Published: October 2, 2018
LAS VEGAS – From cased revolvers to Nineteenth Century police firearms, Morphy Auctions offered a collection of antique Colt firearms on September 20. The one-day auction featured the Feldman collection, including firearms connoisseur Dr Edward Feldman’s collection of the nation’s most desirable Colts, ranging from Paterson to Model 1911.
Topping the sale was a factory-engraved 1886 blue and case colored Colt Lightning, which blasted through its $70/90,000 estimate to finish at $190,650. The spectacular panel scene Colt Lightning has the desirable Sheriff’s Model configuration, the barrel engraved and the firearm retaining nearly all of its original factory high polish blue finish with what the auction house described as “the most perfect Colt DA 38 panel we have seen.” With an engraved bighorn sheep in the panel at top of the grip strap, the gun had been featured on the cover of the Las Vegas Arms Show program for years and came with not only a factory letter, but a letter from Herbert G. Houze detailing provenance. It was once owned by Senator Peter McLaren of Perth, Ontario.
Selections offered, beginning with a cased Number II belt model Paterson and ending with various engraved Colt automatic pistols, provided novice collectors, arms enthusiasts and firearms aficionados the opportunity to expand their growing collections and see first-hand the rarity of Feldman’s collection. Nearly 100 lots were offered during this sale without reserve.
In addition to the Colt Lightning, auction highlights included a factory-engraved presentation 1860 Army Colt inscribed “To Maj. Gen. W.S. Rosecrans,” which was bid to $159,900. This gun was presented to Major General William Starke Rosecrans by Colt’s Patents Manufacturing Company. One of the most important Colt factory presentations, the Rosecrans Army is as deluxe as a percussion Colt can be without gold inlay. The Rosecrans Army is embellished exactly like the pair presented to the Union Army George McClellan, one of which is in the Smithsonian Institution Museum. The history of General Rosecrans is well-known. William Rosecrans was once a potential candidate for the presidency of the United States.
Fetching $119,925 was a rare factory engraved ebony gripped double cased pair of Colt Model 1862 police revolvers presented to Captain W.H.H. Waller (1865). One of the very few double cased sets of engraved Colt Model 1862 police revolvers and the only ebony gripped pair, the Captain Waller 1862 police revolvers are one of the greatest engraved percussion Colt sets. Factory ebony grips are an extraordinary rarity, and these retain nearly all of their original finish. The backstrap is elaborately engraved with “Presented to W.H.H. Waller/Capt. 4th M.S.M./by the Officers of his Regt.” and “Oct. 16./65” on front strap. The barrel is engraved with a portrait on left side, possibly an Indian princess, and right side of barrel lug with portrait of an Indian warrior.
The Waller set is one only two known factory-engraved double cased pairs of 1862 police revolvers of this quality. This set was one of Dr Feldman’s greatest treasures.
“The Feldman collection represents a decades-long pursuit of the very finest collectible Colt firearms to ever exist,” said Dan Morphy, president of Morphy Auctions.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium, as stated by the auction house. For information, www.morphyauctions.com or 877-968-8880.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm