CINCINNATI – Iconic actors from Old Hollywood will be spotlighted through an impressive selection of arms this spring at Cowan’s Auctions. Premiere firearms from revered names including John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Gene Autry and Gary Cooper will anchor Cowan’s Wednesday, May 3 biannual live auction. This sale will present a strong display of the arms of choice of legendary actors, and the weapons that shaped the culture of the Old West and the films they appeared in. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Winchester 1892 Large Loop Saddle Ring Carbine Movie Gun from John Wayne’s Production Company, BATJAC
The centerpiece of this celebrity collection of guns will be a Winchester 1892 large loop saddle ring carbine movie gun from John Wayne’s production company, BATJAC. It carries an estimate of $20,000-$25,000. The so-called “Large Loop” modification was one specifically requested by Wayne as it allowed him to do his trademark rifle twirl that operated the action, chambering a round and cocking the hammer with the same amount of dazzle as a gunslinger spinning his Colt revolvers.
As property of John Wayne’s production company BATJAC, this Winchester 1892 appeared in the classic Hollywood westerns Hondo, McLintock, Big Jake, and The War Wagon, as well as many others. This gun was previously displayed in the National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia and was on loan to the Cody Firearms Museum in Cody, Wyoming. Adding to the value of what is already an outstanding piece of Hollywood movie memorabilia is that it is stamped with the production company name.
Colt Single Action Army Revolver Used by Kirk Douglas in The War Wagon
Known as “the Peacemaker,” the Colt single action army revolver was the weapon of choice for many of the gunslingers in the real American West as well as during Hollywood’s Golden Era of Westerns and remains one of the most collectable items on the market.
This model was used by Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas in BATJAC’s western The War Wagon and is featured on the movie poster. Its estimate is $10,000-$15,000.
Gene Autry’s Winchester Model 1892 Saddle Ring Carbine
The Winchester 1892 saddle ring carbine is another iconic model that has appeared in a range of famous Western films. Although introduced by Winchester during the waning days of the Old West period, the slick action and great reliability of these rifles made them popular with actors and armorers on movie sets.
Among the most renowned of the early Western stars of Hollywood was Gene Autry. Often called the “Singing Cowboy,” Autry was known for distinctive singing voice. The Winchester 1892 in the May 3 sale, which is estimated at $5,000-$8,000, was given by Autry to Joe Greer, a professional rodeo rider, in 1930. Autry appeared at Greer’s rodeo shows and presented the Winchester in appreciation for Greer’s help during the years. A picture of Autry and Greer together is included in the lot as well as a leather scabbard for the carbine, dated 1918.
Gary Cooper’s Charles Daly Auguste Francotte 20 Gauge Over & Under Shotgun
Another legend of the silver screen who will be represented in the auction is Academy Award-winning American actor Gary Cooper. Cooper was a passionate collector of firearms and purchased the Francotte in March 1940 from Kerr’s Sport Shop in Beverly Hills, California.
A letter from Kerr’s accompanies Cooper’s shotgun, stating the date of purchase as well as the delivery of the gun in March of 1962 from the estate of Gary Cooper from Mrs. Gary Cooper. The Francotte has an estimate of $12,000-$15,000.
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