Published: October 29, 2012
In March of this year, James D. Julia Auctioneers conducted what is the largest grossing firearms auction ever in history. At nearly $18 million, nothing else had ever come close to that figure. It was hard to imagine ever putting together another sale of such monumental proportions, but the October 1′ sale approached it. At almost $16 million, the October sale is the second largest grossing firearms auction ever conducted, according to Julia.
The first day began with the second session of the Wes Adams Winchester collection. The crowd in attendance was one of the largest in recent years. Highlights included an 1860 Henry rifle, which realized $109,000. The top highlight of this Adams session, however, was a cased, silverplated and L.D. Nimschke-engraved Model 1866. The gun was originally made for James J. Hill, a railroad and steamboat magnate. The gun carried an estimate of $100/175,000, but when the smoke cleared, it had realized $224,250.
Also featured in the first session was Adams’ Savage collection. A factory D engraved Savage Model 99 with carved wood went for $77,625.
Adams also had a great love for Colts. A rare early pinch frame Colt SA, SN 2 went out at $63,250, while a rare Nimschke-engraved Colt SA took $69,000.
Among rare Sharps rifles, a Freund 1874 “Boss” example finished at $166,750.
Historical arms included a rare factory-engraved Colt SA Sheriff’s model that originally belonged to lawman Jefferson Davis Milton, a one-time Texas Ranger and later sheriff in various areas, including El Paso. His Colt went out at just a tad over $200,000.
A collection of rare antique Colts showcased a cased 1st Model Dragoon, which was identified to C.H. Bowman of the Tampico Rangers and fetched just over $181,000. A Walker pistol complete with an appropriate size holster and rare Walker flask went out at $109,000.
The second session began with an offering of US Civil War swords from the Kevin Hoffman collection. The highlight of this grouping was a rare, statue hilted sword worn by Brigadier General Joseph Haskin, its grip featuring a Civil War officer impaling a serpent with his saber. It made $109,250.
Items associated with General George Custer and the Battle of Little Big Horn frequently crop up at Julia sales. A rare Indian-used Custer range Springfield 1873 saddle-ring carbine was pushed by bidders to more than three times high estimate at $33,350.
A collection of 13 engraved Eighteenth Century powder horns believed to have been executed by the same carver went out at $69,000.
This sale included an offering of sporting shotguns that attracted a number of motivated buyers. A full-relief engraved J. Rigby rising bite double rifle made for Mohammed Nasrullah Kahn in caliber 350 Rigby sold for $80,500.
The star of the sporting arms, however, was in the American shotguns. A rare Parker 20 bore A-1 Special with deep relief engraving came close to its high estimate at $166,750. A rare and historic Parker was a Parker Bros. VHE 12 gauge. The gun, originally ordered by Annie Oakley’s husband, Frank Butler, featured vignette engravings on either side of the breach of the famous crack-shot Annie Oakley herself, wearing her traditional broad-brimmed bonnet. The gun was estimated at $30/50,000 and neared low estimate at $28,750.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium. For information, 207-453-7125 or www.jamesdjulia.com .
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