Military collection of William Ashby to be offered

Featured at Sept. 10-12 Moline, Ill., auction

The military firearm collection of William Ashby will be offered at auction as part of Rock Island Auction’s Sept. 10-12 event in Moline, Ill.

The Ashby collection offers not only high condition but rarity and includes many prototype arms and a vast selection of sniper rifles that is hardly ever seen at auction. The sheer number and quality of military items in this auction is astounding: over 85 sniper rifles in every configuration: 98k military rifles, G-Series plus quality European military handguns. Examples include an experimental Mauser sheet metal semi-automatic rifle ($20,000 – 40,000), an extremely rare Mauser K98 rifle with experimental “Fiberglass” stock ($7,000 – 15,000) and a magnificent rare WWII Nazi G33/40 experimental “Folding Stock” Mountain/Paratrooper carbine with bayonet ($10,000 – 20,000).

Singer Model 1911A1 Semi-Automatic Pistol

Extraordinary Singer Manufacturing Co. Model 1911A1 Semi-Automatic
Pistol with History
. Presale Est: $37,500-$55,000.

Two drillings include a “personal souvenir of World War II” by 1st Lt. Robert J. Hinchcliffe. The M30 Drilling, in its transit case and packed in cosmoline was discovered buried in the garden of Dr. Theodor Morell, Hitler’s personal physician. A rare and historic Nazi Diplomatic sword of war criminal Dr. Artur Syess-Inquar will also be offered. NSKK memorabilia will also be sold including a rare WWII Africa Corps BMW R75 motorcycle and sidecar from the Ashby collection and a rare WWII German “Four Barrel” firing belt buckle pistol with gold washed Nazi Eagle ($15,000 – 25,000).

WWII Nazi K98 Sniper rifle

Exceptional Mint WWII Nazi K98 Single Claw Mount Sniper
Rifle with Matching Serialized Scope Assembly.
Presale estimate: $8,500-$20,000


The European pistols in this sale are sensational. Examples include a cased factory relief engraved Walther Model 9 semi-automatic pistol attributed to Adolf Hitler ($25,000 – 50,000), a rare gold-plated factory engraved Walther Model PP wartime commercial pistol with ivory grips ($14,000 – 22,500) and several Nazi marked broomhandles. Rare lugers include Carbines, a Krieghoff, and an American Eagle cartridge counter. Rock Island auction is also fortunate to offer an exceptional Borchardt model 1893 semi-automatic pistol with case and accessories. The elegantly designed Model 1893 Borchardt Pistol was the forerunner of the Luger and one of the first commercially marketed semi-automatic pistols. All Borchardt Model 1893 Pistols are scarce; cased examples with accessories are more rare, this particular one is estimated to bring $30,000 – 45,000.

The military selection continues with outstanding U.S. military arms led by a mint Singer Manufacturing Co., model 1911A1 semi-automatic pistol owned by 1st Lt. Charles H. Clark ($37,500 – 55,000). Accompanying the guns is a notarized letter from the consignor explaining that 1st Lt. Clark was a pilot in the U.S. Air Corps during WWII. Stationed at Burtonwood Air Depot in England and on May 11, 1943 he piloted a B17F out of Bovington Field, England to Iceland to recover bodies and papers from the crash of a B24 which crashed on May 3, 1943. In the crash the pilot, co-pilot, 4 crewmen and 8 passengers were killed; the only survivor was the tail gunner, who escaped with only minor injuries. Among the recovered items by Lt. Clark was this Singer pistol which had been in his possession until October 7, 1958 when it was passed on to the consignor who has owned it ever since.

Other examples include a rare Robert McCormick U.S. Navy contract flintlock pistol ($15,000 – 25,000), an outstanding Springfield 1842 musket ($5,000 – 7,500), officer’s model trapdoor, Krag rifles, rare serial number 7 Sedgley fist gun ($10,000 – 20,000), an all original Inland T3 M1 carbine, experimental Johnson carbines, hugely rare Remington Marine Corps M40 and M40A1 sniper rifles, a rare “gas-trap” M1 garand rifle ($11,000 – 16,000), many other M1 rifles and carbines with sniper variations and more. Japanese military contains sniper rifles, Baby and Papa Nambu pistols and much more. The selection also features three original and exceptional 1921 Thompson fully automatic machine guns.

In addition to the wide assortment of contemporary knives, this collection also includes a choice selection of antique weapons focusing on the Middle East and Asia, with examples of Jambiya and Kinjal daggers, armor piercing Katar and Pesh-Kabz blades and other attractive items. The craftsmanship is top notch, elaborately decorated, including a masterful demonstration of the art of cloisonné enamel inlay and a fine array of gold and silver inlaid items. Also included are a number of fine Damascus blades, showcasing the attractive folded steel patterns, with some further accented with gold inlay. Some of the finest demonstrative examples of these weapons that have entered our auction house are in this grouping, with several worthy of being a centerpiece of an edged weapon collection.

In its entirety, over 2600 quality lots will be offered at the September auction. Call now 800-238-8022 to order your two-volume full-color two-volume catalog or view it online at www.rockislandauction.com.

The auction begins at 10 a.m. each day, Sept. 10, 11 and 12. A full day preview is Thursday, Sept. 9th from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Previews also each day of the auction:  September 10th, 11th & 12th from 7:30 a.m. – 10 a.m., and during the auction for items not being sold that day. Rock Island Auction Company’s 23,000 square foot state-of-the-art auction facility is located at 4507 49th Avenue, Moline IL 61265.

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