st Field Artillery Battalion, serving until February of 1946. He continued to serve in the active reserves until 1957, reaching the rank of major. He had worked at the Singer factory before attending college, and upon leaving active service returned to the factory, working in various roles before becoming Assistant Vice President. In 1965 he was transferred to manage the Clydebank facility which he remained at for four years before being transferred to Ealing, London, England as Senior Vice President of Manufacturing for Europe. In 1974 he retired after working for Singer for 30 years. This information was including by Murphy's daughter when the pistol originally sold. The only visible marking is the iconic "S. MFG. CO./ELIZABETH, N.J., U.S.A." Singer address on the left of the slide. As stated, the frame is completely devoid of exterior markings, showing only the high polish Dulite blue finish that the entire pistol is finished in. It is fitted with a half-moon blade front sight, dovetailed flat top notch rear sight, checkered slide stop and thumb safety, short milled trigger, long grip safety, wide checkered hammer, checkered arched mainspring housing with lanyard loop, full blue barrel (replaced but typcial), the correct non-reinforced hollow back grips and is still accopnied by the very rare and often misplaced original Singer full blue magazine.

Rating Definition:

Excellent plus to near mint retaining 98% of the beautiful original high polish blue finish with only the slightest handling marks and a few scattered small patches of a plum patina showing some very light surface spotting/pitting, most notable on the left of the frame, and a small patch of very light pitting on the front strap. The grips are also excellent with only the slightest handling marks and sharp grip checkering. Mechanically excellent. This is an opportunity to add an incredibly scarce variation of the most sought after and illusive piece in Model 1911A1 collecting, a Singer Model 1911A1 presented to a Singer factory employee, that you certainly don't want to miss!

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