James D. Julia, Inc.

Rare Firearms Division
Upcoming Auction.
Spotlight
Spotlight
The rifle's sights go up to 500 yards... most shots were taken within five!

More highlights.

Notable Treasure
Notable Treasure
Col. Corbett with the slain Bachelor of Powalgarh.

Featured Video James D. Julia, Inc.
The Private and Personal Collection of Dr. Helga Wall-Apelt

The Dr. Helga Wall-Apelt Private Collection is being sold at James D. Julia Auctioneers in Fairfield, Maine on Monday, March 23rd, and it is truly a very special collection.

This auction consists of the private collection of Dr. Helga Wall-Apelt. The collection has been 60 years in the making and each object in the collection was personally selected by Dr. Wall-Apelt during her lifetime. In 1993, after purchasing the Yangtze River Collection of later Chinese jades, she placed them on loan to the Museum of Fine Arts at 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, Florida where they were on display from February through August of that year.

Article Image Dr. Wall-Apelt continually expanded her collection throughout her life, driven by both her passion and her love for the Chinese culture. By the 1990s, her collection had expanded tremendously and the desire to... Read more



What's It Worth

What's it worth.

Jim Corbett's Tiger Rifle has a pre-sale estimate of $75,000 - $150,000.

If you have a rare firearm and want to know "What's it Worth", please take a picture and email it to us at firearms@jamesdjulia.com. We are always looking for consignments of rare and valuable items, as well as collections for our auctions.

 
Colonel Jim Corbett and his Man-eating Tiger Rifle by Ross Seyfried, for James D. Julia
It is very difficult to distill the greatness of Jim Corbett into a space of any size and almost impossible to do so here. But because we have before us a monument to him it seems necessary to try. Jim Corbett, like most great men, was a very quiet and humble man. It was said that his first book Man-Eaters of Kumaon was only written because he hoped its sale would contribute to the funds of St. Dunstan's, a training school for blinded Indian Soldiers.

Jim Corbett was born in 1875 and educated in the English school at Naini Tal in the Kumaon Hills of India. He grew up in, and "absorbed", the Indian jungles. During the First World War he helped recruit more than 5,000 men from the Kumaon hills and led the 70th Kumaon Labor Force in France. In the Second World War he trained soldiers in the art of Jungle warfare for the war in Burma. Later Corbett spent 20 years as an official of the Indian Railways. Colonel Corbett died in 1955 at his second home at Nyeri, Kenya.

Through his life in the jungles, with his extraordinary desire to learn the ways of the jungle and his powers of observation, Jim Corbett became one of if not the world's greatest hunter-naturalist. He did his own tracking, spoke the language of the "Jungle Folk" and understood virtually every nuance of the unimaginably dangerous animals that he hunted; man-eating tigers and leopards. His skill and knowledge were only overshadowed by one quality; courage, immeasurable courage!

The W.J. Jeffery Grade 2 Best Quality Double Rifle .450-400 in its original case. (Elmer Keith Estate Coll.)

When a person goes hunting there is little danger from the animals he hunts. Even when hunting so-called "dangerous" game, the risk to the hunter is very minimal and then usually only present if the hunter makes some mistake. But when Jim Corbett hunted Man-eaters it was another story altogether. He hunted cats that were more than occasional offenders; two of these animals alone accounted for more than 800 human lives. He hunted the worst of the worst man-eaters, in their jungle and on their terms. He became the prey and those animals he stalked could and would kill and eat him at any opportunity. A very simple statement can be made to his greatness; he survived to tell the stories . . . all of them!

He began to end the reign of man-eaters in 1907; and killed his last man-eater, the Thak Tiger, when he was 63. The roll of his vanquished is wonderful: The Temple Tiger, Muktesar man-eater, Panar man-eater, Chuka man-eater, The Leopard of Rudraprayag, Champawat man-eater, Chowgar tigers, Bachelor of Powalgahr, Mohan man-eater, Kanda man-eater, Pipal Pani Tiger, Talla Des man-eater, Panar Leopard and the Thak man-eater. To this writer the story of the Thak man-eater is a most extraordinary feat of courage, standing out even in this arena that is all courage. To stop the Tigress' reign of terror, Corbett used his own voice to mimic a male tiger seeking a mate, as darkness approached. It was a thing of finest balance; if she arrived soon enough he might be able to kill her, one or two minutes later it would be dark and she, the ultimate woman scorned, would have almost certainly killed him. He shot her with, "my rifle a D.B. 450/400", held in one hand, with her roaring literally in his face, in virtual darkness, with the muzzles almost touching her.

With the blast of cordite fading in time we arrive at the present . . . This very Jeffery .400 Bore double rifle . . . a rifle that often stood between him and death, a death accompanied by the extreme humiliation of being eaten. It is a rifle that at the same time saved countless human lives. The next owner of Corbett's rifle will have the great pride and privilege to be the custodian of not a "national treasure" but a "human treasure"; a rifle that stands as a monument to Colonel Jim Corbett and as an enduring testament to human greatness.

On Sunday March 15, 2015 the Corbett Tiger Rifle will be sold at auction as part of the Estate Collection of the late Elmer Keith, Lot 1038. An additional 70 lots from the Keith Collection will also be offered at the beginning of the day's sale which begins at 10 a.m. EST.

Poulin Auctions, located immediately adjacent to the Julia facility, will also offer approx. 100 items from the Keith Estate on Saturday March 14, 2015 beginning at 10 a.m. EST. Please contact Poulin's for further information and to arrange for bidding. (207) 453-2114 | www.poulinantiques.com

Ross Seyfried is a nationally renowned author, scholar, and practitioner in the world of shooting sports. A protégé' of Elmer Keith, Seyfried has likewise put into practice and onto paper, the experiences of many a day and night spent in the field and bushveld. As such, Ross is uniquely qualified to write this preface for the auction sale of Col. Corbett's tiger tamer.

Perhaps the most important and iconic dangerous game rifle ever to come to market! (Elmer Keith Estate Coll.)

At James D. Julia, Inc. we are always seeking high quality antiques of all types for our year-round auctions. We offer the best seller commission rates in the industry, as low as 0% for high value items and collections. Please contact us directly at 207-453-7125 (Maine office) or 781-460-6800 (Boston area office) to learn more or if you are considering consigning one item, an entire collection or an estate to auction. All inquiries are confidential and without obligation.
Lic#: ME:AR83 / MA: AU1406 / NH: 2511