Anticipation among collectors and investors was high for the December 2-4 Firearms Auction. It did not disappoint.
Day 1 saw the sale of a factory engraved New Haven Arms Volcanic in lot 26 sporting the rarely encountered 25” barrel and its original walnut case, the slender carbine sold for $149,500. Confederate items on day one enjoyed a surprising level of success, as seen in lot 160’s offering of two early Confederate bonds. One of several lots offering currency and bonds of the CSA, this particular pair began a bidding battle that soared past its estimate, before landing at a $21,850 realized price. Also of note was the imposing Henry Nock revolving flintlock carbine in lot 227 that found a new home for $40,250, well beyond the $20,000 estimate.
Saturday saw lot 1008 up for bid containing a Winchester 1873 First Model with numerous special order features, such as silver plating and deep relief engraving by Conrad Ulrich. When all was said and done, it was the highest selling item of the auction, surpassing its $180,000 estimate and finally coming to a rest at $529,000. Other top sellers of the day include a high art Savage Model 1899 in lot 1049 that was presented to co-founder of Dodge Brothers Motor Company, Horace Elgin Dodge. It raced past the $60,000 estimate and brought $195,500. Though perhaps the auction’s largest surprise was lot 1442’s Chinese Hanyang Arsenal experimental semi-automatic rifle that didn’t even hesitate at its $6,500 estimate en route to seeing a $80,500 realized price.
The final day at auction was a perfect reminder of why Colts and Winchesters remain the “blue chips” of gun collectors. Far from our competitor’s claim of a “soft market” for these legendary manufacturers, they carried the day yet again, with four lever actions finding the 6-figure range. Lot 3138 housed a factory cased and engraved Colt London Model 1851 that readily exceeded its $30,000 estimate by achieving $51,750. A rare, Nimschke engraved, flastside Winchester 1866 saddle ring carbine in lot 3033, bested the $18,000 estimate to ring the bell at $40,250. Several Japanese arms also enjoyed high sale prices, such as lot 3301’s World War II, North China manufactured Type 19 Nambu, which sold for $19,550, despite its $7,500 estimate.
They’ve already begun preparing for the four day February Regional Auction.