The first firearms collectors auction of the year, the February Regional, was the largest in RIAC history, selling over 10,000 guns in just four short days. The May Premiere Auction certainly had the quality of guns to be a barn-burner of a sale.
It all added up to a realized total of $16.1 million – one of the largest auctions in RIAC's history. The daily action took place as follows:
Day 1 - Lot 27 held one such Winchester, a special order, deluxe Model 1873 that, like many others that morning, continued to show why the Antique Winchester market is stronger than ever by achieving $46,000. Later that day the finest known Elgin Cutlass pistol found a fitting price and a new home for $48,875.
Even 40 years after his untimely passing, the King of Rock & Roll can still fill a room. The Smith & Wesson 19-2 revolver, shown being held by Elvis in a period photograph, was the first to go and was won after a lengthy bidding battle by a live phone bidder for $195,500. Next up was the equally lavish, Presley-owned Colt Python. It too saw a healthy payday and brought $172,500. Afterwards, Elvis’ gem-studded sheriffs badge rode off into the sunset for $40,250, and the original sales contract for Graceland signed off for $43,125.
Day 2 - Elvis may have carried the first day of the auction, but Saturday belonged to the usual suspects: Winchester, Colt, and military firearms. Rock Island Auction Company has been fielding calls on the vaunted “On the Rocky Mountain” antique Winchester 1866 rifle since they announced their procurement of the Robert M. Lee Collection. Therefore, it was no surprise when the flagship of the auction also took home the top price of the weekend with a final price of $598,000. A mere 7 lots later was “The Midas Bull 1 of 1,000” Winchester 1873 rifle, available for the first time in over 25 years. Collectors also showed their appreciation for the fine, original condition masterpiece and rewarded it with a $414,000 realized price. Within those first 14 lots, the sales total for the day had already topped $1.2 million! The top Colt of the day was not far behind; only one bid increment less than the top gilded Winchester was a silver banded, cased Colt No. 5 Texas Paterson that could not be had for less than $575,000. Also, RIAC continued its pleasing trend of obtaining excellent prices for Class III guns and related items. A scarce Krieghoff FG42 sold for $241,500 and three registered automatic trigger assemblies brought an astounding $54,625!
It was another showcase day for Colt, Winchesters, and sporting arms, but the second offering of Class III guns and related items again made their presence and popularity known by firearms collectors. Other strong performers were Smith & Wesson revolvers and early Colt semi-automatics. Some of the top sellers of the day were a U.S. contract Colt 1851 Navy that saw $86,250, an extremely rare Colt double rifle, commissioned by Caldwell Colt, that brought $74,750, a set of consecutively numbered Marcel Thys side-by-side shotguns with stunning relief scroll engraving that went for $51,750, and a stunning John Wilkes double barrel shotgun, covered in casehardening and gold inlays, brought $37,375. These last two firearms are clear examples of the growing number of sporting arms coming to Rock Island Auction Company and the handsome prices they are attaining at auction.
Rock Island Auction Company