FAIRFIELD, Me. _ Every year in October, two separate firearms auction companies conduct a firearms auction back to back in Fairfield,. October 1 to 3 began this spectacular event with a large offering of collectable and shooting firearms presented by the Poulin Auction Company. The sale generated approximately $3.4 million in total. Immediately after, from Oct. 4 to 7, the James D. Julia Auction generated approximately $15 million in sales; 372 lots brought $10,000 or more, 173 lots brought $20,000 or more, 33 lots brought in an excess of $50,000 and 8 lots topped out at over $100,000.
The Julia auction was divided into four sessions. The first two days comprised Julia’s Sporting & Collector sessions which featured moderately priced collectable and shooting firearms. October 6 and 7 made up their Extraordinary sessions featuring rare and high-end firearms.
Day one included a cased Browning Pointer grade Superposed two bbl. set from the estate collection of William Larkin Moore which went out at $13,800. An AH Fox, Philadelphia J Grade single barrel Trap Gun realized $7,200. A Griffin & Howe Pre-War Sporting rifle, cal. 30/06 generated $13,800. Also included in Tuesday’s sale was Session One of the Friedrich-Wilhelm Dauphin Collection from Germany. A Mauser C96 Transitional 1930 Commercial with matching stock went out at $10,350. A Wolf & Klar engraved two gun lot Smith & Wesson, once the property of FBI agent, George H. Franklin, finally generated $16,100.
The second day of the Sporting & Collector auction started off with the Allen Hallock Collection of Schuetzen rifles. The very first lot up was the ultimate Schuetzen rifle, an ivory inlaid and gold highlighted masterpiece given as a shooting prize in the late 1800s. It generated $37,375. Another Schuetzen rifle from another collection by Buchel Stecherspanner with carved and inlaid ivory stock generated a furious bidding battle that topped out at $22,425. This sale included the second and final session of the Carmen Gianforte Collection of Reid Knuckledusters, the largest collection of its type to ever be brought to auction. Included was a 41 cal. Knuckleduster. This topped out at $13,225. A diminutive 18th century Flintlock 44 cal. pistol realized $7,500. This sale concluded with the second and final session of the Estate of G. W. “Bill” Stewart of Texas. His late Colt 3rd Model Dragoon with period holstersold for $9,200. This sale also included the final session of Estate of Dr. Robert G. Cox. This collection focused on small frame Colt pistols. One lot of three Colt 3rd Model Derringers generated $8,625. A fine Colt SA Civilian issue black powder Peacemaker went for $20,700.
Thursday and Friday comprised the Extraordinary section of the Julia Firearms Auction. That portion of the auction includes the high end, rare and valuable guns and the first lot of Thursday’s sale was a three-gun set commemorating Remington’s 200 years in business. The Remington Firearms Company is the oldest firearms manufacturing company in the United States still under the same ownership. The set generated $23,000. All the proceeds from this particular lot will be used on various conservation funds, which Remington Arms supports.
The sale then proceeded to Julia’s Class-3 offering. An early “Square Slot” Colt 1921A Thompson Machine Gun finally sold for $57,500. An ultra-scarce Vet Bringback Korean Manufactured Type 58 AK-47 machine gun generated $54,625. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day in Class-3 was the Vietnam War trophy Chinese type 56 machine gun. Bidding on this gun finally topped out at $132,250.
A number of fine Model 1911 pistols included a Singer Manufacturing Co. 1911A1 that sold for $57,500. A Mauser Conehammer Carbine SN 12 with period scope generated $51,750. This auction also featured the final session of the Geoffrey Sturgess Collection of Zurich, Switzerland. Julia’s started selling this collection a few years ago and featured the largest offering of semi-auto military arms in the world. This sale included a magnificent Large Ring Mauser C96 carbine presentation quality with extraordinary engraving and gold highlights. It went out at $40,250.
Among the Sporting Arms offerings, a massive 4-bore Holland & Holland double rifle estimatedrealized $103,500. A very fine H&H 8-bore hammer gun topped out at $75,000. The top lot of the day however for sporting arms was Annie Oakley’s personal 12 ga. William Cashmore Boxlock game gun. There are numerous photographs of Annie holding this exact gun. after a fierce bidding battle it topped out at $207,000. A superb 20 bore Purdey O/U with many special features brought $94,875.
A 410 Ivo Fabbri Sidelock Ejector single trigger O/U game gun with engraving by Tomasoni sold for $74,750. A small bore Fabbri pinless Sidelock O/U with engraved quail scene went out at $109,250. A Piotti “Boss” 20 ga. O/U from the famous William Larkin Moore Estate Collection topped out well over high estimate at $69,000. Also from the William Larkin Moore Collection was the award winning Parker AAHE 12 ga. in high original condition that generated a final selling price of $48,300. A large fine selection of Lefevers was also offered in this sale. Included was a spectacular documented Lefever 12 ga. It went out at $46,000. Also from the same collection was a Lefever AA Grade which brought a strong $51,750.
A collection of L.C. Smiths was also part of this sale and an A3 Pigeon gun was one of only 18 made. It sold for $46,000. Another beautiful gun from the William Larkin Moore Estate Collection was a 28 ga. Browning Superposed Custom shop exhibition gun with gold inlays that produced a strong $36,800.
The final day of the Extraordinary sale started out with Winchesters and Volcanics. Factory engraved Winchester Deluxe 2nd Model 1876 signed by John Ulrich estimated generated $40,250. A special order Model 1886 Deluxe with case coloring went out at $40,250.
Winchester cartridge boards definitely did better than the rifles. An Inverted V 1888 Cartridge Board was hotly competed for until it finally realized $37,375. A Deluxe Conrad Ulrich engraved exhibition quality Marlin Model 1893 with gold and platinum inlays went out just a little over low estimate at $57,500.
A number of quality antique percussion Colts were offered. The high price realized was for a cased Ehlers Baby Paterson that went out at $115,000. A Colt 1883 U.S. Navy Gatling gun on its original bronze tripod generated $175,000. A number of quality Colt SA included a minty engraved SAA by Cuno Helfricht that sold at $57,500. One truly spectacular work of art was the magnificent Royal Wheelock sporting rifle by Samuel Kluge in Landshut. The gun was made for either King Charles XI of Sweden or King Christian V of Denmark. The gun was at one time the property of the Rothschild family and sold for $115,000. It is believed to be one of the highest priced Wheelocks sold in many years.
Other areas that Julia’s has performed exceedingly well with for many years is with rare Civil War and Confederate items. A historic pair of fluted Armies of Lt. John Low, CSN, used on the CSS Alabama flew to $51,750 because of the Confederate association. The most exciting Confederate lot of the day, however, was a Krider LeMat Revolver SN 2 believed to be the personal firearms of Col. LeMat. It soared to $120,750. A spectacular Leech & Rigdon Confederate revolver captured at the Battle of Mobile Bay taken from the ironclad CSS Tennessee sold for $57,500.
A number of Bowie knives were offered. Included was an American Gravely & Wreaks Guardless Coffin Handle Bowie knife generated $40,250. A breech loading presentation firearm engraved by Gustav Young and formerly the personal property of William Marston sold for $40,250. An engraved early brass framed Warner revolving percussion rifle brought $46,000. One notable lot was a personal grouping of items formerly owned by Gen. George Custer, including his map of the Indian Territories, a camp chair, various images and a lock of his golden hair. The grouping had been consigned directly from Custer family members and brought $45,000.
“We were overall very pleased with the auction outcome," said Julia's President James D. Julia. "Prior to the sale, we had received reports from dealers and show participants alike who had been reporting lackluster sales. Our concerns were allayed once our auction started. The Sporting & Collectable sale overall performed well both days in all niches and on the third day, we started off with Class-3 which did exceedingly well. Lugers were soft, but have been for a while because of the overabundance on the marketplace. We then progressed to sporting arms which is an area where we normally generate superior results. Once again, very positive. Sporting rifles, quality high grade shotguns did very well overall. It was not until the final day when we sold the Winchesters and Colts that softness appeared. Up until recently, Winchesters have been consistently strong, however, with this sale Winchesters and Volcanics showed a softness. Unfortunately, there is an overabundance of quality Winchesters coming onto the marketplace. A few weeks prior to our auction, another auction took place that featured a large assortment of quality Winchesters. Our sale followed with a great offering and now in a few weeks another auction is coming up with a great number of quality Winchesters. In addition to all of this, there are two major collections expected to come to market in the future so this increased supply is not only generating some softness, but also an excellent buying opportunity for serious collectors. However, as I said, the auction was strong and continues to reflect the tremendous prowess of the auction process. Interactions from players throughout North America and all over the world continue to reflect the strong demand for quality firearms."
Julia’s next Firearms Auction is scheduled for Spring of 2017 and will again include a collection of arms. For more information visit www.jamesdjulia.com.
Extraordinary factory engraved Winchester Deluxe 2nd Model 1876 engraved by John Ulrich. Presale estimate $50,000-90,000. Final result $40,250. Winchesters, like antique Colts, have softened up greatly. Unfortunately, just prior to the Julia auction there was a large offering of quality Winchesters. Julia’s sale featured a tremendous offering of quality Winchesters and another sale will be taking place in a few weeks with an equally large offering of quality Winchesters as well. In addition, there are two major collections expected to come to market in the near future. The oversupply on the marketplace unfortunately has softened the prices.