A Colt 1976 US Bicentennial Set of three revolvers realized $3,600 and a group of six vintage duck decoys saw $3,000 in Cordier Auction’s Firearms & Militaria auction held on July 28, 2013.
Approximately 128 bidders were registered in the room. Additionally, more than 1,150 bidders were pre-registered to bid via the internet. Prices were strong in the sale, which featured 300 cataloged lots in categories including antique, military and modern long guns and handguns, edged weapons and other military collectibles. The auction was held in Cordier Auctions’ salesroom located at 1500 Paxton Street in Harrisburg. Prices realized do not include the buyer’s premium (10%-15%).
The Sunday sale began with antique handguns. Two Whitney percussion .36 caliber revolvers were offered. One sold to the internet for $650 while the other went to the room for $800. A Remington & Sons New Model Police revolver generated strong interest, with a bidder from the internet seeing success at $900 on an estimate of $800 to $1,000.
The popular military handgun group continued to see strong results. A World War II era RZM marked Walther PPK pistol in .32 caliber with two magazines and holster hammered down above estimate at $1,600 while a Smith & Wesson Model of 1917 revolver realized $850. Another WWII piece made by General Motors generated considerable interest. Called the FP-45 Liberator, these pistols were manufactured in approximately six seconds from pressed steel and were chambered in .45 ACP. The wartime plan behind the Liberator was to drop large number of these inexpensive guns into occupied territories to civilians with a desire to fight their oppressors. A bidder in the room won out with a bid of $900. A Colt 1911 manufactured in 1914 and refurbished at Augusta Arsenal hammered down above estimate at $1,100 while a Japanese Type 14 pistol with magazine numbered to the gun realized $600 on an estimate of $400 to $500.
Modern handgun prices also remained strong. A Colt DiamondBack revolver with a six inch barrel and original box in .22 caliber brought $1,700. Colt firearms continued to outpace other manufacturers as a Model 1873 Army revolver in .38 Special caliber realized $1,000 and a rare Super 38 Automatic pistol in .38 super caliber hammered down within estimate at $2,700. The high lot of the sale was the Colt 1976 US Bicentennial set of revolvers which sold for $3,600, well above the estimate. Set in a three drawer presentation case, it featured a Python in .357 Magnum, a single action Army in .45 long Colt and a black powder dragoon in .44 caliber.
Antique long guns included several surprises. A Charleville Model 1763 flintlock musket in .69 caliber sold to the internet, hammering down above estimate at $1,200. Another antique flintlock, an M.T. Wickham US Model 1816 musket in .69 caliber, realized $950 on an estimate of $800 to $1,000. A 19th century percussion cane gun brought $1,500 while two 19th century European cane guns realized $950 each. Other highlights of the long gun category were Colt AR-15s. A Sporter II version of the rifle sold within estimate for $1,000 while a Government Carbine version of the rifle hammered down at its high estimate of $1,200. Additionally, a nicely engraved Remington Rolling Block in .32 caliber saw spirited bidding, with an internet bidder winning out at $850.
Military collectibles included items from pre-Civil War through the Vietnam Era. A World War II A-2 leather jacket from the 90th bombardment group realized $550. Also known as the “Jolly Rogers”, they were among the most successful heavy bomber groups in World War II. A pair of celebrated SARD Mark 43 6×42 Naval binoculars with original soft rubber eye cups and leather case brought $450. A World War II German M-42 helmet sold within estimate at $400 while a de-militarized bazooka with its canvas shield hammered down at $300. A collection of Civil War letters from Private Emanuel Froelich of the 31st PA Volunteers saw $650. These letters covered the period when the 31st served under U.S. Grant in the battle of the wilderness.
Highlights from the edged weapon category included Japanese, Civil War and European blades. Three Japanese World War II NCO swords sold for $450, $500 and $550 while an 18th century samurai sword realized $700. Two Civil War fighting knives sold for $300 and $325, both well above estimate, while a boy’s Confederate sword from Columbia, South Carolina brought $300. An early 17th century rapier hammered down within estimate at $700 while a French promenade sword brought $300.
Other notable items included a Civil War hand painted chevron that realized $400 and an O.W. Jolly silver decorated western saddle that sold for $600. A wounded soldier identified Civil War mini ball crossed the block and sold to an internet bidder for a surprising $250. This was not nearly as surprising as a group of six vintage wooden duck decoys that crossed the block late in the auction. Estimated at only $100 to $150, the group attracted considerable online interest, hammering down at $3,000.
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Cordier’s next Firearms and Militaria auction is set for the fall at their auction facility located at 1500 Paxton Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Consignments including antique and modern firearms, edged weapons and military collectibles are currently being accepted.
Information on Cordier Auctions & Appraisals can be found at www.CordierAuction.com.