May 19, 2021
By Joel R Kolander
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ROCK ISLAND, Ill – A pair of pistols carried by Alexander Hamilton during the Revolutionary War brought $1.15 million at Rock Island Auction Company. The Hamilton artifacts served as flagship for the three-day auction which realized over $30 million, becoming the largest firearms auction ever held. Included with the pistols were the epaulettes Hamilton wore as a colonel serving under George Washington, and letters of provenance from Hamilton’s descendants.
“Anytime a collector firearm finds the one million mark, it’s a very good day,” said RIAC President Kevin Hogan. “It’s also a strong reminder that fine arms collecting remains an incredible opportunity for collectors and investors. As this auction clearly shows, the firearms market is growing rapidly, and the top fine arms in the world can be had for substantially smaller investment than other collectibles genres.”
The previous world record for a firearms auction was $22 million, which was set this past December also by Rock Island Auction. For context, RIAC’s annual sales total were $32 million as recently as 2010, also an industry record at the time. Now the firm has nearly reached that total in three short days.
RIAC’s success is mirroring that of the firearms industry as a whole. 2020 saw record numbers of firearm purchases in the United States. The National Shooting Sports Foundation reported a 60% growth in firearm purchases from 2019 to 2020, many of them to first-time buyers in a year that saw the coronavirus pandemic, a summer of civil unrest, and a turbulent presidential election. Rock Island Auction’s sales grew from $77 million in 2019 to $92.9 million in 2020. So far, 2021 is off to another fast start for the auction house.
About Rock Island Auction Company
Rock Island Auction Company is the world’s #1 auction company for firearms, bladed weapons and militaria. Founded in 1993 by its current CEO Patrick Hogan, RIAC continues to lead the industry with record sales numbers and their extensive and beautiful marketing efforts. Their 150,000 square foot campus consisting of two buildings, hosts around 12 auctions each year. They actively seek consignments, be it a single weapon or a collection of hundreds, a thousand dollar item or one million. For more information, please visit www.rockislandauction.com or call 1-800-238-8022.
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