ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — In nearly two decades of firearms auctions, Rock Island Auction Company has set many world records and brought to auction some of the finest collections in the world, but none can surpass their spring sale, organizers say.
More than 700 Colts will cross the auction block April 20-22 with some of the most significant Colts ever assembled into one auction. A cased presentation Colt Model No. 3 Paterson with full compliment of accessories takes the top pre-auction estimate of $275,000-$450,000. The Colt Paterson was the first model produced by Samuel Colt and Presentation Paterson pistols are of the rarest commodity known to firearms collectors.
RIAC will sell the serial No. 1 exhibition engraved and cased Colt Navy cartridge revolver. The revolver is the first true cartridge gun produced by Colt and is inscribed and presented to Colt employee Lewis Sheldon when he left Colt. It has remained in Sheldon family for 141 years. It is estimated to bring $170,000-$350,000.
Nearly 100 Colt percussions will cross the auction block with many cased, engraved and high-conditioned examples. The finest production Colt Cavalry Model single action featured on the Discovery Channel pilot Ready, Aim, Sold leads the 100+ Colt single actions in the auction with an estimate of $125,00-$175,000. The Colt single action is one of the most widely recognized firearms ever, and this April the highest condition example known to exist will be up for sale. A U.S. inspected Model 1883 Gatling gun with field carriage and caisson is expected to bring $200,000-$350,000.
IThe first “true” Winchester, a Briggs Patent Henry Rifle is estimated to bring $180,000-$275,000. This rifle represents the first attempt of Oliver Winchester to improve upon the Henry rifle from the dissolved New Haven Arms Company, but was quickly outdated by the Kings patent improvement making the Briggs patent rifles obsolete. Less than 10 of these rare rifles are known to exist. Another rare Winchester to be featured is the Model 1876 “Centennial” revolver ($90,000-$150,000). This is the only known example of this prototype and showcases some of the most advanced firearm designs of the time. Two examples of the highly collectible “1 of 1000” are offered in this sale: A model 1873 with factory documentation has a pre-auction estimate of $150,000-$275,000 and a documented Model 1876 with scarce 30 inch barrel is expected to bring $120,000-$180,000. More than 350 Winchesters are featured in this sale.
RIAC also will offer many presentation Lugers, including a cased 1902 carbine presented by Georg Luger ($90,000-$140,000), a “GL” prototype baby Luger ($65,000-$95,000), one of two known Hitler “Night Guard” pistols with flashlight attachment ($75,000-$150,000.
Every primary issue Colt military side arm from 1851-1951 is represented, including a cased “MS” marked Dragoon ($65,000-$95,000), an original Navy contract 1900 “Sight Safety” ($13,000-$19,000), and a 1907 “U.S. Army Test Trials” ($27,500-$45,000). Every manufacturer of M1911 and M1911A1’s from WWI and WWII is included, including three variations of the rare Singer contract model from prototype, to presentation and production examples.
Some of the biggest names in history are also represented in this auction. A cased three barrel percussion rifle/shotgun attributed to Abraham Lincoln is expected to bring $50,00-$100,000. Lincoln encouraged weapons development during the Civil War and even test fired arms himself on an open area south of the White House. A Gastinne Renette breech-loading carbine attributed to Napoleon III has a unique history and is estimated at $22,500-$37,500. There are many other firearms inscribed, presented and attributed to historical figures in this auction including Ulysses S. Grant, Thomas Jefferson Brady, President of Peru Jose Balta, King George III and Henry Clinton.
Sporting arms make up a large portion of the 2,700+ lot sale, including more than 400 shotguns and 900 modern firearms. The auction showcases a wide spectrum of high-grade Winchester Model 70s, including a set of 11 consecutively numbered Model 70’s ($40,000-$60,000), 14 Model 21’s including Grand Americans, several excellent Parker Bros. Shotguns, and many quality new-in-box Brownings. An engraved Parker Brothers AAHE Del Greco double barrel shotgun is expected to bring $45,000-$55,000 and a six-barrel, special order Royal Grand American Model 21 is expected to bring $60,000-$90,000.
RIAC also will feature more than 150 lots of 19th-century antiques and Americana.
View the full catalog online at www.rockislandauction.com or call 800-238-8022 to order your two-volume full-color catalog.