Red Hot Prices – $12.5 Million at Midwest Collector Firearms Auction
ROCK ISLAND, IL – Rock Island Auction Company set the collector firearms market ablaze once again at their inaugural 2013 Premiere Firearms auction held April 19, 20 & 21.
“In the auction business we know each sale is different. Every auction has different challenges and uncertainties and this sale was no different in that respect” said Patrick Hogan President and CEO of Rock Island Auction Company. What Hogan was referring to were the large number of named collections, which included, The Charles Lindley Collection of German Military Arms, Gary Cote Collection of Winchester 1894’s, The Anthony Urbanowski Collection of Smith & Wesson’s and the auctions most daunting yet most anticipated collection, The William Ashby firearms Collection of Arms and Armor. Before the sale, puns had been made in reference to the many knights in shining armor, as the sale touted nearly 30 full suits of composite and Victorian armor. Well, ‘shine’ they did as the collection grossed just under its high estimate totaling $1,033,000 in sales.
Over the course of the three day auction hundreds of bidders from nearly every corner of the globe converged on to Rock Island Auctions preview floor to inspect, bid, and with any luck take a few of the amazing pieces home with them. In addition to those who made the trip to bid live, nearly 15,000 sealed, telephone and internet bids were placed with RIAC over the course of the three days. “The response from the collecting community and those savvy investment buyers was spectacular. This auction set a record for us not only as the most absentee bids placed in a Premiere auction but we had 930 successful bidders” said Hogan.
The highest grossing item of the week was Lot number 3069, which was the scarce and desirable documented U.S. Colt Walker Model 1847 revolver. This lot commanded not only the highest price of the weekend, at $138,000, but also one of the most intense bidding wars as bidder cards seemed to shoot up almost simultaneously around the room. “It was a classic war of attrition as bidders bowed out at $100,000, and it was between two determined phone bidders” said Kevin Hogan, Patrick’s son and fellow auctioneer. Other Colt firearms also commanded large sums – Lot 1091, the finest pair of U.S. Martially Inspected Colt 2nd Model Dragoon Revolvers brought $115,000, Lot 1412, the rare Bertrand Couch factory engraved and gold inlaid revolver brought $109,250, while a Patterson No. 3 Belt Model Pistol, which was estimated from $30,000-40,000 realized $54,000.
Colt firearms were just the beginning, as Winchester firearms were also in high demand. A beautiful collection of Winchester Model 1887 Shotguns experienced quite a bit of interest as Lot 1025, a Special Order 20 inch Winchester Model 1887 shotgun in phenomenal condition estimated $25,000-$37,500 brought $54,625, while Lot 1026, one of only five factory engraved Winchester Model 1887 shotguns, rang the bell at $97,750. Yet shotguns were only the beginning, as the world famous Winchester Model 70 experienced a banner weekend. In total 12 different Model 70 rifle and carbine variations all brought over $15,000 apiece. Most notably were Lot 1739, the only known Pre-64 carbine in 7.92 mm caliber, which brought $31,626 while a factory engraved and gold inlaid Model 70 Super Grade commanded $28,750. Other notable sales in the Winchester collecting genre include two different Henry Rifle variations – Lot 3017, an exceptionally rare, iron frame Henry, which brought $109,250, while an equally rare documented Civil War engraved Henry achieved $74,750.
As for the Ashby Collection, interest poured in from around the globe as RIAC staff worked tirelessly over the last several weeks leading up to the sale answering questions and taking additional photos. In the end all the hard work paid off, as the Ashby collection far exceeded expectations. The two top selling suits of armor were Lot 1244, which commanded $34,500 while Lot 1235 reached $28,750. However, it wasn’t just the armor that brought in the attention, an elaborately inlaid and engraved wheelock Tschinke rifle, Lot 1227 brought $21,850, while Lot 1245 an impressive European wheelock sporting gun with extensive bone inlays estimated at $6500-$8500 far commanded a staggering $34,500.
Last, but certainly not least, were the military arms from around the world which continue to draw record breaking interest and likewise tremendous results. Starting with U.S. arms from as early as the Civil War, Lot 1098, which was the finest Civil War Spencer Rifle RIAC has ever cataloged, was estimated $20,000-$30,000 and a achieved an impressive $48,875, as a determined floor bidder eventually conceded defeat and saw the item sell to the phones. Lot number 1848, which was a magnificent and early U.S. Navy Marked Colt Model 1911 estimated $18,000-$27,500 brought $51,750, while an equally rare 1903 Mark I Rifle with original Pederson device brought $69,000. Likewise other military arms from abroad saw similar results. Lot 1463, a historically significant Swiss Model 1894 Mondragon reached $37,375, while a pair of experimental Japanese Pedersen rifle and carbine both serial number 5 each realized $31,625. German military arms also had a strong showing, as Lot 3576, a beautiful American eagle Artillery luger brought $51,750. A unique full crate of thirty P38 pistols brought $25,875, and a rare pair of consecutively property marked Kreigsmarine Mauser Lugers realized $37,375. For more information regarding this sale or interest in selling with Rock Island Auction Company call 800-238-8022 or visit http://www.rockislandauction.com/.
Rock Island Auction Company is the nation’s leading auction house for firearms, edged weapons and military artifacts. RIAC caters to all levels of collecting, a $1000 item or $1 million item is welcome as firearms specialists are on staff and more than one auction venue is available to accommodate varying needs. RIAC works with advisors, estates and collectors and is prepared to buy single firearms and collections outright and/or can sell through private treaty. There is no limit to what RIAC can buy. To find out more about our collector firearms auctions please visit http://www.rockislandauction.com/ or call 1-800-238-8022.