The finest, most comprehensive remaining of its type in private hands today.
by James D. Julia, President & Auctioneer
For many years, Julia’s has been continually honored with the opportunities to sell some of the world’s finest collections of firearms. In keeping with this special tradition, our April 11th-13th, 2017 auction will feature a number of such collections. One of which is that of the late Warren Buxton. Warren was a much-admired passionate and scholarly collector. Walther P38s became a very special and focused passion for him and in addition to the incredibly comprehensive collection he amassed, he also wrote 3 ground breaking scholarly books on the P38. At the time of his death, Warren was nearly ready to publish his fourth and final volume (which is in the process now of being published). His collection, which numbers nearly 600 guns, represent a truly extraordinary buying opportunity for all collectors of Walther P38s. Not all of the guns in his collection are Walther P38s but a great number are.
The Walther P38 first came into existence a couple of years before Warren was born in 1935. After high school, Warren entered the Air Force and flew RB-47 Reconnaissance Bombers. He later went to college and became an electrical engineer and during his tenure at Los Alamos, he first became interested in the P38s, buying his first example at the Columbus Firearms Show. To say that Warren’s collection is comprehensive is perhaps an understatement. Not only did he acquire all the different models and different alterations and transitions, but he also purchased guns to represent different serial number ranges. It goes without saying that some of the guns in his collection are extremely rare, highly desirable, and in some cases, unique. One of his proudest acquisitions was probably the extraordinary Armee pistole with long barrel, alloy frame, matching stock and magazine. This gun was originally in the Visser Collection and later the Dr. Geoffrey Sturgess Collection. The gun retains 98% of its original finish and is one of the most charismatic Walther pistol in existence. It is the forefather of the P38 and one of the very few pictures taken of Warren features this great rarity. It comes to auction estimated at $60,000-90,000.
Another great rarity is a rare early P38 prototype 9mm. This was assembled following the AP series and prior to the standard P38 production. This also was originally in the famous Visser and Sturgess Collection at one time and in superb condition, it carries a presale estimate of $25,000-35,000.
Another prize is the incredible AP Military test pistol with slotted steel frame and matching mag together with correct stock. This is one of the guns made for testing prior to the acceptance of the P38 and believed to be the only example having a 5” barrel with a slotted frame and Crown/N proofing. In spectacular condition, it carries a $40,000-60,000 estimate.
Not all of Warren’s rare P38s carry double digit estimates. One of the more desirable military P38s is his AC/40. This exact pistol is featured in Warren’s first book on page 229 as an unusual and scarce variation. It comes to the sale with a conservative $2,500-3,500 estimate.
Another modestly priced rarity is his Pre-War Walther PP pistol in 22 long rifle with extended grips and original mag. The gun is near mint condition and is simply stunning. It carries a reasonable $3,000-6,000 estimate.
Another scarce but moderately priced Walther is his desirable Model 6. This is the most desirable and largest of numbered Walthers whose production was limited to about 1,000 pistols. In outstanding condition, it is estimated at $7,500-9,500.
These are some of the more exciting highlights but this enormous and comprehensive collection includes a vast number of quality examples whose price points are far more reasonable for the beginner and intermediate collector. Many of the guns offered will have presale estimates below $1,000 and there are group lots of 2 and 3 pistols offered within single lots. This is one of the last great collections of Walther P38s and a once in a lifetime opportunity for those interested in Walther pistols.
The auction consists of 3 sessions. The first session will be the Julia Extraordinary Session which will include many of Warren’s great rarities but will also include a most diverse offering of quality arms from many other well-known collections. Superb Winchesters, extraordinary Sporting Arms, rare Confederate and Civil War arms, some truly spectacular Class-3 items, rare Colts, and a number of truly historic items will all be part of the first Extraordinary session. Sessions 2 and 3 will make up the Julia’s Sporting & Collector session which will feature more moderately priced firearms which average in the $2,000-8,000 range and below. Session 2 will feature antique arms and Session 3, the last day, will include modern arms of all types, including more of Warren’s collection.