Important historical items sold exceptionally well during the May sale, including two firearms with documentation by the Winchester Museum as being attributed to the infamous outlaw Jesse James. The first lot, a Winchester Model 1876 lever-action rifle that was once owned by Bob Ford (the man who assassinated Jesse) sold for an incredible $57,500, while a Derringer pistol that was once owned by Jesse’s brother and partner-in-crime Frank James, sold for $28,750.
Rock Island’s May sale also brought together an incredible group of over 200 Civil War and Confederate items, including the finest of only six known LeMat percussion carbines which sold for $115,000. A rare Confederate Spiller and Burr percussion revolver sold for $25,875. Several post-Civil War lots brought high prices as well, including a Colt model 1897 30 Caliber Gatling Gun with Armored Carriage, which brought in $63,250.
Antique pistols, which continue to climb the collectable firearms market, also generated much interest from bidders at auction. Several antique lots reached remarkably high prices, like a pair of exhibition quality Henry Deringer pocket pistols which sold for an astonishing $51,750 and an extremely rare Elgin Cutlass pistol from the William Locke Collection, which sold for $46,000.
Rock Island Auction’s reputation for selling some of the world’s finest Colt firearms preceded itself during the May sale, once again bringing in many exceptional prices. Aside from the auctions two biggest winners, there were other outstanding antique Colt pistols, including a spectacular factory cased and exhibition engraved Colt model 1849 pocket revolver, which sold for $63,250 and a U.S. Contract Colt 2nd model Dragoon revolver that sold for $57,500. Generally speaking, both early and modern versions of the Colt automatic pistol also sold exceptionally well. A Colt Pre-World War I production Government model semi-auto hammered in at $12,650, well beyond its initial estimate of $6,500.
Rock Island Auction once again featured a high quality offering of Winchester lever action rifles during its Male sale, including a special order Winchester model 1886 sporting rifle that sold for $57,500. Volcanic firearms (the predecessor to the Winchester rifle) also sold well at auction, above all a rare Volcanic pistol carbine with an attachable stock which sold for $80,500.
The sporting arms category garnered some of the strongest interest from bidders at auction. A Winchester model 21 Royal Grand American 6 barrel shotgun set led the sporting arms group, selling for $69,000. Also drawing much attention at auction was a complete 5 gun set of gold inlaid Winchester model 12’s/42 by master engraver Angelo Bee, which sold for $63,250. The May auction offered an incredible collection of Parker guns, including a rare model VHE .410 double barrel Shotgun that doubled its initial estimate when it sold for $25,875.
The May sale also featured a strong military collection that was led by the finest known 1903 Rod Bayonet Rifle, which brought in $69,000. The popularity of the ever-collectable 1911 pistol was evident when a rare Prototype no. 2 Singer 1911A1 sold for $63,250. A WWII Case V-42 Stiletto and its scabbard sold for $9,775, well beyond its initial estimate of $6,000. Rock Island Auction’s May sale also featured the company’s largest collection of U.S. Trench and riot shotguns which was led by a Winchester model 12 Trench gun in outstanding condition that brought $10,350. Another popular military gun that sold exceptionally well was the German Luger pistol. One example in particular, a 06/34 Stoeger marked Luger sold for an incredible $12,650.
Though known primarily for selling high-quality collectable and antique firearms, Rock Island Auction also sold a number of edged weapons and other non-gun items for exceptional prices, including a Civil War infantry officer’s sword that sold for $3,450, as well as a rare Hopkins and Allen ‘Prairie Girl’ folding screen which sold for $4,887.50. An extremely rare coin made its way to the auction block, an NGC MS-63 Graded 1911D two-and-a-half dollar gold piece which went way beyond its face value when it sold for $17,250. Several lithographs from famous Midwestern artist Thomas Hart Benton also made their way to the auction block, above all the Benton lithograph “Spring Plowing” which sold for $5,750.
Rock Island Auction Company is currently seeking consignments for their upcoming Fall Premiere Auction, to be held September 6th, 7th and 8th, 2008. Rock Island Auction Company will accept single items or entire collections.
For more information please call 800-238-8022, or visit www.rockislandauction.com
Some of the top selling items included:
Protorype Singer Manufacturing Co. Model 1911A1 Semi-Auto Pistol with case: Sale Price $63,250
U.S. Army Colt Model 1897 .30 Caliber Gatling Gun with Armored Carriage: Sale Price $63,250
World War II V-42 Stiletto and Scabbard: Sale Price $9,775
Springfield Model 1903 Rod Bayonet Rifle: Sale Price $69,000