A rare Winchester Model 1892 rifle with multiple factory options realized $6,750 and a compilation of 61 Civil War stereoviews by famous Civil War photographer Alexander Gardner saw $6,500 in Cordier Auctions & Appraisals’ quarterly Firearms & Militaria auction on Dec. 10, 2011.
The sale featured 250 plus lots in categories including antique and modern firearms, collectible and military firearms, edged weapons and other military items from across the globe. Over 200 people were in attendance in addition to phone and absentee bidders. More than 225 bidders were pre-registered to bid via the internet through Proxibid which also provided an online catalog of the auction. The auction was held in Cordier Auctions’ new 12,000-square-foot offices and salesroom located at 1500 Paxton Street in Harrisburg. Prices quoted do not include the buyer’s premium (10% to 15%).
The Saturday evening sale began with handguns. A very rare and unusual piece known as the Invisible Defender by Shattuck Arms Co. led the category with an auction price of $800 selling to the internet under low estimate. Next in line was a WWII era Walther PPK at $700. An interesting WWII Hungarian P37 pistol with capture papers realized $450 on an estimate of $200 to $400 selling to an out of state collector. In the always popular Colt handgun group, a 1908 Hammerless Vest Pocket Model in .25 ACP brought $500, a Pre-Woodsman .22 caliber target pistol realized $400, an Official Police with the original box in .38 special brought $425, a nice Peacemaker in .22LR went for $400 and a Detective Special with the original box in .38 special realized $375.
Representing half of the firearms portion of the auction were modern collectible and sporting arms including a rare Winchester Model 1892 in .32 W.C.F. that was the top lot of the sale. After an intense bidding session, a bidder on the phone won the piece at $6,750 on an estimate of $1,500 to $2,000. The firearm sported a fantastic set of original factory options including an octagon barrel, a ½ length tubular magazine, a set trigger, a pistol grip stock with metal brand end cap, checkering on the grip and forearm and a Swiss style butt plate.
Another Model 1892, in .25-20 W.C.F., realized $800. A rare Winchester Model 71 in the .348 Winchester caliber brought $1,100 while a US M1917 Enfield Eddystone with bayonet brought $650. Not to be outdone by the rifles, an A.H. Fox SxS 12 gauge shotgun hammered down at $900 to the internet (estimate $475 to $700).
Antique long guns continue to be a popular market. A John Shell Kentucky Rifle in .45 caliber brought its high estimate of $1,200 from a local bidder while a Snyder County, Pennsylvania Kentucky long rifle sold just above low estimate at $850 to the Internet.
The highlight of the Edged Weapon category was a US Civil War Confederate foot officer’s sword. Estimated at $1,200 to $1,400, the sword saw spirited bidding before finally hammering down at $5,000 to a local dealer in the room. A pair of US Model 1832 pattern foot artillery swords came in at $1,600 a piece. A WWII German Luftwaffe dagger realized $500 while a German SA dagger brought $225, both within estimate.
Another top lot of this sale was a set of 61 stereoviews of graphic 1862 Civil War incidents. These photographic scenes of the Civil War were by famous Civil War photographers Alexander Gardner, James F. Gibson, and George N. Barnard and marked for Gardner’s Gallery in Washington D.C. Alexander Gardner photographed the battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg and the siege of Petersburg after being appointed to the staff of General George McClellan, the commander of the Army of the Potomac in November 1861. The collection drew bidders both online and in the room to the sale with the group opening strongly online at $3,400. The bidding remained entirely between one internet bidder and one bidder in the room with the floor bidding prevailing at $6,500.
Among a collection of early knight helmets was a 16th century Burgonet helmet with flowered accents estimated at $800 to $1,500. The helmet garnered much interest online with internet bidders driving the selling price to $2,600. A dealer in the room was the winner on a lot of three antique powder horns, one of those a double horn, which brought $1,000 on an estimate of $150 to $300.
Other highlighted military items included a WWII Nazi Heer helmet with original liner that brought $1,100, a Heer “Transitional” M-18 helmet at $325, a German WWII Municipal Police Shako helmet at $375, a German Medical Waffenrock tunic at $400, a Nazi military lot including a gorget chain at $300 and a set of Heinrich Himmler calling cards and WWII Nazi photos that brought $425. Head gear appeared to be very popular at the sale as a Civil War kepi cap brought $400.
Cordier’s next Firearms and Militaria auction is set for the spring at their new auction facility located at 1500 Paxton Street, Harrisburg, Pa. Consignments including antique and modern firearms, edged weapons and military collectibles are currently being accepted.
Information on Cordier Auctions & Appraisals can be found at www.CordierAntiques.com.
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