WILLOUGHBY, Ohio – Gun collectors who place particular importance on condition are already setting their sights on the 739 lots chosen for Milestone’s June 27 Premier Antiques & Modern Firearms Auction. Milestone co-owner Miles King describes the auction inventory as “one of our best selections to date of rare and high-condition military and sporting firearms…an excellent accumulation of prized pieces from approximately two dozen private consignors.” Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Featured: Two guns factory-engraved by William Gough, including Colt 1911 .45 ACP-caliber gold-inlaid pistol estimated at $25,000-$35,000
To be able to offer bidders even one gun engraved by the renowned William H. Gough, Colt’s master engraver active from 1912 to 1940, would be quite a coup. Milestone takes pleasure in offering two such guns in its June 27 sale. The first is a gold-inlaid Colt 1911 .45 ACP-caliber gun (shown at top of page) that was shipped in 1931 to Scruggs, Vendervoort & Barney, St. Louis. The gun is factory blue and does not appear to have been fired. There is virtually no visible high-edge wear, slide wear or spotting. “Engraving on a 1911 is scarce, but to find an example in gold? It’s next to impossible,” noted Milestone’s firearms expert Dave Bushing. The auction estimate is $25,000-$35,000.
The second gun engraved by Gough is a 1930 Colt .38 Special Official Police Revolver. Colt has verified that the gun was engraved per a work order and is currently searching through files for the purchaser’s original letter. A solid, as new, almost 100% original-finish gun with Class B scroll engraving, it is estimated at $10,000-$15,000.
A rare .44-.40-caliber Colt Lightning SRC made in 1891 gained its name because it had “no trigger disconnect and could fire as fast as lightning,” Bushing said. “It was the first mass-produced slide-action (pump-action) rifle and was twice as fast as any lever-action rifle, which was the norm at the time. There weren’t any semiautomatics.” The gun originally shipped to Schoverling, Daly & Gales in New York and was extensively engraved by the shop of Cuno Helfricht, who also did engraving work for the Colt factory. Estimate $8,000-$12,000
A witness to the westward expansion following the Civil War, a rare 4-inch .31-caliber Wells Fargo Colt percussion revolver was made in 1857 and is not often seen in the marketplace. With all matching numbers, it has strong rifling and an engraved stagecoach scene on its cylinder. Together with a holster, it is expected to make $3,000-$4,500.
Easily identified by its long 8-inch barrel, adjustable long-range rear sight (to 800 meters) and cut for shoulder stock, a 9mm Artillery Luger is from the 1914 series, which was made until 1918. With excellent grips and 90% of its original blue, this sharp Artillery model could land in the $3,500-$4,500 range on auction day.
Another stellar gun from the World War I era is a 1911 .45 ACP caliber US Marine Corps pistol with all correct parts. It is one of 2,400 guns of its type that were shipped to the Corps in 1917 after America’s entry into the war. It comes with a 1912-style USMC holster and a copy of the 1919 book “With The Help Of God And A Few Marines” by Brigadier General A.W. Catlin. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000
Many outstanding mid-20th-century guns will be offered, including an incredible mint/boxed Winchester Model 61 .22-magnum-caliber rifle made in 1959. “This rifle appears never to have been assembled,” Bushing observed. “It has a full factory-blue finish, sporting sights, and matching serial numbers on the gun and box label, but if its fantastic condition were not enough, this rare and desirable rifle is also chambered for the .22 magnum rimfire round.” The rifle comes to auction with a $6,500-$7,500 estimate.
Made in 1966, a high-quality Heckler & Koch HK41 semiautomatic 7.62-caliber NATO civilian rifle in the sale is one of fewer than 1,300 made. Of those, only about 400 were imported to the United States by Golden State Arms Corporation of Pasadena, California. “The HK41 was intended to be a legal-to-own semiautomatic rifle for use by West German military reservists of the Bundeswehr [unified armed forces of Germany], hence its German designation as a paramilitary rifle,” Bushing said. The extremely rare, very high-quality rifle carries an $8,000-$10,000 estimate.
The Antique Firearms section of the sale is led by a historically important 1750-1770 American Revolutionary War Dutch flintlock musket, 69 bore with a 40¾-inch barrel. Several thousand arms of this type were shipped to Massachusetts with the help of Benjamin Franklin, who was the colonies’ agent in London at the time. It comes with a period leather and tin cartridge box with waist belt and is estimated at $5,500-$7,500.
An exceptional example of mid-19th-century gunsmithing from one of Britain’s foremost gun companies, Forsyth & Co., London, is a .65-caliber self-priming double hammer over/under pistol with a 9-inch Damascus twist-rifled full octagon barrels. In absolutely beautiful condition with fine English engraving and stamped “FORSYTH & CO PATENT GUN MAKERS LONDON,” it is estimated at $4,500-$6,500.
Milestone’s Saturday, June 27, 2020 Premier Antiques & Modern Firearms Auction will start at 10 a.m., with absentee and Internet live bidding available through LiveAuctioneers. For additional information on any gun in the sale, call 440-527-8060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Online: www.milestoneauctions.com