The Saturday auction session, which was available to online bidders through LiveAuctioneers, contained 1,038 lots. As the hammer fell on the final item offered, the sale’s total was confirmed at $744,000. All prices quoted in this report include a 20% buyer’s premium.
“We had every expectation that there would be a great response. There were some very desirable Colts in the sale, especially the 1857 Colt Walker Type 3 Dragoons, which sold within estimate for $54,000,” said Dan Morphy, president and founder of Morphy Auctions. “The guns were special because they had consecutive serial numbers and were purchased in the same order directly from Colt. It’s very unusual to encounter guns of that type that were bought together and remained that way over such a long period of time.” The original owner was a Pennsylvania man named Lambert Wolfe, who went on to serve in the Union Army during the Civil War.
Another Colt lot consisted of two .357 caliber “Snake Eyes” pistols that were new and unfired. One of the guns was stainless, while the other was blued. Both retained their original boxes and were in near-mint condition. They sold for $13,200, around the midpoint of their estimate.
Many rifles were offered in the sale, including a Winchester Model 1886 .50 Express. Manufactured in 1906, it swept past its $1,500-$3,000 estimate to settle at $11,400. Another Winchester production, a Model 1886 Takedown .45-.90 caliber rifle, more than tripled its high estimate in realizing $7,800. A rare Smith & Wesson 320 Revolving Rifle manufactured in 1871 also had a good day at auction, ringing the register at $7,200 against a $3,500-$4,500 estimate.
Among the shotguns, the top-finishing lot was a Beretta Model S687EELL 16 gauge designed for pigeon shooting. Together with an extra barrel and its box, case and accessories, the gun reached $4,800 against an estimate of $2,000-$3,000. Finishing closely behind the Beretta was a Winchester Model 42 .410 gauge shotgun, which nearly tripled its high estimate at $4,500.
The top pistol in the sale was a Colt Model 1902 .38 caliber Standard Military Automatic in fine condition. Together with its original box, it was bid to $5,100, surpassing its high estimate by 60 percent. Another Colt, a .22 caliber revolver made in 1931 and known as a “Banker’s Special,” was offered together with a Colt factory letter and sold for $4,200.
“The Firearms department is growing very rapidly, and there’s a logical reason for that,” said Morphy. “Some of the finest antique and vintage guns in today’s marketplace are sourced right here in south-central Pennsylvania. On top of that, many of the leading collectors live in this region and know they can trust our operation. Especially now that Dave Bushing – a nationally renowned expert on firearms – has joined our team, we’re well positioned to serve both gun consignors and buyers. I see tremendous growth ahead for us in this category.”
Morphy Auctions’ next Firearms auction is slated for December 20, 2014. Consignments will be accepted until October 13th. To contact Morphy’s about consigning a firearm, call Dave Bushing at 630-235-3345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact the gallery, call 717-335-3435.
View the fully illustrated catalog from Morphy’s July 19 sale, complete with prices realized, at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
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ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE