Rock Island Auction Company quietly accomplished a remarkable feat in December, with sales totaling more than $12 million dollars, an accomplishment outdone only by the company’s 2013 grand total, a staggering $48 million in gun auction sales for the year.
“This auction is another indisputable sign that high condition guns will continue to sell big,” said Director of Auction Services, Kevin Hogan. “People might get tired of hearing us tout condition so frequently, but we see the evidence at every auction: condition sells,” continued Hogan.
“That considered, we also saw several other pieces achieve exciting prices that helped us to finish 2013 on this record setting note.”
Indeed, there were many pieces that received attention from more than a handful of bidders, making for some happy consignors and several exciting moments during the auction.
Perhaps most exciting was the new world record set by an extraordinary Winchester Third Model 1866 carbine, that sold for $74,750. The condition on this gun was so immaculate, that it still exhibited the original polish marks from the factory and some lucky collector just had to add it to their collection.
Another highlight of the auction was a deluxe Winchester Model 1894 takedown with No. 2 factory engraving, gold inlays, and in spectacular condition, that sold for $172,500.
Extending back to their days on the American plains, Gatling guns command attention wherever they go and our Premiere Auction was no exception. A ten-barreled, 1874 Colt Gatling gun was proudly displayed in our Preview Hall before selling for $92,000 to an undoubtedly excited history enthusiast.
It was no secret that this auction contained over 600 Colt firearms. This mainstay of the collecting community attracted collectors from across the country and made for some very exciting results.
- A supremely high condition 1851 Colt Navy revolver was acquired for $37,375
- A documented Colt SAA revolver from the Red Skelton Estate attributed to outlaws Bill Doolin and Emmett Dalton sold for $74,750
- An 1837 “Baby” Paterson crossed the block for $69,000
- Highest known serial number Colt SAA with factory engraving and carved ivory grips went home with a collector for $69,000
- A gorgeous, factory engraved, silver & gold plated Colt SAA with pearl grips also sold for $69,000
Sporting Guns Still Strong
The selection of sporting arms in this sale was also phenomenal, featuring high end rifles, luxurious shotguns, beautiful big bores, safari grades hunting pieces, and more.
- A rare, special order engraved Purdey O/U shotgun with handsome case hardening sold for $51,750
- An absolutely beautiful engraved and Damascus barreled John Dickson & Son single shot, flintlock fowling piece exceeded its auction estimate by over 100% and achieved $18,400
- A stately and historic WWII J.P. Sauer & Son Luftwaffe Model 30 survival Drilling with its case and accessories brought $43,125
- An stunning engraved Purdey & Sons hammerless double rifle in 400 Express with its case and accessories realized $40,250
- As rare as it is beautiful, an engraved George Gibbs Farquharson’s patent dropping block rifle also blew past its high auction estimate and hammered for $21,850
The 450 Winchesters in this sale also resulted in a bounty for collectors. Besides the aforementioned rifles, several Winchester and Henry rifles also reached some very noteworthy prices.
- An exhibition quality, factory engraved, silver plated Henry rifle with touches of a plum-colored patina brought an exciting $149,500
- A rare “digital” 1 of 1,000 Model 1873 Winchester loaded with factory extras went out the door for $86,250
- An extremely rare special order factory engraved, silver plated Winchester Model 1892 takedown with numerous features and a 1934 factory letter earned $80,500
- A mint condition, documented, crisp, factory exhibition engraved Winchester Model 1873 deluxe short rifle featured in “The Winchester Engraving Book” left our doors for $74,750
Notable Sales of Military Guns
- A stunning first year production Colt 1911, serial #1172, with its mirror-like blue commercial high-polish finish and vivid nitre blue components achieved $69,000
- A likely “one-of-a-kind” prototype Walther Model KPK pistol found a new home for $54,625
- An extremely rare early production gas-trap M1 Garand rifle with a scarce theater made blast deflector and authentication letter brought $37,375
- An ever-popular LeMat revolver with its daunting shotgun underbarrel commanded a respectable $28,750
- A rare Springfield Type II officer’s model 1875 Trapdoor rifle from the Collection of Richard Branum was happily snatched up for $23,000
- A scarce, early post WWI Weimar era DWM Navy rework Luger crushed its high auction estimate and sold for $13,800
Rock Island Auction Company is the world’s #1 auction company for firearms, bladed weapons and militaria. Founded in 1993 by Owner and President Patrick Hogan, RIAC continues to set records for sales and to lead the industry with its extensive and beautiful marketing efforts. Their 86,000 square foot facility hosts 8 auctions each year. They actively seek consignments, be it a single item 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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