WILLOUGHBY, Ohio – Antique and vintage firearms collectors converged at Milestone Auctions’ suburban Cleveland gallery over the weekend of June 10-11 to bid on 1,421 lots of outstanding military, civilian and sporting arms. The summer edition of the company’s popular Premier Collectible Firearms series, which also benefited from absentee and Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers, closed the books at a hefty $1.8 million, with many surprises along the way. All prices quoted in this report include the buyer’s premium.
Top lot: Made circa 1861 by Parker Field & Sons, London, .577-caliber Pattern 1853 Enfield caliber rifle was among the first 10,000 delivered to the Confederacy as part of specially commissioned order
The top lot (shown at top of page) was a British import, a circa-1861 Parker Field & Sons .577 caliber Pattern 1853 Enfield rifle manufactured under commission to the Confederacy. The number shown on both the butt plate and loading rod confirms it was among the first 10,000 rifles the London gunsmiths shipped across the Atlantic to the buyer. “The Pattern 1853 Enfield is an iconic Southern rifle that was used throughout the War Between the States. Over 70,000 of them were purchased by the Confederacy and many more by Southern state militias and regiments,” said Miles King, co-founder of Milestone Auctions. “Collectors loved the fact that our example was an early, high-condition gun and fresh to the market. It had never appeared at auction before.” Against an estimate of $4,000-$5,000, it sold for $15,600.
The lineup of exceptional 19th-century arms continued with a rare pistol-grip Winchester 1894 SRC (sight-ready carbine) in .25-.35 caliber. Its design featured a rarely encountered 2/4 magazine plus a Winchester cap and gutta percha butt plate. “It was the first of its style ever seen by our firearms specialists,” King noted. It sold above high estimate for $7,500.
Manufactured in 1877 for issue to the U.S. Cavalry, a Colt Artillery single-action Army Revolver had been modified from a 7½-inch to a 5½-inch barrel at the US Arsenal. It was inspected by Renaldo A. Carr, according to its RAC marking. A Colt factory letter documented its 1877 shipment to a US Government inspector. The revolver sold above its high estimate for $12,600.
A distinctive Remington.32-.35-caliber Schuetzen rifle, of a type made by the revered American arms manufacturer’s Custom Shop between 1880 and the first decade of the 20th century, was specifically intended to compete against other top-of-the-line target rifles. The Schuetzen rifle auctioned by Milestone was masterfully engraved on its frame with American bank-note scrollwork and the words REMINGTON SCHUETZEN on its right side. Its full octagon barrel was etched and gold-filled, displaying the name Remington. Selling well above high estimate, it rose to $7,500.
One of the most previewed contemporary lots was an SKB 885 Custom 410/28 shotgun set manufactured circa 2000s with superb gold inlaid game-scene side plates by the renowned master engraver Angelo Bee. Signed with his trademark bumblebee and name ABEE, the coveted set surpassed its high estimate, landing at $9,000.
There was strong interest in holsters of the American Old West era. A high-condition matching holster and belt marked for C.E. Coggshall (Miles City, Montana) bore a logo indicating it period of manufacture as being 1895-96. It sold for $9,000 against an estimate of $4,500-$7,500. Another highlight was an 1870s Laramie holster/belt made by Lohlein & Sigwart, one of the earliest makers to set up shop in the Wyoming Territory. Constructed of premium saddle leather with a tooled border, it was described in Milestone’s catalog as being one of the nicest and rarest of any known 1870s Wyoming Territory pieces. Against an estimate of $5,500-$8,500, it closed at $12,000.
Bidding was hot and heavy for a selection of antique advertising related to firearms, ammunition and other products. A rare and colorfully pictorial circa-1909 Winchester pyramid-form hanging sign advertising cartridges and shot shells, adorned with vignette images of various type of game in their natural surroundings sold within estimate for $6,300.
Even small die-cut countertop advertisements intended to attract customers at the point of purchase sold for remarkable prices. An 11- by 11½-inch easel-back ad for Winchester Revolver and Pistol Cartridges was bid to $7,200, more than twice its high estimate. Slightly larger at 12 5/8 by 13½ inches, a circa 1906-1915 advert for Winchester .22-Caliber Rifles and Cartridges in near-mint condition knocked down $6,900 against an estimate of $2,500-$3,500.
To discuss consigning an antique, vintage or collectible firearm or collection to a future Milestone Auctions sale, call Miles King at 440-527-8060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All enquiries are kept strictly confidential. Visit Milestone online at www.milestoneauctions.com.
Click to view top auction results on LiveAuctioneers: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/