FAIRFIELD, ME. – Two pistols related to the capture of Hermann Goering came under Julia’s gavel at the October 8 and 9 auction. The engraved, gold-washed Walther PPK in its original box surrendered by Goering in May 1945 and the 1911 Colt belonging to Lt Jerome Shapiro, the Jewish American soldier who captured Goering, were both sold, as was a Felderrnhall Celtic-style dagger. The rdf_Descriptions had come to auction through a friend of Lt Shapiro who had acquired them from Shapiro’s widow. The Goering lot was one of the top sellers of the two-day sale with a final price of $79,500.
The same price realized for the Goering lot was paid for a Civil War historic presentation sword grouping belonging to Medal of Honor winner Jacob G. Frick. Frick won his Medal of Honor as a result of actions of valor and heroism during the battle of Fredericksburg. As a critical charge was turning bad for the Union forces, Frick’s color bearer was shot dead.
Frick seized the colors himself and took the lead. The staff holding the flag was literally shot in half above his hand, and he picked up the remnants of the flag and staff and continued the advance upon the Confederate fortifications. Included in this lot was not only Frick’s Tiffany presentation sword, but a walking stick made by his men from the remnants of the very staff that had held the flag during the battle.
This rare grouping had never been owned by anyone outside of direct descendants of Col Frick and had never been offered at auction. In addition to the sword and the walking stick, the lot included Frick’s shoulder straps and insignia, his sword belt, as well as his Mexican War field sword, all presented to him by his comrades. This historic grouping of well-documented rdf_Descriptions topped the estimate when it sold for a final price of $79,500.
Nearly 1,200 lots across many popular categories were offered. There was a selection of shotguns from many well-known manufactures, including a rare L.C. Smith Deluxe Grade double-barrel shotgun with gold inlays that came on the block in “near excellent-plus” condition and fetched a final price of $71,800. A few minutes later, another double-barrel shotgun by the same maker sold for $48,875. Both featured gold inlay and elaborate engraving. A “D” grade Parker Lifter shotgun with 28-inch Damascus barrels bearing the inscription “Genrl Nelson Miles” sold for $19,550.
A small gun collection from the estate of the late Edson Gaylord of Illinois included three shotguns, as well as copies of the communication between Gaylord and the factories in regard to the making of the shotguns. A Boss 20-gauge Best Grade double in outstanding condition realized $38,100, and a Boss Best Grade 12-gauge double in case realized $27,025. Gaylord was an ardent conservationist and supporter of the famous Delta Marsh Research Center in Canada. A good friend of his, H. Albert Hochbaum, was in charge of the research center at Delta Marsh. Hochbaum was an equally great conservationist and renowned Midwest author and artist.
When Gaylord decided to have Holland and Holland build him a Model Deluxe 12-gauge, he called upon his friend Hochbaum to design the engravings to be executed on the gun by Holland and Holland. Lot 856 was the shotgun and case that sold for $33,350. The actual framed watercolors by Hochbaum depicting the various engravings to be incorporated on the gun was sold immediately thereafter and realized just under $2,000.
A selection of rare revolvers and pistols also brought out the bidders, with top-selling honors in this category going to a historic inscribed Colt Second Model Dragoon revolver that once belonged to Confederate General Josiah Gorgas. Gorgas received the gun during the Mexican War as a lieutenant and later, after the outbreak of the Civil War, became General in charge of all the ordnance to the Confederate states. This rare inscribed dragoon topped out at $68,500.
An extraordinary cased pair of Wesson & Leavitt dragoon pistols with seven-inch round barrels and ivory grips was in fine to excellent condition. This pair came in a rosewood case with brass corners and shot through the estimated $5/10,000 when it sold for $60,250. A Paris Model percussion LeMat featuring an unusual configuration with a six-inch barrel also brought a strong price when it sold for $21,850. Another noteworthy lot in Continental firearms was the pair of Belgian-made target pistols presented to Porferio Diaz who became President of Mexico (1876-1888) following an illustrious career in the Mexican Army. His pistols came on the block in a monogrammed case and sold for $17,250.
The top-seller in the rifle category was a rare Colt Paterson 2nd Model ring-lever revolving rifle. The rare open-top rifle featured a 32-inch octagonal barrel marked “Patent Arms Mfg. Co. Paterson NJ-Colt’s Pt.” The rifle dated to circa 1840 and came on the block in good condition. It sold for a final price of $29,900. An even earlier Kentucky rifle attributed to Eighteenth Century maker Simon Miller featured silver inlay and fetched $12,650.
An extremely rare and original Gatling Gun patent Model sold for $46,000. This wooden piece was the actual model that Richard Gatling submitted to the Patent Office for improvements on his famous “Battery Gun” in 1871. The model was in near excellent condition, with a wonderful patina and came with an assortment of papers as well as a handwritten service manual.
Another unusual lot was the large portrait of Theodore Roosevelt by the well-known artist, E.S. Paxson (1852-1919). This 65 by 48-inch image of the hero of San Juan Hill in the Spanish American War depicts Col Roosevelt in khakis and sold for $23,000.
A deluxe engraved Bullard sporting rifle presented to Buffalo Bill, and so inscribed, was at one time on display in the Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody, Wyo. The gun, in very good condition, realized $49,450.
A First Model Winchester 73 presented to Capt Jack Crawford, famed in the Civil War and later a famous western figure and author of a book entitled The Poet Scout. At one time he became romantically involved with Gen Sickles’s daughter. This gun was supposedly a gift to Crawford from Gen Sickles and realized $23,000. A small collection of rare air rifles included an 1889 Daisy Hamilton, or First Model single-shot lever rifle, which realized $4,300. A rare 1890 King single-shot break open air rifle sold for $4,000, and a Matchless 1895-1900 type Second Model rifle brought $2,750.
This auction offered buying opportunities for middle market collectors and even novices in the fire arms arena. In fact, the first day was – for the most part – devoted to lots with estimates under $3,000. This Columbus Day session included a selection of cased pistols, Colt revolvers, musket, carbines and Civil War era weapons and memorabilia.
The Monday evening session featured more than 400 lots and most were under $1,000. It attracted a large group of beginning collectors and aficionados.
Despite the overall great success of the two-day event, one notable disappointment was an original Colt 1895 Spanish American War Gatling Gun. The gun has been restored to shooting condition, certainly a plus. And even more significant was the fact that it would handle modern 30-40 Krag ammunition. Julia’s has sold three Gatling Guns in the past years, all in the general range of $100,000, so it was a surprise that this example, estimated at $70/90,000, failed to sell.
Another disappointment was a rare and important historic corps flag from Gen Philip Sheridan’s headquarters. The flag, which carried a guarantee of authenticity, was estimated to bring below $20,000, yet failed to sell.
All prices cited include the buyer’s premium.