Cowan sale features Gusler, Schif collections

Early Brass Barrel Kentucky Rifle Dated 1771, Attributed to Hans Jacob Honaker, Frederick County, Virginia. (Estimate $275,000-$350,000)

CINCINNATI – Cowan’s Auctions, Inc. will host their Spring Historic Firearms and Early Militaria Auction on May 2-3. The 2-day, 1,500 lot auction will be held at Cowan’s salesroom in Cincinnati, and will include historic firearms and militaria from the 18th to the 20th century. Featured in the auction will be a selection of Virginia and Kentucky rifles from the Wallace Gusler Collection, as well as Remington Revolvers from the Charles Schif Collection.

“This sale is rich in Kentucky rifles, civil war percussion revolvers and carved powderhorns,” notes Jack Lewis, director, Historic Firearms. “All in all there is something here for all firearms collectors.”

Highlighted in the sale will be one of the earliest known Kentucky Rifles from the Wallace Gusler Collection, made with a brass barrel, dated 1771, and attributed to Hans Jacob Honaker. The rifle is estimated at $275,000/$350,000. This rifle is one of the most important American Long Rifles known. It is the earliest known, dated American Long Rifle with a hinged box, and is the second oldest dated American Long Rifle.

Additional rifles from Gusler’s collection will also be offered in the sale. A Silver Mounted Kentucky Flintlock Rifle by J.B. Maus is estimated at $50,000/$75,000. A Full-Stock Percussion Rifle attributed to Abraham Honaker is estimated to bring $15,000/$25,000.

A number of Civil War Remington Revolver’s from the collection of the late Charles Schif are also expected to bring a higher than estimated hammer price. One of two known Remington Beals Navy Percussion Revolver’s, in its original cardboard box, is estimated to bring $9,000/$12,000. A Factory Cased Remington New Model 1858 Army Revolver is expected to fetch $5,500/$7,500.

French and Indian War Pewter Pipe Tomahawk. Ca 1750. Pewter head of early style. 16.5" ash haft decorated with pewter inlays, pewter cap and pewter mouth piece. (Estimate $35,000-$50,000)

Cowan’s will also offer fresh-to-the-market French and Indian war items in the auction.  A French and Indian War Pewter Pipe Tomahawk is expected to bring $35,000/50,000. A French and Indian War Map Horn, detailing the Forbes Trail to Fort Pitt is estimated at $6,000/8,000. This engraved map horn depicts the sequential forts and waypoints on the trail from Colonial New York to remote Fort Pitt at the strategic forks of the Ohio River.

World War II items will also be featured in the auction. A Rare German WWII Field Marshal’s Visor, similar to the Cap worn by Herman Goering, is estimated at $20,000/$40,000. A WWII U.S. Winchester Model 12 Pump Action Trench Gun is expected to bring $5,000/$6,000.

Brass Swivel Gun Cannon French and Indian War Era. Top of cannon reads in block letters Tpyke B. Water, Fecit with King George III royal cypher. (Estimate $8,500-$10,000)

Featured lots in the auction also include Parker shotguns and Winchester 21’s, a collection of obsolete handguns from 1900-1960, an international target rifle made for the U.S. Marine Corps, knives, swords, daggers, posters, and other collectible firearms ephemera.

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