James D. Julia, Inc.

Rare Firearms Division
Upcoming Auction.
Spotlight
Spotlight
Don Bryan and his wife Kathlee
   
Spotlight
The Finest Texas Dance Navy Revolver Known with Recoil Shield, SN 51. Estimate $100,000- 150,000. (The Don and Kathlee Bryan Collection)

More highlights...


The Finest Confederate Revolver Collection Ever Assembled - The Don and Kathlee Bryan Collection.

In the annals of U.S. historical firearms collecting the most elusive category has been Confederate made revolvers. Mr. Donald Bryan has always been enthralled and intrigued with the history of these arms. They were used in conflict in our nation, when sometimes neighbors and even brothers were in opposition to each other. Additionally, Confederate guns were produced in such limited quantities, under such trying conditions and with such limited resources... Read More
What's New for 2016 at James D. Julia? by Mark Ford, CEO

2015 was a busy year behind the scenes at James D. Julia. Last April, we changed our computer system that we had been using for over ten years. We moved into a more robust system that had many new features that we believed would deliver a better experience for all our clients. You may have seen some of these changes already if you were a successful bidder at one of our auctions. You may have noticed changes to our billing system - both in the format of the invoices and that they are now being emailed typically within 24 hours of the completion of the auction.

Julia's has always focused on being transparent, fair and honest. One of the features we offer is free absentee bidding. Absentee bidding is when a client contacts us, and wants us to bid on their behalf, or contact them by telephone when their lot is on the block. Absentee bidding is... Read more


What's It Worth

Historic First Model Lemat Revolver Captured From The Confederate Ironclad Atlanta SN 7

This Historic First Model Lemat Revolver Captured From The Confederate Ironclad "Atlanta" Serial Number 7 from the Ben Michel Collection estimated at $50,000- $100,000 sold for $166,750.

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.

 
The Finest Confederate Revolver in the World by Wes Dillon, Senior Consultant and Sales Representative
The Civil War witnessed a technological revolution in weaponry. This was highlighted by a changeover in hand-held and shoulder-fired weapons from single shot smooth bore firearms that had to be loaded through the muzzle to rifledbarrel repeating firearms, some of which loaded at the breech. Unfortunately for the common soldier, tactics did not advance as quickly as technology. Napoleonic tactics from earlier in the century now combined with more accurate, faster-firing weapons to result in catastrophic casualty figures throughout the War.

The Confederacy, whose economic and industrial base was far weaker than the Union's when the war began, accomplished a great feat by establishing a viable arms-manufacturing capability in short order. It was also the fact that most gun manufacturers in the South were small, family-run businesses operating generally from a single building, and staffed by a dozen skilled workers at most. This is why there are so many different "brands" of Confederate arms with "CSA" on them. These small "cottage industry" shops would bid for a contract, stating that they would deliver so many musketoons, or revolvers, based on an estimate of their own capacity.

The North's industrial machine also swung into high gear to produce huge quantities of weapons and ammunition. But there is a huge difference between Sam Colt turning out proprietary Navy and Army revolvers as fast as they could on already-existing assembly lines, and Spiller & Burr contracting to build 5,000 copies of the Colt 1851 "Navy" revolver, basically in batches of at most a dozen at a time, mostly with hand tools, in a "factory" built in a disused tobacco shed. It is amazing that the Southern makers turned out as many arms as they did, and that more of them weren't as inferior and dangerous as the Dance Brothers (TX) Dragoon copy or the Richmond (VA) Sharps copy. Gen. Lee stated that the Richmond Sharps copy was more of a danger to its user than it was to his intended target.

Jean Alexandre Francois LeMat

Jean Alexandre François LeMat
Additionally, agents from both the Union and the Confederacy scoured the shelves of European arms-dealers to supplement domestic production. One of the most ubiquitous of the foreign sourced weapons was the LeMat revolver. Jean Alexandre François LeMat, a French physician living in New Orleans, patented the LeMat revolver in the United States on October 21, 1856.

P.G.T. Beauregard

P.G.T. Beauregard

Dr. LeMat hoped to market his adaptable revolver as a primary sidearm for cavalry and other mounted troops. He entered into a partnership with P.G.T. Beauregard (at that time a major in the U.S. Army) in April 1859 to market his handgun to the U.S. Army. Beauregard, besides being LeMat's cousin, was one of the first U.S. Army officers to resign and join the Confederacy.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, with the help of Beauregard, LeMat secured a contract from the Confederate Ordnance Department to provide 5,000 of the pistols, and he traveled to the safety of Paris to begin manufacturing them. However, roughly 2,900 were produced, with approximately 2,500 used by the Confederacy. The first shipments of these pistols passed through the Union blockade into the Confederacy during the summer of 1862. Although these LeMats were originally intended for Confederate naval officers, many ended up in the hands of cavalry officers and other high-ranking Confederates.

This fearsome weapon fired nine .42 or .36 caliber shots from a top barrel, while the lower barrel delivered a massive single 16 gauge shotgun blast. Effective range of the LeMat was 40 yards with a maximum range of 100 yards. Manufactured from 1856 to 1865, with approximately 2,900 being produced, the LeMat was considered the most lethal of all smalls arm during close range combat.

The LeMat revolver didn't change the outcome of the war and it didn't turn the tide of a single battle, but to the soldier who owned it, there was a sense of empowerment, a psychological

This fearsome weapon fired nine shots from a top barrel, while the lower barrel delivered a massive single shotgun blast.

advantage, and confidence and exuberance unmatched by those without the revolver. Some of the most famous Confederate Generals, Stonewall Jackson, J. E. B. Stuart and P. G. T. Beauregard, carried LeMat pistols.

It is General Beauregard's personal LeMat revolver, bearing SN 8, that serves as the cornerstone of the renowned Donald Bryan Collection of Confederate Revolvers, which will be sold in its entirety at auction by James D. Julia on March 15, 2016. In fine historical treatise on the subject The Confederate LeMat Revolver by Doug Adams, on pg. 37 refers to this exact pistol: "Serial number eight deserves special mention. It is one of the finest surviving First Models known. It was also Beauregard's original pistol, which, in his haste to return to Charleston, SC, he left it at the home of Thomas Henderson in 1862. Family correspondence indicates that rather than retrieve the pistol, he simply made it a gift to his long-time friend." This extraordinary pistol is accompanied by the finest known LeMat holster and carries a presale auction estimate of $200,000-$300,000. In total, nineteen of the rarest and finest condition examples of Confederate revolvers extant will be offered in this historic, once in a lifetime, opportunity.

The complete catalog description with illustrations will be available on line at www.jamesdjulia.com or in the printed version of the March 15, 2016 auction catalog.

Historic Presentation Confederate LeMat ID'd to General P.G.T. Beauregard, SN 8.

Historic Presentation Confederate LeMat ID'd to General P.G.T. Beauregard, SN 8. The condition of this pistol is one of the finest of any known Confederate revolver by any maker. (Est. $200,000-300,000) (The Don and Kathlee Bryan 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