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RIAC April auctions spans 16-century armor to WWII 'Tommy' guns

Lot 1069

Lot 1069, Rare Belt Model No.3 Paterson Revolver

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – Rock Island Auction Company’s April 19-21 Premiere Firearms Auction will feature the arms and armor collection of William Ashby, which demonstrates centuries of the uses of armor and arms in ceremonies, in tournaments and on the battlefield.

The grouping is comprised of matchlocks, snaphaunces, wheelocks, swords, daggers, halberds, helmets and shields. The most anticipated lot from the grouping is Lot 1226, an impressive, fully Armored Life Sized Horse with Mounted Rider. Other suits of note are Lot 3322, an intricate Harness of Armor in the Style of Filippo Negroli's Masks Garnitur, as well as Lot 3330, a Composite Late 16th Century 3/4 Harness of Armor.

From armor to arms the grouping also features Lot 1245, a beautiful European Wheelock Sporting Gun with extensive Bone and Pearl Inlays along with two magnificent Tschinke Rifles, Lots 1227 and 3318. The early European items are just the beginning as this sale features magnificent arms, armor and edged weapons from Japan, which include three of the finest Katana’s RIAC has ever cataloged, Lots 1389, 1400 and 3450.

The Ashby Collection features several European Arms of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Of particular importance is Lot 1182, a Cased Pair of French Engraved Gold Inlaid Underhammer Percussion Pistols by Gosset. Also of note is Lot 3316, a Pair of Cased Exhibition Quality French Prelat Gold Inlaid Percussion Target Pistols. While not European, Lot 1157, the Cook Signed Factory Exhibition Grade Relief Engraved Gold Inlaid Robbins & Lawrence Pepperbox Pistol with Ivory Grips, which was more than likely commissioned for the Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1851, is exceptional.

There are nearly 600 Colts in this sale including the very first firearms endeavor, the Paterson, featuring a Rare Belt Model No.3 Paterson Revolver, Lot 1069. Colt's next development, the Colt Model 1847 Walker Revolver, Lot 3069, is the pinnacle for both U.S. Military arms collectors as well as Colt firearms collectors.

Other Colt percussion firearms in the sale include an issued pair of Martially Inspected 2nd model Colt Dragoon revolvers extant, Lot 1091, and a Martially Inspected 1851 Navy revolver, Lot 1092.

As for the most iconic Colt pistol of all time, the Colt Model 1873 Single Action Army (aka “the Peacemaker”), the sale is headlined by the “big three” – Lot 1412, the Glahn Factory Engraved and Gold Inlaid Pre-War Colt Single Action Army Revolver with Steer Head Ivory Grips, Holster, and Factory Letter once belonging to M. Bertrand "Frisco Bert" Couch, a noted Texas immigration officer and colorful Western personality; Lot 1430, a historic and documented Factory Deluxe Engraved and Inscribed Colt Bisley Model Revolver with magnificent Carved Eagle Pearl Grips, Factory Letter and Tucson Arizona Marked Holster.

Lot 1100,

Lot 1100, U.S. Inspected Henry Rifle

This sale also has a good number of quality Winchesters. Five lots of henry rifles include an iron frame (Lot 3107), an identified Civil War engraved rifle (Lot 3087) and the finest conditioned U.S. Inspected Henry Rifle offered at public auction (Lot 1100). Collectors will also see the award-winning Winchester Model 1894 display collection of Gary Cote.

Rare 20th-century military arms are available, too. Included in this group is a World War II M1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle (Lot 506); an encyclopedic collection of 1903 Rifles such as two 1903 Rod Bayonets and sniper rifles, one being Lot 1857; and an extraordinary Documented Experimental Springfield Model 1903 Sniper Rifle with Winchester A5 Scope. Of note is the historic collection of renowned German military arms, in particular P-38’s from the Chuck and Sharon Lindley Collection.

For more information on any of the above items, or to learn more about the other 2700+ items in this sale, visit or call 800-238-8022.

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