WILLOUGHBY, Ohio – On June 24 Milestone Auctions of Willoughby (suburban Cleveland), Ohio, will present its much-anticipated Premier Firearms & Militaria Auction, highlighted by an outstanding 40-year collection of guns, tomahawks and accoutrements of the Revolutionary War era. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Over 800 lots will be offered at the Saturday event, with a timeline that tracks 200 years of American military history, from the War of Independence through Vietnam. The auction lineup is packed with rarities, starting with the aforementioned American Revolutionary collection, which contains museum-quality muskets, flintlock pistols, plug bayonets, powder horns, swords, knives, halberds, axes, tomahawks, Indian relics and more.
“It is a very important collection from a northeast Pennsylvania man whose name is known to those in the hobby. His collection has been published in several books, and we’re very honored that we were chosen to handle its sale,” said Milestone Auctions co-owner Chris Sammet. “The provenance is excellent – there are even some items in the collection that come with photos of people at dig sites finding the pieces.”
A bidding battle is expected over Lot 256, an 18th-century Wilson “City of New York” .69 caliber musket marked “1st Regiment Southampton London” on its barrel. The gun (below) has an early repair to the buttstock, which is explained in the accompanying documentation from General Sullivan from around the time of the Wyoming, Pa., campaign. The report explains that the musket had incurred bullet damage from the accidental discharge of a weapon. Possibly the finest known example of its type, the gun is estimated at $15,000-$25,000.
Another coveted musket from the collection is Lot 255, a 1746 Jordan 1st Model brown Bess (below) marked “X Regt” on the top of its barrel. An elusive, early example, it is estimated at $10,000-$15,000.
More than 70 tomahawks will be available. “I don’t believe that many have ever been offered at one time to the hobby. It’s an extraordinary collection.” Just one of the many early prizes from the grouping is Lot 205A, a pipe tomahawk (top) made in the 18th century from a gun barrel. It is similar to an example depicted on Page 129 in Lar Hothem’s Indian Trade Relics. Its auction estimate is $1,000-$1,500. Lot 273, a scarce 18th-century spiked tomahawk that would have served as a crude weapon of war, has a particularly long spike and is estimated at $400-$600.
The Civil War continues to fascinate successive generations of collectors, so for their June 24 auction Milestone has included a number of desirable choices. Lot 283A, a classic Confederate CS Star short sword is entered with a $2,000-$2,500 estimate; while Lot 286, an 1847 Grimsley mounted rifleman saddle, of a type used by both sides in the Civil War, is expected to attract a winning bid of $1,000-$2,000.
Japanese militaria from several long-held collections figures prominently in the sale. The Japanese selection ranges from the 13th century through World War II and includes flags, swords, tsubas (ornate samurai sword guards), uniforms, cantos, nimbus and arisakas. Lot 359P, a rare circa 1667-1673 Japanese tanto knife made by Satsuyoshi Motohira – maker of swords and tantos for the elite of Satsuma – comes with wood presentation box and is estimated at $3,000-$4,000.
Additionally, there are more than 25 katana swords, an unusually large number to see in the marketplace at any one time. Lot 359Q is a treasured katana from the ancestors of the Yagami family. It was made circa 1330 by Rai Kunitsugu of the Yamashiro school. A shozen (priest) has vertified that it is a shrine sword of Koyasan. Measuring 31½ inches overall, it is estimated at $8,000-$12,000.
Over 125 lots of German military items will cross the auction block, including 18th-century flintlock pistols, many Nazi guns, pistols, helmets, flags, daggers, medals, Luftwaffe paraphernalia and uniforms. Lot 161 is a superior example of a WWII M36 Infantry officer’s tunic and breeches. The attached medals and insignia are all original, including lieutenant colonel of the 61st Infantry shoulder boards, an officer’s hand-embroidered bullion eagles, and a three-piece Iron Cross. Estimate: $2,000-$2,500.
Lot 134, a scarce Luftwaffe paratrooper helmet known as the M38 Mediterranean camouflage Falshimager type, could reach $6,000-$10,000.
Milestone’s June 24, 2017 auction will start at 10 a.m. Eastern time. For additional information call 440-527-8060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.