Rock Island Auction Company's May 2019 Premiere Firearms Auction is shaping up to be a special sale. The collectible and antique, the high condition and historic will all be available en masse at the May 3-5 sale. There will be arms available from hundreds of individual collectors from across the county and, of course, by an exciting number of significant collections from well-studied, lifelong firearm enthusiasts. Leading the pack will be continued offerings from the prolific collections of Robert M. Lee, Larry Jones, Allan Cors, and Robert E. Petersen, but also featured are fantastic collections from Dr. Richard Kobetz, Robert Ferro, Dick Salzer, G. Thomas Puett, The NRA Whittington Center, the Putnam Green/Sycamore Collection, and an anonymous collection presented as The Southwest Collection.
Military vehicles were hot sellers in 2018. Tanks, jeeps, motorcycles, troop transports, and more were large attractions in every sense of the word. This year RIAC announced a second offering of these powerful and impressive military vehicles. Taking point in the auction will be an M48 Patton battle tank,a Swiss Pz61 battle tank, and a Soviet MiG-21 Fishbed fighter jet. These are sure to steal the show, and rightly so since such vehicles are seldom offered publicly. However, savvy collectors will not lose focus of the bevy of remarkable firearms that comprise the overwhelming majority of the auction.
There are over 400 firearms from this beloved American gunmaker in the May auction. Leading the way is a factory engraved Winchester deluxe Model 1886, crowned with bright platinum bands. Numerous special order lever actions in superb condition populate the sale, but other eras are represented as well. Collectors are sure to marvel at the exhibition grade Deluxe Model 1907 semi-automatic rifle, signed and engraved by Master Engraver Angelo Stokes. Also of note will be several U.S. military pieces such as an all original, near new, U.S. Army contract Winchester Model 12 trench shotgun with its Winchester M1917 bayonet and scabbard.
Over 650 Colt firearms will permeate the sale. Serving as flagship for the entire auction, is an elegant revolver known as “The Millikin Dragoon,” this cased, Gustave Young engraved Third Model Dragoon has achieved celebrity status in the gun collecting community. It is a revolver with a combination of historical pedigree and condition that exists only at the very pinnacle of collecting. It is without question, the finest presentation grade Colt Dragoon RIAC has ever cataloged. Also available in this offering is a factory cased Colt Pocket Model Paterson No. 1, as well as a factory engraved, nickel plated and acid etched black powder Frontier Six Shooter, each also destined for top collections.
With all the attention that the military vehicles attract, smart collectors want their items in the same sale. This has resulted in a myriad of phenomenal pieces that have come out of the woodwork. Early American military arms have an excellent selection featuring some of collecting’s most desirable arms: a U.S. Model 1799 North & Cheney, a Dance & Brothers Confederate revolver, a McCormick “Model 1797/Horseman” type flintlock, a North Army Contract Model 1811 flintlock, as well as several stunning high art presentation swords from the era’s finest artisans. Modern selections include the aforementioned military vehicles as well as remarkable rarities such as a Sedgley glove gun, a U.S. Air Force Colt Aircrewman revolver, a Singer M1911A1, and several experimental bayonets.
Savage and Marlin will headline the Sporting Arms segment of the May sale. Also included in the sale will be luxury firearms from Westley Richards, Holland & Holland, Rigby, Parker Brothers, and others.
To touch on every genre, let alone every gun, would require an entire book. Fortunately, RIAC produced 3-volume catalog sets. The catalog sets go in-depth on the 40+ Class III arms in this sale, the foreign military pieces, the over 1,000 antiques, the oddities, the curios, the fascinating, and the historic.