The inaugural auction of Rock Island Auction Company’s new facility brought firearms enthusiasts of every level, from veteran firearms collectors to first time bidders, to the firm’s massive 86,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility. Every chair (300 now compared to the previous 175) was full as auctioneers Pat Hogan, and his son Kevin took the podium May 27.
With all the additional interest from the new facility and the impressive collection of firearms up for auction, bidders drove up prices on the over 2,700 lots to a total of over $8 million, bringing the total for the first two auctions of 2011 to over $10 million.
Of the more than 120 Colt Single Action Army revolvers offered, none were more desired than an exceptional documented U.S. Lewis Draper inspected Colt Model 1873 single action cavalry revolver which sold above the estimate at $69,000. With more than 400 Colts in the sale, many genres stood out with a fully automatic Colt 1921/28 “Navy” overstamp submachine gun with FBI type carrying case, two drum and three stick magazines and a Colt 50-95 lightning slide action express rifle in exceptional condition with factory letter each selling for $31,625 respectively.
A 1938 Colt Model 1911A1 US Army contract pistol with accessories had a flurry of bidders battling over this rare grouping, which finally sold at $28,750. Colt long arms were also in high demand with a Colt 50-95 Lightning slide action express rifle with factory letter sold for $31,625.
This auction also featured the finest collection of Sharps to come to auction since the Frank and Karen Sellers collection. This collection was highlighted by a rare and historic, St. Louis inscribed, factory cased, Sharps Model 1851 sporting rifle which brought $40,250. A very rare documented Sharps Model 1874 No. 1 Creedmoor rifle sold for $28,750. A magnificent Sharps panel scene Gustave Young engraved Model 1853 sporting rifle left the building with a final sale price of $25,875, and a custom Sharps Model 1874 sporting rifle, by Henry Slotterbek of Los Angeles, realized $10,350.
The sale featured a collection of Lugers in rare and desirable configurations, as well as other German Military arms, Nazi hats, uniforms and militaria. The highlight of the more than 250 lugers was a rare documented cased gold plated factory engraved carved ivory stocked Krieghoff presentation Luger pistol, which reached a final sale price of $69,000. Other top luger lots were a scarce Borchardt semi-automatic pistol with shoulder stock, holster and spare magazine selling for $25,875 and an exceptional DWM Model 1900 U.S. Army test luger pistol with original Rock Island Arsenal holster with a selling price of $23,000.
Other German Military arms attained high prices including a cased WWII German Luftwaffe issue Model 30 survival drilling with case and accessories which sold for $25,875, and a Mauser Tankgewehr-18 bolt action single shot anti-tank rifle with bipod which sold for $31,625.
The over 300 U.S. Military arms were highlighted with a sale at $48,875 of a rare Pedersen device with metal case and U.S. Model 1903 Springfield Mark I rifle, a rare late WWII original inland “T3” carbine with M2 infrared sniper scope with accessories sold for $23,000, and a rare U.S. trials Colt Model 1907 Army contract semi-automatic pistol with factory letter sold at $14,950.
Sportsmen found something in this auction, too. Of the more than 500 sporting arms in the sale a custom engraved gold inlaid Winchester Model 21 two barrel set 28 and 410 gauge Grand American double barrel shotgun with case took top sales at $31,625. Side by side shotguns were in high demand with bidders driving sale prices of a rare Parker Brothers Model VHE grade 410 double barrel shotgun with Abercrombie & Fitch marked leather case and a cased Balneari signed master engraved gold inlaid two barrel set Piotti Pachmayr extra double barrel shotgun selling at $25,875 and $19,550 respectfully. Sporting rifles did well across the board; an engraved gold inlaid pre-64 Winchester Model 70 Super Grade bolt action rifle with box in rare 7mm Mauser caliber lead the group with a final sale price of $23,000.
A Civil War New Haven Arms Co. Henry lever action rifle sold for $51,750. A rare engraved Spencer sporting rifle brought $19,550 and a rare Confederate second model Griswold and Gunnison revolver sold after a flurry of bidding for $21,850. Intense bidding drove up prices for early Martial Arms including an exceptional and rare U.S. Springfield Model 1882 Chaffee-Reese rifle selling for $8,050.
Other notable sales from the auction included heightened interest in Kentucky rifles with the sale of a J.J. Henry marked Kentucky flintlock rifle reaching $9,775, a J. Roop flintlock Kentucky rifle and a L. Coon marked flintlock Kentucky rifle each selling for $5,462. An engraved Germanic wheel lock with elaborate relief carved stock sold after a heated battle for $16,100, and an exceptional early 19th Century American Scrimshawed powder horn with patriotic motif brought a notable $6,325. Class III items were also in high demand with aggressive bidding on an original M60 “Fully Active” (New England Group/Maremont) medium machine gun complete with tripod T&E and pintle which finally sold for $40,250.
The next sale at RIAC is scheduled July 16-17 and the firm’s next Premiere Auction will be held Sept. 9-11.
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