Lifelong collection of VMI grad at auction

Just about every United State martial longarm is represented in the Dec. 15 auction.

The life-long militaria, antique weapons and collectible firearms collection of VMI graduate Percy “Pete” Lincoln of Lexington, Virginia, will be auctioned Dec. 14-15 at the Quinn & Farmer Auction Gallery in Charlottesville, Va.

Besides the almost 200 lots of militaria from the 50-year collection offered on Dec. 14, the Saturday, Dec. 15, auction will also feature almost 300 handguns, long arms and edged weapons from the same, important collection. In addition, the sale will feature added items from other collectors including historic Civil War firearms identified to their original owners, a silent film movie star’s inscribed Colt revolver, money clip and related items, and Civil War images including several of Confederate soldiers.

According to auction specialist in charge Art Beltrone, “This auction offers a wide variety of antique, historic and collectible firearms for beginning to advanced collectors. Because of the variety of collection fields represented, there will no doubt be something of interest for almost every collector interested in militaria or weapons.”

Beltrone said collector Pete Lincoln, now deceased, collected firearms, bayonets and accoutrements relating to those used by Virginia Military Institute cadets since the institution’s  founding  in 1839. Of special interest in the auction is a Model 1851 US Percussion Cadet Musket, dated 1851, the type used by a good number of Corps of Cadets members when they fought as an independent unit against Union troops at the Battle of New Market, Virginia, on May 15, 1864. The corps suffered 52 casualties, including eight killed in action and two who died of wounds shortly after the battle.

A selection of rare Civil War Confederate images will be offered for sale in the two-day Dec. 14-15 auction. Images of Union soldiers are also be included in the sale.

That battle will be the subject of a complimentary 6PM lecture and reception at the Quinn & Farmer Gallery on Friday, December 14, following the1PM militaria auction.  It will be presented by 1964 VMI Distinguished Military Graduate and Company of Military Historians Fellow Ronald E. Fischer. The historian has been a collector and researcher of American medals for over 55 years. The militaria auction will include accoutrements including mint web gear from WWI and WWII, Third Reich and Japanese collectibles, a large selection of bayonets and American Civil War and Indian War items.

Saturday’s auction begins at 10AM and will include the Model 1851 Cadet Musket, as well as later cadet models and firearms issued to American military forces from the Civil War through World War II. In addition to the military arms, there is a large collection of mint and in-the-original-box Colt Woodsman pistols; Pennsylvania and Kentucky rifles; powder horns from Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and an equally large collection of copper powder flasks, some with unique designs. The historic movie-used Colt revolver was used by western actor William S. Hart during the early 1900’s, and the auction also includes a Fox Sterlingworth shotgun once owned by noted film actor Robert Montgomery.

“This sale has so many wonderful examples of antique and collectible firearms, as well as its volume and representation of militaria, that it will have wide-ranging appeal to all collectors,” Beltrone predicted. “It is no doubt one of the finest such auctions ever held in Central Virginia.”

The highly sought-after Model 1851 US percussion Cadet Musket, the type used by cadets from the Virginia Military Institute in their action against Union troops at the Battle of New Market during the Civil War, is included in the December 15 auction. The lock on the weapon is marked “SPRING/FIELD/1851″ with an American eagle over the letters “US.” The historic weapon is in fine condition.

The Quinn & Farmer Auction Gallery is located at 2109 India Road, Charlottesville, VA. It was formerly the Harlowe-Powell Auction Gallery. For information about the auction, or to make a reservation for the 6PM Dec. 14 Ronald Fischer Virginia Military Institute presentation, call 434-293-2904.

There will be a complete on-line catalogue of both the militaria and firearms auction. They can be accessed during the latter part of November at



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