Part 2 of Colt Factory archives sells for $500,000

Part 2 of Colt Factory Archives Collection achieves $500,000 and 95% sell-through at Greg Martin Auctions.
Publish date:

IRVINE, CALIFORNIA, APRIL 14, 2009 – Bucking overall trends in a difficult economy, Greg Martin Auctions’ event on March 29 – 30 was very successful, achieving nearly $3 million in sales. Reflecting the location of its new Orange County headquarters in Southern California, the auction took place in Anaheim near Disneyland at the Doubletree Guest Suites Hotel, where future sales are expected to be held for the world’s premiere auction house of antique arms & armor. Bidding was strong throughout the event – not only on site but by phone, absentee bids and online, where over 500 Internet bidders participated real-time through Proxibid while hundreds more bid through Greg Martin Auctions’ new Web site that was launched for this auction.

Over 1,450 items went under the hammer during Greg Martin Auctions’ two-day event, including collectible arms, sporting guns, martial arms and militaria. 

Two important collections were showcased in the sale. The custom folding knives from the estate of John Woods featured 47 items and attracted strong interest. A major highlight was Part 2 of the Colt Factory Archives Collection. Continuing the exceptional degree of interest among collectors first shown for Part 1 in January 2009, the 350 lots from Part 2 realized over $500,000 in sales and 95% sell-through. 

Part 3 of the Colt Factory Archives Collection – the last and final grouping of the historic assemblage of over 1,200 total items recognized for their rarity, condition and diversity – goes up for sale in June 2009.

According to Greg Martin, principal of the firm bearing his name, the auction was robust on many fronts – reaffirming strength in this segment of the market. “The venue worked well, bidding was strong, and prices achieved were good,” said Martin. “Despite recessionary declines in the rest of the art market, arms & armor is unaffected, and continues to attract a broad and enthusiastic audience. Diverse product, good quality and rare items bring out interested collectors and serious buyers who realize these are exceptional opportunities to acquire unique items and don’t want to miss them.” 

Highlights of the March 29 – 30 auction include:

Lot 44 – $48,875: Rare and Fine Deluxe Engraved, Stocked and Cased Smith’s Patent Breechloading Carbine, by Massachusetts Arms Co., with Low Serial No. 5. This lot exceeded its estimate of $30,000 - $40,000. (See photo left)

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Lot 310 – $47,150: Rare 28 Gauge Parker DHE Double Barrel Shotgun . This lot also exceeded its estimate, for $30,000 - $40,000.

Lot 143 – $25,300: Rare and Historic Henry Rifle of A.C. Holmes, Co. G, 10th West Virginia Infantry, Inscribed with Name on Buttstock, with Background on Owner

Lot 311 – $21,850: .450/400 Alexander Henry Boxlock Ejector Double Barrel Rifle with Ammunition

Lot 145 – $14,375: Arapahoe County Inscribed Winchester Model 1886 Lever Action Rifle

Lot 322 – $12,650: Exceptional Winchester Model 1892 Lever Action Saddle Ring Carbine Estimate: $8,000 - $10,000

Lot 1206 – $11,500: Rare and Historic WWII Luftwaffe General’s M-43 Fatigue Cap Attributed to Reich Marschal and Luftwaffe Field Marschal Hermann Goering. This lot well exceeded its estimate of $5,000 - $7,000.

Lot 119 – $8,625: Relief Engraved and Gold Mounted and Inlaid H.H. Frank Folding Knife, with Gold Inlaid Ivory Grip Panels, Dated 1990. This lot more than doubled its estimate of $3,000 - $4,000.  (See lots 117 – 121, right)

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Lot 584 – $7,475: Colt Experimental Python Revolver, in .22 Hornet Caliber, with Special 8-Inch Barrel, Hammer, and Factory Letter . This lot more than doubled its estimate of $2,000 - $3,000.

Lot 687 – $6,900: Rare Colt Experimental Prototype Double Action Revolver of the Python Model, with Factory Letter . This lot far dramatically exceeded its estimate of $600 - $850.

Lot 117 – $5,463: Italian Renaissance Relief Engraved Lake Folding Knife, with Horn Panel Inlays, Signed by Paul Lantuch, 1993. This lot well exceeded its estimate of $2,750 - $3,500. (See lots 117 – 121, above right)

Lot 606 – $2,588: Colt Detective Special bijan Special Issue Double Action Revolver, with Factory Letter. This lot exceeded its estimate of $1,200 - $1,500.

The March Sale featured two separate catalogs; both are still available for purchase. Complete catalogs and auction results are presented online at by individual lot, including full descriptions, estimates and photographs. 

Greg Martin Auctions’ next sale is scheduled for June 2009 in Anaheim, California.

(Note that, unless otherwise noted, all sales figures mentioned here reflect aggregate sales; that is, hammer price plus 15% buyer’s premium.)

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