Weapons with amazing backstories come to life at Cowan’s Oct. 24

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CINCINNATI, Ohio — More than just an antique arms and militaria sale, Cowan’s Auctions brings history to life through significant and highly documented weapons and wartime mementos on Tuesday, October 24. The catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

Prototypes of all varieties are considered top items in any sale because so few survive to find their way into the aftermarket. Such is the case with this Singer 1911A1 cutaway prototype. The unique example was saved by longtime Singer employee Robert C. Popielarski, who preserved the handgun when the company began liquidating obsolete inventory in the 1960s. The only cutaway example ever seen, the 1911A1 has been fully authenticated since emerging from Popielarski’s collection, and carries an estimate of $50,000-$75,000.

Enlisting in the United States Navy in 1940, Radioman Third Class Fred Glaeser found himself stationed at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. When the Japanese surprise attack began, Glaeser was aboard one of the few naval aircraft to get into the air and search for the Imperial Japanese carrier fleet. Glaeser stayed in the Navy after the war, ultimately retiring in 1972 after 32 years of service. His flight jacket with numerous patches, flight log books detailing his Pearl Harbor Day flight, and much more are included in this history-laden lot. It is estimated at $5,000-$7,000.

Cowan’s sale includes many firearms presented to members of the military in recognition of their service. This Colt 1851 Navy revolver was presented to Colonel George W. Baird, who was later a Congressional Medal of Honor Winner during the Indian Wars. Baird had a meteoric career, advancing from private to colonel in then-record time, with commanders noting that despite his youth, he was a remarkable leader. The Colt is estimated at $5,000-$8,000.
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Singer U.S. Model 1911A1 cutaway prototype with provenance, estimated at $50,000-$75,000 at Cowan’s Auctions.
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Service archive of Naval Aviator Commander Fred W. Glaeser, estimated at $5,000-$7,000 at Cowan’s Auctions.
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Colt 1851 Navy revolver presented to Colonel George W Baird, estimated at $5,000-$8,000 at Cowan’s Auctions.
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Exceptional Mexican War captured dragoon saber presented to General John W. Geary, estimated at $10,000-$15,000 at Cowan’s Auctions.
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The inscribed sword, Colt 1851 Navy and Colt 1849 pocket revolvers of Medal of Honor recipient Capt. Samuel Hymer of the 115th Illinois Volunteers, estimated at $12,000-$18,000 at Cowan’s Auctions.
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Historic diving helmets explore auction waters at Nation’s Attic, Dec. 10

US Navy Morse Mark V prototype diving helmet dating to July 1916, the second-oldest known, estimated at $15,000-$25,000. Image courtesy of Nation's Attic and LiveAuctioneers
US Navy Morse Mark V prototype diving helmet dating to July 1916, the second-oldest known, estimated at $15,000-$25,000
US Navy Morse Mark V prototype diving helmet dating to July 1916, the second-oldest known, estimated at $15,000-$25,000. Courtesy Nation’s Attic and LiveAuctioneers

WICHITA, Kan. – One of the oldest known US Navy diving helmets highlights Nation’s Attic‘s Diving Into History auction, scheduled for Saturday, December 10. Other historic antique diving helmets in the auction include a so-called Widow Maker from World War II; a helmet made in 1900 that a diver wore when constructing the Golden Gate Bridge; and a helmet used at Pearl Harbor to dive the USS Arizona. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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