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More Doc Murphy Colt collection goes to auction

The second phase of the auctioning of Doc Murphy’s famed collection of Colts will be held Oct. 6 and 7.
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September 9, 2009

Phase 2 of the auctioning of Doc Murphy’s famed collection of Colts will be held October 6 and 7. The auction firm of James D. Julia of Fairfield, Maine will be offering what they describe as a sale “to dwarf all of the spectacular events we’ve conducted to date.”

In addition to the Murphy Colts, included in the two day auction event is the Herbert G. Wellington collection of Winchester rifles, Carl Metz collection of Springfields, collections or portions of collections from four American Society of Arms Collectors, including Ted Knee, Peter Wainwright, Doc Murphy and the renowned Confederate Collection of Fred Edmunds. Other Civil War items includes the important Confederate Sword Collection of the late William H. Osborn II.

A news release from the Julia company said of the auction, “The diversity is tremendous, the quality and rarity is incredible, and the opportunities extraordinary. Finest offering of high-grade sporting arms our company has ever presented and unquestionably the finest presented anywhere in the world in recent years."

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This rare, historic Russian AK47 automatic weapon, captured
during the famous Vietnam “Tet Offensive” comes with
documentation and carries a pre-sale estimate of $20,000 to $30,000

Session 1 will on Oct. 6 will begin with a formidable offering of rare and desirable Class III items. Most notable is a rare, historic Russian AK47 automatic weapon, captured during the famous Vietnam “Tet Offensive”. During the Tet Offensive, the North Vietnamese focused their attack on a number of strategic locations in South Vietnam all at the same time. One was the U.S. Embassy. The attacking group managed to breech the wall and did some damage to the Embassy, but U.S. Marines managed to repulse the attack and kill nearly all of the insurgents. This AK47 was taken from the body of one of the attackers at the Embassy walls, and is accompanied by various documents affirming its history. The gun carries what is considered an extremely conservative estimate of $30,000 to $50,000 but because of its historic significance could far exceed that. Teshis sale also includes a number of other Class III items, including an early M60 machine gun by the Rock Island Armory. This gun (fully transferrable) in cal. 308, carri a pre-sale estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.

A number of rare Springfield’s will be offered including one from the collection of the late Carl Metz which is an extremely rare Springfield Model 1903 bolt action military rifle with ramrod bayonet carrying a pre-sale estimate of $15,000 to $30,000. Also included is an extraordinarily rare factory engraved Colt Model 1902 Sporting semi-automatic pistol. This is the only one known to exist and because of its rarity and excellent condition carries a pre-sale estimate of $80,000 to $125,000. Numerous other military handguns are being offered, including a Hino-Komuro blow-forward semi-auto pistol. This exceedingly rare Japanese semi-automatic pistol, one of a very limited production, carries a pre-sale estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.

Immediately following the military offering in Session 1 will be a collection of high-art quality shotguns and double rifles. The offering consists of over 300 examples with an approximate pre-sale estimate of $5-6 Million. The offering includes rarities in both American made shotguns as well as European made shotguns. The most valuable lot is a genuine true pair of Parker A-1 specials with case. This is the only known pair of consecutively numbered 20 ga. guns ever made. This offering, from a single-owner private collection, carries a pre-sale estimate of $350,000 to $450,000. Many other high-grade Parkers will also be offered.

Most notable of offerings on Day 2, Oct. 7, more of the Murphy collection will be featured. Included is an extraordinary rare, double cased pair of engraved presentation Colt Model 1861 Navy revolvers. These are the finest 1861’s known to exist and were presented to Major General James B. McPherson Civil War hero and at one time, head of the Army of Tennessee. McPherson, a heroic officer killed in the line of duty, was presented these extraordinary Samuel Colt guns by his friends sometime during his war years. This coveted pair of revolvers carries a pre-sale estimate of $875,000 to $1,100,000.00.

As significant as the Murphy collection is, the auction also includes other rare and important Colts from various collectors. Notable is the important Kornbrath engraved, gold inlaid Colt single Action Army revolver. Only 16 gold inlaid Colt single action revolvers have been known to be originally made, and during that time, there was a set of triplets made in consecutive serial numbers with the exact same engraving and gold inlay. This set of triplets, was presented to the president of Argentina Marcelo T. Alvear. Offered in this sale, will be one of those three triplets. The gun offered will be sold to the highest bidder and the winning bidder will have the right to purchase one or both of the remaining triplets by private treaty from the consignor. This single example being sold at this auction carries a conservative pre-sale estimate of $175,000 to $225,000. A similar gun, known as the Sears gun, was sold in the Spring Session from the Murphy collection and brought over $700,000.

The auction has two stellar offerings of Civil War and Confederate items. The renowned sword collection of the late Bill Osborn features a number of outstanding rarities. A Leech & Rigdon Cavalry officer’s saber, at one time belonging to Colonel Harvey Walker, a gallant and loyal Tennessean, carries a pre-sale estimate of $65,000 to $90,000. Also offered is the historic Confederate staff and field officers sword of Edward Payne, 59 Alabama CSA is also estimated at $65,000 to $90,000.

A very rare and attractive confederate (Fort Hilt) staff and field officers sword is estimated at $45,000 to $65,000.

The collection of renowned collector Fred Edmunds (ASAC, member) includes a portion of his rare Confederate swords, but also some spectacular Confederate revolvers. Included is a Dance Brothers confederate revolver, cal. 44 conversion. This extremely rare example, in outstanding condition, carries a pre-sale estimate $50,000 to $60,000. Also, a Griswold revolver cal. 37, amongst the rarest of rare, assembled of parts and finishes by ex-Griswold factory workers after the factory was burned by the Union Cavalry. It carries a pre-sale estimate $30,000 to $50,000. A very historic and beautiful Confederate flag captured from the famous John Hunt Morgan will also be offered. General F.G. Burbridge (known as the Butcher of Kentucky) who captured the flag was successful in driving Morgan from Kentucky and was brevetted, and for his successes received a Major General’s commission. The flag is estimated at $40,000 to $60,000. His Major General’s commission, signed by Abraham Lincoln, is also included and is in outstanding condition and is estimated at $8,000 to $12,000.

Preview for the Julia auction will run all day Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday and from 8:00 to 10:00 am Tuesday and Wednesday mornings prior to the sale.

More information on the Julia auction can be obtained by going to their website at or calling 207-453-7125, or contacting them at 203 Skowhegan Road, Fairfield, ME 04937. Full-color brochures are available free of charge. Detailed and illustrated catalogs are available for a fee: Session 1 and Session 2 catalogs are $39 each or can be purchase together for $75.

In addition to the Julia auction, which will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, his sister’s company (The Poulin Auction Company) will conduct an auction Saturday, Sunday and Monday October 3, 4 & 5th. Their auction will include much of the Carl Metz collection of Springfield rifles, a good portion of the Ted Knee collection of Florida, together with numerous other arms from early flint and cartridge examples all the way up to modern day examples. Over 1,500 items are listed. For more information, contact the Poulin Auction Company at 207-453-2114.

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