Published: May 12, 2016
ROCK ISLAND, ILL. — A Model 1886 Winchester rifle presented to the man who captured Apache leader Geronimo is now the most expensive single firearm ever sold at auction after drawing $1.26 million, including the buyer’s premium, at Rock Island Auction Company’s April 29–May 1 auction. Other guns have sold higher as a pair, but no other single firearm surpasses this new world record price paid at auction.
“It is an honor to be entrusted with an American treasure,” said RIAC President Kevin Hogan. “Being serial number one and possessing such outstanding condition would alone be enough to draw six figures at auction. When you add one of the most famous names in the history of the Old West, you have a huge crossover appeal and set the stage for something special to happen.” The sale comes off the heels of Rock Island Auction Company’s record-setting 2015 sales total of $51 million, tops in the firearm auction industry.
The rifle’s story begins with two brothers-in-arms during the Civil War who went their different ways after that conflict, one electing to continue a lifelong military career while the other pursued firearms and their development. When the former, Captain Henry Ware Lawton, captured Geronimo in 1886, the latter, Lieutenant George E. Albee, was working for Winchester and able to secure serial number one of their newest rifle design. He presented it to his old war buddy and lifelong friend to commemorate Lawton’s remarkable achievement.
A complete review on the sale will appear in a future edition.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm