ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – As the final hammer fell and the crowd settled their purchases, Rock Island Auction Company quietly accomplished a remarkable feat. The December sale total of $12 million, an accomplishment to be celebrated in itself, added to an already impressive total to date for 2013. Combine those two figures for 2013 to find a grand total of $48 million in sales, and Rock Island Auction Company has cemented its position as the world’s #1 firearms auction house for ten years in a row – a decade of success!
“This auction is another indisputable sign that high condition guns will continue to sell big,” said director of Auction Services, Kevin Hogan. “People might get tired of hearing us tout condition so frequently, but we see the evidence at every auction: condition sells,” continued Hogan. “That considered, we also saw several other pieces achieve exciting prices that helped us to finish 2013 on this record setting note.”
There were many pieces that received attention from more than a handful of bidders, making for some happy consignors and several exciting moments during the auction.
Perhaps most exciting was the new world record set by Lot 1035, an extraordinary Winchester Third Model 1866 carbine, that sold for $74,750. The condition on this gun was so immaculate, that it still exhibited the original polish marks from the factory and some lucky collector just had to add it to their collection.
Another highlight of the auction was Lot 1007, a deluxe Winchester Model 1894 takedown with No. 2 factory engraving, gold inlays, and in spectacular condition, that sold for $172,500. Extending back to their days on the American plains, Gatling guns command attention wherever they go and our Premiere Auction was no exception. The ten-barreled, 1874 Colt Gatling gun in Lot 1465 was proudly displayed in our Preview Hall before selling for $92,000 to an undoubtedly excited history enthusiast.
It was no secret that this auction contained a large number of Colt firearms – over 600!
This mainstay of the collecting community attracted collectors from across the country and made for some very exciting results.
- Lot 1077: A supremely high condition 1851 Colt Navy revolver was acquired for $37,375
- Lot 1184: A documented Colt SAA revolver from the Red Skelton Estate attributed to outlaws Bill Doolin and Emmett Dalton sold for $74,750
- Lot 1072: An 1837 “Baby” Paterson crossed the block for $69,000
- Lot 1180: Highest known serial number Colt SAA with factory engraving and carved ivory grips went home with a collector for $69,000
- Lot 3160: A gorgeous, factory engraved, silver & gold plated Colt SAA with pearl grips also sold for $69,000
The selection of sporting arms in this sale was also phenomenal, featuring high end rifles, luxurious shotguns, beautiful big bores, safari grades hunting pieces, and more.
- Lot 1756: A rare, special order engraved Purdey O/U shotgun with handsome case hardening sold for $51,750
- Lot 3256: An absolutely beautiful engraved and Damascus barreled John Dickson & Son single shot, flintlock fowling piece exceeded its auction estimate by over 100% and achieved $18,400
- Lot 1347: A stately and historic WWII J.P. Sauer & Son Luftwaffe Model 30 survival Drilling with its case and accessories brought $43,125
- Lot 1768: An stunning engraved Purdey & Sons hammerless double rifle in 400 Express with its case and accessories realized $40,250
- Lot 1760: As rare as it is beautiful, an engraved George Gibbs Farquharson’s patent dropping block rifle also blew past its high auction estimate and hammered for $21,850
The 450 Winchesters in this sale also resulted in a bounty for collectors. Besides the aforementioned rifles, several Winchester and Henry rifles also reached some very noteworthy prices.
- Lot 1016: An exhibition quality, factory engraved, silver plated Henry rifle with touches of a plum-colored patina brought an exciting $149,500
- Lot 1025: A rare “digital” 1 of 1,000 Model 1873 Winchester loaded with factory extras went out the door for $86,250
- Lot 3004: An extremely rare special order factory engraved, silver plated Winchester Model 1892 takedown with numerous features and a 1934 factory letter earned $80,500
- Lot 3026: A mint condition, documented, crisp, factory exhibition engraved Winchester Model 1873 deluxe short rifle featured in “The Winchester Engraving Book” left our doors for $74,750
Notable Sales of Military Items
- Lot 3559: A stunning first year production Colt 1911, serial #1172, with its mirror-like blue commercial high-polish finish and vivid nitre blue components achieved $69,000
- Lot 1343: A likely “one-of-a-kind” prototype Walther Model KPK pistol found a new home for $54,625
- Lot 1535: An extremely rare early production gas-trap M1 Garand rifle with a scarce theater made blast deflector and authentication letter brought $37,375
- Lot 3080: An ever-popular LeMat revolver with its daunting shotgun underbarrel commanded a respectable $28,750
- Lot 1476: A rare Springfield Type II officer’s model 1875 Trapdoor rifle from the Collection of Richard Branum was happily snatched up for $23,000
- Lot 3394: A scarce, early post WWI Weimar era DWM Navy rework Luger crushed its high auction estimate and sold for $13,800
For more information, visit www.rockislandauction.com or call 800-238-8022.