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Competitve bidding drives Cowan's sale to $1.65 million

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CINCINNATI – Cowan's Auctions, Inc. Historic Firearms and Early Militaria Auction on May 1-2 realized $1.695 million in sales. Over 1,500 people from over 15 different countries bid on the telephone, online and in Cowan’s salesroom for the 1,600 lots. Strong bidding from participants in the salesroom set the tone for the auction and drove prices for many of the lots above their high estimates.

“I was extremely pleased with the results of this sale, the Henry Livingston Powder Horn did very well and brought excellent value,” noted Jack Lewis, Director of Firearms. “Several great items brought more than expected, and I am looking forward to our Fall auction, which will include more class III weapons”


The highest selling lot in the sale was an Exquisitely Engraved French and Indian War Powder Horn to Henry Livingston (pictured above), which realized $74,500. Two bidders on the floor and one on the phone went back and forth for the lot, which eventually sold to the phone bidder.

The sales second highest selling lot, which sold above its high estimate of $25,000 for $36,800, was a rare Colt Model 1860 Fluted Cylinder Army. Another WWII Colt 1911 A1 Semi-Auto Pistol brought competitive bids from the Internet, phone and floor. The Colt realized $20,700.


A Factory Engraved Colt Official Police (pictured above) trounced its pre-auction estimate of $5,000/7,500 and hammered down to a phone bidder for $20,700.

Shotguns also garnered high prices in the sale. A Beretta Model S05 Over/Under Shotgun sold for $8,625, a Model 12 Winchester U.S. Marked Trench Shotgun realized $11,500, and a Winchester Model 1897 Takedown U.S. Marked Trench Shotgun sold for $9,775.

A set of German WWII Adolf Hitler Silverware and Formal Tablecloth sold to a floor bidder for $21,850. Family legend purports that these pieces were found in the bunker system of Hitler’s mountaintop chalet, the “Eagles Nest.”


Additional highlights in the auction included fresh-to-the-market rifles and revolvers. A C.H. Ridgon Confederate Revolver (pictured above) sold for $24,150, a U.S. Model Springfield Musket with Morse Alteration realized $29,900, and a Remington Model 1870 realized $9,775.

To view all results, visit

Cowan’s next Historic Firearms and Early Militaria will take place on Oct. 22-23. Cowan’s will be accepting consignments for this auction through July 1. For more information about upcoming auctions and consignments, contact Jack Lewis at

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