Published: October 7, 2008
Rock Island Auction Company again surpassed its previous sales record at its September 6‸ auction. This premiere sale featured more than 2,700 lots of firearms, edged weapons, military artifacts and more, with total sales reaching $12.4 million.
The auction house continued to boast a high sell-through rate, this time at 97.2 percent with only 79 lots of 2,735 lots failing to sell.
The auction proved strong for all genres of firearms and every level of collector. The top seller, setting a world record at $494,500, was a “1 of 1,000” Winchester 1876 lever-action rifle, with deluxe gold trim, bringing a round of applause as it hammered down.
Other standouts include a rare Colt Model 1874 “Camel” Gatling gun complete with original carriage crate, cover and accessories that sold for $230,000 and a deluxe factory engraved, gold-plated Henry lever-action rifle (one of the finest known examples in existence) that brought $241,500.
This auction featured more than 600 Colts, including 60-plus factory cased Colts starting with a cased engraved Colt Third Model Dragoon selling for $253,000 and a rare factory cased Colt Texas Paterson revolver with an extra matching numbered cylinder and accessories that sold within estimate at $172,500.
Many of the lots were pushed right at or above the high estimate. Bidding interest was keen in a pre-war William Gough engraved Colt SAA with steer head ivory grips. Estimated at $30/45,000, this Colt commanded $63,250. Another auction buy was a Civil War-era Henry lever-action rifle with a low estimate at $75,000 that sold for $149,500.
Whenever an item with Old West history comes to the block, bidders turn out and the historic engraved Colt Thunderer Model 1877 double action revolver “Presented to Lawman Pat Garrett, Killer of ‘Billy The Kid’ by His El Paso friends” was no different bringing $138,000.
The military collection of Barry Garthofner featured more than 75 Lugers, approximately 50 sniper rifles, hundreds of US-, German- and Japanese-military long arms and many rare, scarce or high conditioned military pistols. An interest for many was the desirable Model 1902 DWM Luger carbine with stock, leather case, and extra barrel that exceeded estimate, selling for $37,375.
The rarity of a captured Spanish unit battle flag drove the Spanish American War collection with the flag selling at $4,312, over seven times the low estimate.
Every gun collector collects more than just firearms so when the Union metallic cartridge board came on the block, bidders drove the lot $28,750. Other highlights were a large unmarked strong signal cannon with carriage bringing $6,325, a rare Case V-42 stiletto at an impressive $6,325 and a rare US Springfield Amory experimental model 1909 bolo bayonet with sheath, almost doubling the low estimate at $9,775.
Auction house owner Patrick Hogan said “the goal of our company is to service all levels of collecting. We set world records, as well as offering firearms for the beginning level collector. This auction achieved this goal. We set a world record for an 1876 at $494,500, yet we sold many $1,000-$5,000 firearms as well.”
For information, www.rockislandauction.com , 800-238-8022 or 309-797-1500.
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