GENESEO, N.Y. – Cottone Auctions’s May 7-8 auction, which contained more than 650 lots, brought in $1.3 million. A fresh to the market American Revolutionary-era tiger maple rifle attracted competitive bidding and soared past its highest estimate, stealing the spotlight on the first day of the sale.
The early transitional Jaeger rifle had a 33in barrel and lock plate signed ‘I.I. BEHR’. The inscription on the patch box indicated that it was purportedly recovered during the Battle of Monmouth on June 28, 1778, which George Washington famously commanded against the British Army. The Continental Army riflemen often carried rifles such as this one when going head-to-head against the British light infantry.
The rifle, which had been in the collection of a New York State Museum since around the turn of the century, was deaccessioned to benefit their collections fund. The rifle attracted furious competition from bidders across the county, who pushed it well into the six figures. It ultimately came down to two potential buyers bidding by phone.
Other standouts form the selection of Americana, Native American, and military items offered on in the May 7 session included the map powder horn of Colonel Timothy Bedel, made in 1775, which reached $22,200; a Native American Central Plains batwing pipe tomahawk dating to circa 1840-70, which sold for $12,600; an American confederate flag that was presented to the R.H.S by the family of Rochester Naval Officer who served under Admiral Farragut during the War of 1861-1865, which sold for $16,200.
Other highlights from the first session include an 18th century Venetian painting of cherubs originating from a Utica, New York estate, which reached $13,800, as well as a group of cuneiform tablets and votive cones from the collection of Edgar J. Banks, which sold for $22,800.
The May 8 session opened with an impressive selection of clocks, as well as American clocks from the collection of John Taylor, Derbyshire, United Kingdom. Among the many fine clocks was a John Ellicott Precision Regulator with an engraved silver dial that sold for $25,800; as well as a French industrial steam engine clock attributed to Guilmet, circa 1890, that brought $28,800. Another standout item was the Regina changer upright music box from a West coast collection, which sold for $11,100.
The second day of the sale concluded with an impressive selection of antique toys and train collections from Rochester and Buffalo, New York and the midwest as well as items from local institutions. It featured more than 220 lots, many by notable makers including Buddy L, Lionel, American Flyer, Ives, Arcade, Bing, and Lehmann. A favorite among the antique trucks was a Buddy L. International Harvester which reached $16,800. A Buddy L coal dump truck was another highlight, bringing $8,400. Two of the standout trains in the second session were a vintage Buddy L. outside train that sold for $2,640, and a General Trains & Company No. 123 U.S. Mail Union that brought $3,000.
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