As I have said so many times before, welcome to our absolutely sensational May Premier firearms auction. I believe it’s only appropriate to begin our 2019 campaign by thanking all of our consignors, buyers and auction participants for making 2018 extremely special. THANK YOU!
However, in this business you are only as good as your current auction and your current catalog. Thankfully the best team in the business was at it again. We spent the better part of the last six months working, building and traveling to assemble this offering: one of the most impressive and potent groupings of fine, historic and investment grade firearms ever amassed. Our work reinforces RIAC’s tradition of handling the most important and celebrated collections and bringing to market the most important, iconic and well known individual pieces. Furthermore contained within this three volume set are previously unknown, undocumented, never before photographed or sold publicly, national treasure worthy, collection defining pieces! We hope you share our excitement, it is going to be a historic sale!
Speaking of the three volumes, may I please draw your attention to the covers for a moment? Aside from the obvious: the most spectacular factory engraved Colt Dragoon in private hands, the finest, unembellished, cased Colt No. 1 Paterson in private hands and the SENSATIONAL masterpiece Grifnee Holland & Holland’s - we at Rock Island Auction proudly announce that we have dropped the “E” from “premiere”!!! Furthermore, we will now use the correct spelling to match our intended purpose!!!
Cue the band, fireworks, standing ovation and parade. Yes, it has been a standing joke for many years around the office but let me explain, we “kept the E” for tradition and because my father is stubborn and not a great speller. However, let’s discuss this double entendre as it relates to RIAC momentarily. For RIAC’s inaugural auction we used the word “premiere” to announce it was our first auction, our maiden voyage, and being the clever, witty, brilliant, fearless pioneer, the savvy, ahead of his time, trailblazing visionary and businessman that my father is (sorry about the bad spelling thing earlier pops-can I have a raise?) he thought, LIGHT BULB, we can coin the term and brand our auctions, distinguish RIAC from the rest of the pack. Genius! He just never got around to “dropping the E”. NOW, fast forward approximately 20 years. It is now January 1, 2019. The “E” remains healthy, brandished on all of our marketing platforms, ad pieces and website (remember tradition and ornery Pat) except now, every auction house big and small, east to west, north to south is holding routine “Premier firearms auctions”. I understand that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery however we can’t let others steal our thunder, one up us by spelling it correctly while simultaneously diluting its meaning! So, “Premier” is now followed by: fine, historic and investment grade firearms. Additionally, we will continue to use the “Real Art, Real History, Real Iron” moniker in conjunction with “Not All Art is Framed” tag lines as we continue to promote fine arms collecting to new and existing markets around the world as the most underrated fine art objects and sound legacy building investment vehicles.
On to this auction. If you asked me today to use one word to describe this auction while also rebranding our “Premier Auctions” I would use the word benchmark: “a standard of excellence, achievement, etc., which similar things must be measured or judged.” This is a special auction that presents both phenomenal depth and balance. It explores three centuries of fine, historic and investment grade fine arms in all of their forms - condition, rarity, embellishments and pedigrees. I have been trying to avoid narrating individual pieces, special collections and important genres, they are too numerous to mention and I will inevitably leave something out. Nothing I can write here is more profound than the photographs, descriptions and history contained within the pages of these catalogs.
We at RIAC hope you enjoy the catalogs, videos, blogs and marketing pieces we have produced for this sale. In true RIAC fashion we put our hearts and souls into them.
In conclusion, we can’t encourage you enough to consider attending this sale in person. We call our auction an “event” for a reason: put history in your hands, chase rarity across the block and invest in what you love. Looking forward to seeing everyone in May.
Kevin Hogan, President
Rock Island Auction Company
Preview Day Thursday May 2nd
Preview day is like a party
Open at 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
SESSION I - Friday, May 3rd
TIME: Commencing at 9 a.m. selling between Lots 1 and 995
SESSION II - Saturday, May 4th
TIME: Commencing at 9 a.m. selling between Lots 1000 and 1870
SESSION III - Sunday, May 5th
TIME: Commencing at 9 a.m. selling between Lots 3000 and 3937
May 2-5, 2019. Directions on Google Maps
We have been hinting since late last year that 2019 promised to be a special year at Rock Island Auction Company, and a quick glance at the special items in our May 2019 Premiere Firearms Auction confirms it in spectacular fashion. The collectible and antique, the high condition and historic will all be available en masse in the May 3-5 sale. Such assemblages of fine arms are made possible by hundreds of individual collectors from across the county and, of course, by an exciting number of significant collections from well-studied, lifelong firearm enthusiasts. Leading the pack will be continued offerings from the prolific collections of Robert M. Lee, Larry Jones, Allan Cors, and Robert E. Petersen, but also featured are fantastic collections from Dr. Richard Kobetz, Robert Ferro, Dick Salzer, G. Thomas Puett, The NRA Whittington Center, the Putnam Green/Sycamore Collection, and an anonymous collection presented as The Southwest Collection.
One of the sources of massive interest in our record-breaking 2018 was the fleet of military vehicles. Tanks, jeeps, motorcycles, troop transports, and more were large attractions in every sense of the word. This year we are pleased to announce a second offering of these powerful and impressive military vehicles. Taking point in the auction will be an M48 Patton battle tank,a Swiss Pz61 battle tank, and a Soviet MiG-21 Fishbed fighter jet. These are sure to steal the show, and rightly so since such vehicles are seldom offered publicly. However, savvy collectors will not lose focus of the bevy of remarkable firearms that comprise the overwhelming majority of the auction.
There are over 400 firearms from this beloved American gunmaker in our May Auction and the highlights are spectacular. Leading the way is a stunning, factory engraved Winchester deluxe Model 1886, crowned with bright platinum bands. Numerous special order lever actions in superb condition populate the sale, but other eras are represented as well. Collectors are sure to marvel at the magnificent, exhibition grade Deluxe Model 1907 semi-automatic rifle, signed and engraved by Master Engraver Angelo Stokes. Also of note will be several U.S. military pieces such as an outstanding, all original, near new, U.S. Army contract Winchester Model 12 trench shotgun with its Winchester M1917 bayonet and scabbard.
Over 650 Colt firearms will permeate the sale and with numbers like that, it should come as no surprise that all areas of Colt collecting will be well r
Rock Island Auction Company is the global leader in firearms auctions, currently holding multiple records for our top-selling lots.