James D. Julia, Inc.

Rare Firearms Division
Upcoming Auction.

Just Arrived
Spotlight
Spectacular One of A Kind Ulrich High Relief Engraved Winchester M66 - One of the Best Examples Known! Estimated at $250,000-500,000
 

 
Spotlight
Dainty Flli Piotti .410 SLE Game Gun with Exquisite Engraving Commemorating the City of New Orleans. Exquisite and One of a Kind! More Highlights...

Featured Videos
Class 3 Machine Guns at Julia's October 2016 Auction
   
Colt Thompson Machine Guns at Julia's October 2016 Auction
Class 3 Machine Guns at Julia's
October 2016 Auction
  Colt Thompson Machine Guns at Julia's October 2016 Auction
James D. Julia, Inc. Welcomes
Industry Expert Tony Wilcox To
Its World Class Fine Firearms
Division
by Mark Ford, CEO

James D. Julia recently announced that Tony Wilcox has joined the company as a member of its Fine Firearms division. This division, internationally acknowledged Tony Wilcox as the finest in the industry for high end, expensive firearms, has conducted some of the highest grossing gun auctions in history. The division, led by Department Head Francis Lombardi, includes Wes Dillon, John Keene, Josh Loewensteiner, John Sexton, and JR LaRue. Wilcox, like his teammates, has an extraordinary and diverse background in the firearms and auction world.

Tony Wilcox is a lifetime militaria enthusiast. He began collecting firearms and other weapons as a boy with his father. His areas of interest and knowledge include European and American small military arms from 1840 - 1950 as well as guns from Winchester and Colt. He was raised in VA where started as an avid small game hunter and fisherman; today his interests... Read more


What's It Worth
Presidential Lefever Optimus Quality Shotgun
This spectacular Presidential Lefever "Optimus" Quality Shotgun, Presented To Benjamin Harrison with a pre-sale estimate of $75,000-125,000, sold for an amazing $120,750.

If you have a rare firearm and want to know "What's it Worth", or consign it to an upcoming auction, please Click Here

We are always looking for consignments of rare and valuable items, as well as collections for our auctions.

 
Lefever Arms - An American Iconic Maker by Josh Loewensteiner, Consultant and Sales Representative
Daniel Myron Lefever was born August 27th 1835. He died October 29th 1906 in Syracuse, NY. In his 71+ years here he made an indelible mark on the gun world and his creations are still highly sought after to this very day.

Dan, or "Uncle Dan" as he was known in the trade, started in the gun business as a gunmaker in 1859 at the ripe age of 24 in Canandaigua, NY. His first partnership was with a man also noted in the trade, Mr. James A. Ellis and together in 1862 - just after the start of the Civil War - they formed the firm "Lefever & Ellis." Lefever & Ellis built a number of sidehammer over-under combination guns most likely for the sporting gun market and also received an order for Sharpshooter's rifles from the New York State Sharpshooters. Sadly, the partnership was short lived and ended in 1867. Perhaps, in the post-war era there just wasn't enough business to keep both partners interest or satisfied, we'll never know. Very few of these early Ellis and Lefever combo guns or sharpshooter rifles survive today and collectors relish the opportunity to see them.

Rare and Collectible Barber and Lefever A Grade Hammer Gun
Rare and Collectible Barber and Lefever A Grade Hammer Gun (Lifetime Lefever Arms Collection of Scott Lefever)

Dan went on to form 3 more partnerships over the next decade, including one with Francis Dangerfield (Dangerfield and Lefever) in Auburn, NY, from 1870-1873. With Dangerfield, Lefever built a number of double barrel shotguns and combo guns as well as converted a number of other makers' muzzleloading guns to breechloading models, bringing old guns back in to service with the latest technology of the day. This work continued with his next partner after the Dangerfield partnership dissolved in 1873. Lorenzo Barber and Uncle Dan teamed up in 1874, another partnership that lasted just a couple of short years and terminated in 1876. During this partnership Uncle Dan continued to build new guns and convert old ones. As the old Neil Sedaka song goes, "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do," however that couldn't have been the case for Uncle Dan - he formed yet another partnership, this time with gun builder John A. Nichols in 1876. Nichols and Lefever went on to build some beautiful hammer guns - many are considered the finest made in this country in their time. Most of these guns were built to order and Nichols and Lefever built a full menu of grades, gauges and calibers. Again, this partnership fizzled in 1879 and Uncle Dan was back on his own.

xceedingly Rare High Original Condition D.M. Lefever 5B Grade
Exceedingly Rare High Original Condition D.M. Lefever 5B Grade (Lifetime Lefever Arms Collection of Scott Lefever)

Fast forward to 1884 and Uncle Dan has now started what has certainly become the richest part of his legacy - "The Lefever Arms Company" in Syracuse, NY. With some help from family and friends, Dan created the first automatic hammerless shotgun made in America. These early sidecocking guns are scarce and highly collectible. The October auction includes an incredibly rare example - one of Uncle Dan's 3 barrel guns - a C Grade with rich provenance. These guns are made as a side by side shotgun with a rifle barrel on top, unlike their Germanic three barreled cousins where the rifle barrel is always found below. Very few are known and this particular example is in "C" grade making it a fairly high art gun with fine checkering and engraving. As gunmaking and refinements evolved, Dan started making truly hammerless self cocking guns. These later self cocking guns are what most people know as Uncle Dan's creations.

Before his passing in 1906, Dan Lefever's companies had produced roughly 55,000+/- guns. He left the Lefever Arms Company he founded in 1901 and set back out on his own. This time, he was building a high quality crossbolt boxlock gun and the company name was "D.M. Lefever and Sons" as he was officially in a family business with his sons George, Fred and Frank. These guns are scarce with only about 1,200 made and are highly desirable to collectors. After a couple of moves and company reformations from Syracuse to Bowling Green, Ohio, and Defiance, Ohio, Uncle Dan moved back to Syracuse in 1906 and again tried to reform his company. He died from a stomach ulcer before being able to get the company off the ground in Syracuse one last time.

Rare Lefever AA Grade
Rare Lefever AA Grade - with Straight Stock and Exceptional Dimensions (Private Single Owner Collection)

Julia's holds several world record prices for Lefever guns. We recently had the honor of selling the most historically important and the most famous of all Lefever guns in our March Auctions - one owned by President Benjamin Harrison. The gun nearly eclipsed its high presale estimate landing at $120,750.

Collecting Lefevers has often been equated to eating potato chips - "you can never have just one." Collectors and investors alike will delight in the vast selection of Lefevers in Julia's October sale. If the fun in collecting is the "thrill of the chase" then certainly collecting Lefevers is about all the fun one can have in guns. One must consider that there are 4-5 Parker Bros. shotguns made for every Lefever which makes chasing them down a great thrill.

Julia's October 2016 sale has the largest number of high grade Lefevers offered publicly in the last 25 years in one session. Many of the guns in the offering come from three important old time collections. It is with great honor that The Julia auction firm was selected to sell these important collections - that of Scott Lefever, Jim Beckley and another advanced collector who wishes to remain anonymous. All of these men collected these guns for many, many years. A number of the marquis guns in the Beckley collection were bought by Jim directly from his old friend Allan Morris who had planned to start the "American Sporting Arms Museum" and these guns were the Lefevers Allan was able to collect for the museum. They are truly museum quality!

Exceedingly Rare Lefever 3 Bbl Gun in C Grade
Exceedingly Rare Lefever 3 Bbl Gun in C Grade - as Pictured in Elliot's Book (Lifetime Lefever Arms Collection of Scott Lefever)

The Julia's October auction will be the single most substantial offering of high quality Lefever shotguns at auction ever! Included in the sale are several high grade and unique guns including a fantastic and guaranteed authentic documented Optimus Grade, a wonderful and extremely rare AA grade with straight stock, a rare Damascus Barreled BE Grade in 20 ga, 3 wonderful Crossbolt guns- 1 in 5B Grade, 1 late Special order gun of about 5B/6C Grade in 16 ga and another in 8E grade from the Remarkable William Larkin Moore Estate Collection. Those seeking a unique and previously unknown Lefever of understated elegance will marvel at a special order high grade gun of Jim Beckley's with incredible metal work and checkering - some of the finest seen on a special order Lefever.

Julia's October sale will certainly present an opportunity for fans of the American Double gun. This is an auction session which cannot be missed!


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 or Click Here 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.

Auctioneer: James D. Julia, Inc. | Lic#: ME:AR83 | MA: AU1406 | NH: 2511