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Cowan's Historic Firearms and Militaria Auction set for Oct. 25-26

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CINCINNATI – Cowan's Auctions, Inc. will host its Fall Historic Firearms and Early Militaria Auction on Oct. 25-26 at Cowan’s salesroom, in Cincinnati, and will include nearly 1,200 historic firearms and militaria from the 18th to the 20th centuries. The auction will feature a collection of American and European sporting arms, rifles, swords, uniforms and a collection of fresh-to-the-market archived lots that will be offered at auction for the first time.

“This sale is rich in Kentucky rifles, Civil War percussion revolvers and carved powder horns,” said Jack Lewis, Cowan's director of historic firearms. “All in all there is something here for all firearms collectors.”

Highlighted in the sale will be a cased Tiffany sword presented to Lieut. Samuel P. Ferris, 8th Regiment, U.S. Infantry. This is the first time it will be offered at auction. Samuel P. Ferris was a career regular officer that was twice brevetted for gallantry during the Civil War, with subsequent service during the 1876 Sioux campaign.

A number of Kentucky rifles also will be offered in the auction. A Kentucky flintlock rifle by John Armstrong is estimated at $150,000/$200,000 and a Kentucky flintlock rifle by William Walker is estimated to bring $25,000/$30,000.

A Colt Air crewman AF-1, presented to Hoyt S. Vandenberg, is expected to bring $30,000/$50,000. Vandenburg was one of the first directors of the CIA.

Engraved powder horns also will be featured in the sale. An engraved powder horn by Tim Tansel is expected to fetch $10,000/$15,000. An engraved powder horn by John Tansel is estimated at $12,000/$15,000 and an engraved powder horn ID’d to Solomon Crosby is estimated at $10,000/$15,000.

A prototype Searle semi-automatic pistol is expected to bring anywhere between $15,000/$25,000. Auction lot contents include this prototype, in working condition with all the original vellum, with signed mechanical drawings and three original patent letters granted to the design.

Additional items in this sale include a rare Spanish Pedreynal Miquelet pistol, estimated at $15,000/$20,000, a cased Webley Fosebery revolver estimated at $15,000/$25,000, a Plains Indian tomahawk estimated at $6,000/$9,000, and an Indian tack half-stock percussion Plains rifle by J. Henry is estimated at $3,500/$5,000.

To learn more about the auction or to view a catalog, visit

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