Published: November 27, 2007
James D. Julia Auctioneers conducted an $11.2 million firearms auction October 8‱0, the highest grossing firearms auction ever. The sale offered 1,349 lots, with an average sale value per lot of $8,328, also an industry record.
This year’s auction commenced with the collection of Confederate arms amassed by Ben Michel, a lawyer from New Jersey and a passionate collector of arms. The star of the collection was a rare LeMat first model, serial number 7, revolver originally on the Confederate iron-clad Atlanta . The revolver, with a presale estimate of $50/100,000, topped out at $166,750 after a furious bidding battle. An extensive collection of Confederate long arms included the extremely rare and desirable Tarpley carbine. Only around 100 of these were originally made and only 20 exist today. This rare example sold for $80,500.
Julia offered a number of consignments of rare Civil War items from other collections. A Confederate Texas Dance revolver went out at $51,750; the finest pair of consecutively numbered Confederate manufactured pistols known brought $132,250.
In an offering of rare Colt revolvers, the “Holy Grail” for Colt collectors, the Walker pistol made by Sam Colt for use in the Mexican War topped out at $483,000, making a new world record.
Day two of the auction began with a single-owner private collection of Indian Wars material. An extremely rare and unique prototype of the M60 sold for $26,450. A Sioux skull-crusher war club documented and found on the Little Big Horn battlefield went out at $54,650.
One of the highlights of the second day was a group of three rifles once owned and used by Annie Oakley. The first Marlin, a gold and platinum inlaid engraved model 1893, sold for $253,000. The buyer agreed to loan this magnificent arm once again to the Cody Firearms Museum where others might see and enjoy it. The other gold plated and engraved Marlin sold for $184,000 and a third Annie Oakley lot, consisting of a Remington pump .22 rifle and one of her sterling trophies together with a number of personal photos, attained $207,000.
A rare Colt pinch frame sold for just under $110,000. A silver plated Cuno Helfrecht Colt single action revolver inscribed to Sheriff Farnsworth of Grant County went out at $166,750.
Julia’s always has a very strong representation of rare Winchester rifles and this sale included some outstanding examples. A deluxe Winchester M86 realized $103,500. Another very rare M86 fetched $46,000 and a third deluxe 86 takedown brought $43,150.
Session III began with the single shot rifle collection of Dr Glen Marsh. An ultrarare and unique Freund Remington single shot rifle sold for $46,000. Concluding the collection of single shot rifles, a selection of side-by-side rifles and shotguns was offered. A cased Rigby big bore brought $132,250. A royal presentation cased Holland & Holland big bore double rifle in caliber 577 brought just over the high estimate at $149,050. Immediately after, a cased Grifnee engraved Holland & Holland double rifle, 470 Nitro Express, again sold over high estimate at $149,000.
The third day concluded with a grouping of Twentieth Century military arms. An extremely rare Navy contract Colt 1900 semiautomatic pistol realized $15,525. A rare Springfield M03 ramrod bayonet rifle realized $18,400, and a M1896 Kraig carbine carried up San Juan Hill by one of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders sold for $20,700.
During Julia’s preview, the Poulin Auction Company conducted a two-day sale of collectible, antique and shooting firearms. After the conclusion of the three-day James D. Julia auction, the Poulin Auction Company again had another military-related auction consisting of a single-owner Nazi collection. The sum total of all three sessions was nearly $1 million. The auction was well attended with a number of exciting lots.
Prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
On November 30 and December 1, Julia’s will host a two-day auction of rare Tiffany lamps, French cameo glass and more than $2 million of other fine art glassware. The firm’s next fine arts and antiques auction is scheduled for February 1′. For information, www.juliaauctions.com or 207-453-7125.
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