Skip to main content

DENVER, Pa. – Antique and collectible firearms of superior quality and great historical importance await bidders at Morphy’s mid-May auction event, with two distinct sessions that, together, offer significant firearms and militaria from the 18th century through contemporary times. For the May 17 session, Morphy’s has prepared a 213-lot curated selection of early arms and militaria, followed on May 18 by a 405-lot offering of fine rifles, shotguns, 19th-century Colts and other handguns; military and NFA weapons; and much more.

Each and every auction item has been examined and cataloged by the appropriate specialist from Morphy’s respected team of firearms experts, whose catalog descriptions are second to none. All forms of bidding will be available, including live online through Morphy Live.

Categories featured on May 17 include antique flintlock, percussion and military rifles and pistols; six antique flintlock shotguns, nearly 40 swords – including pre-Revolutionary War through Civil War models – powder horns, medals, maps, flags, uniforms, field gear and historical ephemera.

Fine relief-carved flintlock Kentucky longrifle attributed to master gunsmith Leonard Reedy (Berks County, Pa., 1776-1837). Classic Reedy-style carving around the patchbox and barrel tang, and behind the cheekpiece. Pictured in ‘The Kentucky Rifle and Me’ by Edith Cooper.

Fine relief-carved flintlock Kentucky longrifle attributed to master gunsmith Leonard Reedy (Berks County, Pa., 1776-1837). Classic Reedy-style carving around the patchbox and barrel tang, and behind the cheekpiece. Pictured in ‘The Kentucky Rifle and Me’ by Edith Cooper.

An absolute treasure of early American gunsmithing, Lot 1168 is a fine relief-carved flintlock Kentucky rifle attributed to master gunsmith Leonard Reedy (1776-1837), who learned and practiced his trade in Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania. Described as being in “near workbench condition,” this Golden Age longarm displays figured tiger maple stock of classic Berks County form with a “Roman nose” buttstock and classic Reedy-style carving behind the cheekpiece and around the patchbox and barrel tang. “Its hand-forged lock was probably made by Reedy himself,” said Morphy Auctions Arms & Armor specialist David Geiger. The rifle is pictured in the reference The Kentucky Rifle and Me by Edith Cooper.

Extremely rare 17-star, 17-stripe U.S. flag with impeccable provenance from descendants of American naval hero Stephen Decatur Jr (1779-1820), who famously risked his life to avenge the death of his brother, Lt. James Decatur, following an 1804 U.S. attack on Barbary pirates’ ships in Tripoli harbor. Flag’s pattern, dating 1804-1812, coincides with period during with Stephen Decatur Jr was active in the US Navy.

Extremely rare 17-star, 17-stripe U.S. flag with impeccable provenance from descendants of American naval hero Stephen Decatur Jr (1779-1820), who famously risked his life to avenge the death of his brother, Lt. James Decatur, following an 1804 U.S. attack on Barbary pirates’ ships in Tripoli harbor. Flag’s pattern, dating 1804-1812, coincides with period during with Stephen Decatur Jr was active in the US Navy.

Morphy Auctions is honored to have been entrusted with an American Flag from a descendant of our nation’s first post-Revolutionary War naval hero, Stephen Decatur Jr (1779-1820). The extremely rare 17-star, 17-stripe flag has remained in the Decatur family for more than 200 years. Among his many acts of valor, Decatur risked his life to avenge the death of his brother, Lt. James Decatur, who died aboard the USS Constitution and was buried at sea after a battle with Barbary pirates in Tripoli Harbor. The flag’s pattern, dating 1804-1812, coincides with the period of Stephen Decatur Jr’s active US Navy service.

Important identified Revolutionary War New England fusil (musket) inscribed on metal tag ‘Made By DB For B. Bacon 1776,’ referring to Benjamin Bacon Sr. (1726-1807), who served throughout the war as a captain in the 21st Connecticut Militia and responded to the Lexington alarm. Manufacture attributed to Deacon Barrett.

Important identified Revolutionary War New England fusil (musket) inscribed on metal tag ‘Made By DB For B. Bacon 1776,’ referring to Benjamin Bacon Sr. (1726-1807), who served throughout the war as a captain in the 21st Connecticut Militia and responded to the Lexington alarm. Manufacture attributed to Deacon Barrett.

An identified Revolutionary War New England fusil (musket) is inscribed on its metal tag Made By DB For B. Bacon 1776, referring to Benjamin Bacon Sr. (1726-1807), who served as a captain in the 21st Connecticut Militia and responded to the Lexington alarm. Its manufacture is attributed to Massachusetts gunsmith Deacon Barrett. 

Sir William Pepperell branded 51st British Regiment Long Land-pattern Brown Bess musket, one of only a few marked to Pepperell, who was knighted for the capture of Louisburg in 1744. Complete with brass-tipped wooden ramrod. Sourced in Nova Scotia, Canada in the mid-1990s.

Sir William Pepperell branded 51st British Regiment Long Land-pattern Brown Bess musket, one of only a few marked to Pepperell, who was knighted for the capture of Louisburg in 1744. Complete with brass-tipped wooden ramrod. Sourced in Nova Scotia, Canada in the mid-1990s.

Museum-quality British arms and militaria from the American Revolutionary War and French & Indian War era are among the highlights of the May 17 session. A Long Land-pattern “Brown Bess” musket is one of only a few known examples marked to Sir William Pepperell, who was knighted for the capture of Louisburg in 1744 and later commanded the 51st British Regiment. “The gun was lost to history until the 1990s, when a Nova Scotia farmer traded it to a surveyor as partial payment for a land survey,” said Geiger. Remarkably, the rifle still retains its brass-tipped wooden ramrod.

Extremely rare silver gorget (throat cover) from British 5th Regiment, which fought at the Battles of Lexington and Concord. One of few known surviving examples created in the rare double-lobe pattern. Book example. Ex Tom Grinslade collection.

Extremely rare silver gorget (throat cover) from British 5th Regiment, which fought at the Battles of Lexington and Concord. One of few known surviving examples created in the rare double-lobe pattern. Book example. Ex Tom Grinslade collection.

Also noteworthy is an extremely rare silver gorget (throat protector) marked for the British 5th Regiment, which fought at the Battles of Lexington and Concord. One of few surviving examples in the rare double-lobe pattern, it is depicted in the Troiani/Kochan reference book Insignia of Independence. 

Rare and sought-after Colt “pinch frame” single-action Army Revolver, Serial Number 58, manufactured prior to July 1873 and one of nine in the first commercial shipment of Colt Single-Action Army Revolvers sent by Colt to Schuyler, Hartley & Graham on Sept. 2, 1873. Accompanied by 4-page letter handwritten in 2007 by Colt authority and author Ron Graham.

Rare and sought-after Colt “pinch frame” single-action Army Revolver, Serial Number 58, manufactured prior to July 1873 and one of nine in the first commercial shipment of Colt Single-Action Army Revolvers sent by Colt to Schuyler, Hartley & Graham on Sept. 2, 1873. Accompanied by 4-page letter handwritten in 2007 by Colt authority and author Ron Graham.

The May 18 session is sure to delight advanced collectors who seek firearms deserving of the description “extraordinary.” An ultra-desirable Colt “pinch frame” single-action Army Revolver bearing the serial number “58” was manufactured prior to July 1873 and is one of the elite nine that were included in the first commercial shipment of Colt Single-Action Army Revolvers sent to Schuyler, Hartley & Graham on Sept. 2, 1873. “First-run single-action revolvers manufactured by Colt have unique features found only on their type,” said Morphy Auctions firearms consultant Jeremy Hatch. “Serial Number 58 exhibits all of those features, being 100% authentic and original in all respects.” The legendary Colt will convey to its new owner with a 4-page letter written in 2007 by noted Colt authority Ron Graham. 

Set of four near-mint Colt single-action Army ‘Frontier Six Shooter’ .44-40-WCF Revolvers, all from same 1923 shipment of four. Known as ‘Family Reunion’ guns, referring to title of 1976 ‘Arms Gazette’ article co-authored by Ron Graham and Mel Guy. Accompanying documents include two Colt letters. Provenance: Mel Guy collection.

Set of four near-mint Colt single-action Army ‘Frontier Six Shooter’ .44-40-WCF Revolvers, all from same 1923 shipment of four. Known as ‘Family Reunion’ guns, referring to title of 1976 ‘Arms Gazette’ article co-authored by Ron Graham and Mel Guy. Accompanying documents include two Colt letters. Provenance: Mel Guy collection.

One of three known pre-war single-action Army Revolvers produced by Colt and the only one in private hands, the others residing in the National Armory Museum and the Colt Collection of the Connecticut State Library, respectively. Delivered by Colt in 1896. Accompanied by 48 pages of original letters and documents supporting exhaustive research conducted from 1984-1991.

One of three known pre-war single-action Army Revolvers produced by Colt and the only one in private hands, the others residing in the National Armory Museum and the Colt Collection of the Connecticut State Library, respectively. Delivered by Colt in 1896. Accompanied by 48 pages of original letters and documents supporting exhaustive research conducted from 1984-1991.

Some may recognize the famous set of four near-mint Colt single-action Army “Frontier Six Shooters” in this sale as the “Family Reunion” guns. The near-mint .44-40-WCF Revolvers, all from same 1923 shipment, were reunited after many years of diligent searching by fabled collector Mel Guy. In the early 1970s, Guy purchased two of the revolvers at the Sahara Antique Gun Show in Las Vegas. Later, he found a third gun of the same configuration and condition, which was subsequently confirmed to be the third member of the quartet. But it was not until years later that Guy was able to secure the fourth and final gun from the historical set. In 1976, an article in Arms Gazette, co-authored by Mel Guy and Ron Graham, was published with the title “A Family Reunion,” thus giving the guns their nickname. The lot of four revolvers comes with supportive documents, including two Colt letters.

Historic presentation drilling (three-barreled combination rifle/shotgun) manufactured by C Bartels & Buttner, with custom case, given to Theodore Roosevelt in 1905 by United Spanish War Veterans of Pueblo, Colorado, Camp 3. Returned by his widow, Edith, to the veterans camp for enshrinement in 1919 following Roosevelt’s death.

Historic presentation drilling (three-barreled combination rifle/shotgun) manufactured by C Bartels & Buttner, with custom case, given to Theodore Roosevelt in 1905 by United Spanish War Veterans of Pueblo, Colorado, Camp 3. Returned by his widow, Edith, to the veterans camp for enshrinement in 1919 following Roosevelt’s death.

There probably isn’t a firearms collector in America who doesn’t revere the legacy of President Theodore Roosevelt, an avid sportsman whose passion for the wilderness and conservation led to the establishment of our National Parks system. Morphy’s is privileged to offer the cased C Bartels & Buttner drilling (three-barreled combination rifle/shotgun) that was presented to Roosevelt in 1905 by the United Spanish War Veterans of Pueblo, Colorado, Camp 3. It is decorated with an elaborate presentation plaque and carvings of Roosevelt’s initials. Over the years, the veterans of Camp 3 – knowing of Roosevelt’s fondness for the drilling model – gifted him with a total of three such guns. After Roosevelt’s death in 1919, his widow, Edith, returned the drilling offered by Morphy’s to the veterans camp for enshrinement. With its original case, accessories and paperwork, the Theodore Roosevelt grouping, entered as Lot 275, will be offered at the May 18 session.

Exceptional Fabrique Nationale FM Mag 58 (FN 60-20) general-purpose machine gun, of a type that is extremely scarce in the NFA Registry. Requires BATF approval prior to transfer and available only to active FFL/SOT dealers as a pre-1986 dealer’s sample.

Exceptional Fabrique Nationale FM Mag 58 (FN 60-20) general-purpose machine gun, of a type that is extremely scarce in the NFA Registry. Requires BATF approval prior to transfer and available only to active FFL/SOT dealers as a pre-1986 dealer’s sample.

More than 100 NFA lots will be up for bid. The NFA (National Firearms Act) classification, which requires registration, applies to any fully automatic firearm falling under certain specifications set forth by the agency. Each of the lots is legally transferrable with prior approval from the BATF. A prime example is the exceptional Fabrique Nationale FM Mag 58 (FN 60-20) general-purpose machine gun. It would be familiar to American military enthusiasts as the M240B, which was selected to replace the M60 machine gun in December 1995. This type of gun is extremely scarce in the NFA Registry and is available only to active FFL/SOT dealers as a pre-1986 dealer’s sample.

Original Rheinmettal-manufactured German MG42/59 machine gun, one of only five known original examples. Received pre-1968 by an American firm developing an electric mounting apparatus. Near-mint condition. Ex J.R. Moody collection. Fully transferrable upon approval from BATF.

Original Rheinmettal-manufactured German MG42/59 machine gun, one of only five known original examples. Received pre-1968 by an American firm developing an electric mounting apparatus. Near-mint condition. Ex J.R. Moody collection. Fully transferrable upon approval from BATF.

An original 1964 Rheinmettal-manufactured German MG42/59 machine gun, one of only five known original examples, was received prior to 1968 by an American firm which was developing an electric mounting apparatus. In near-mint condition with a Rheinmettal logo, its provenance includes the NFA firearms collection of JR Moody. 

Morphys Logo

Morphy’s May 17, 2022 Early Arms & Militaria Auction and May 18, 2022 Extraordinary Firearms Auction will be held at the company’s Denver, Pennsylvania gallery, starting on both days at 9 a.m. EDT. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through Morphy Live. Questions: call 877-968-8880 or email info@morphyauctions.com. Online: www.morphyauctions.com.

Military Page Divider

*As an Amazon Associate, Military Trader / Military Vehicles earns from qualifying purchases.

Frontline Feature

KRAMER-AUCTION-SERVICE-300x170logo

Kramer Auction Service

Our knowledge in firearms, advertising, auctions, and technology are why we are Wisconsin’s premier firearms auction center. If you’re looking to buy or sell guns, military items, and others, Kramer Auction Service will help you every step of the way.