Fairfield, ME ~ Every year in October, two separate firearms auction companies conduct a firearms auction back to back in Fairfield, Maine. Each time these combined auctions occur, the results generate the largest offering and largest sale gross for firearms auction event anywhere in the world. October 1, 2 & 3 began this spectacular event with a large offering of collectable and shooting firearms presented by the Poulin Auction Company. Their sale generated approximately $3.4 million in total. Immediately after, from October 4 to October 7, the James D. Julia Auction generated approximately $15 million in sales; while all lots did not sell, those that did generated a total return which was 26% above low estimate. 372 lots brought $10,000 or more, 173 lots brought $20,000 or more, 33 lots brought in an excess of $50,000 and 8 lots topped out at over $100,000.
The Julia auction was divided into 4 sessions. The first two days, October 4 & 5, comprised Julia’s Sporting & Collector sessions which featured moderately priced collectable and shooting firearms. October 6 & 7 made up their Extraordinary sessions featuring rare and high end firearms.
Once again, Julia’s auction included numerous outstanding collections. Day One included a rare cased Browning Pointer grade Superposed two bbl. set from the renowned Estate Collection of William Larkin Moore estimated at $7,000-12,500 which went out at $13,800. A rare fine AH Fox, Philadelphia J Grade single barrel Trap Gun estimated at $3,000-5,000 realized $7,200. A classic Griffin & Howe Pre-War Sporting rifle, cal. 30/06 estimated at $3,500-5,500 generated $13,800. Also included in Tuesday’s sale was Session One of the Friedrich-Wilhelm Dauphin Collection from Germany. An extraordinary Mauser C96 Transitional 1930 Commercial with matching stock estimated at $4,500-6,500 went out at $10,350. A Wolf & Klar engraved two gun lot Smith & Wesson, once the property of FBI agent, George H. Franklin, was estimated at $5,000-9,000 and finally generated $16,100.
Wednesday, October 5, the second day of the Sporting & Collector auction started off with the Allen Hallock Collection of extraordinary Schuetzen rifles. Without question, this was the finest of its type to ever come to auction. The very first lot up was the ultimate Schuetzen rifle, a magnificent ivory inlaid and gold highlighted masterpiece given as a shooting prize in the late 1800s. It carried a presale estimate of $30,000-40,000 and generated $37,375. Another Schuetzen rifle from another collection by Buchel Stecherspanner with carved and inlaid ivory stock carried a presale estimate of $3,000-6,000 but generated a furious bidding battle that topped out at $22,425. This sale included the second and final session of the Carmen Gianforte Collection of Reid Knuckledusters, the largest collection of its type to ever be brought to auction. Included was an important 41 cal. Knuckleduster estimated at $7,500-12,500. This topped out at $13,225. An elegant and diminutive 18th century Flintlock 44 cal. pistol was estimated at $1,500-3,000 but realized $7,500. This sale concluded with the second and final session of the Estate of G. W. “Bill” Stewart of Texas. His late Colt 3rd Model Dragoon with period holster was estimated at $7,500-8,500 and sold for $9,200. This sale also included the final session of Estate of Dr. Robert G. Cox. This collection focused on small frame Colt pistols. One lot of three Colt 3rd Model Derringers estimated at $2,500-4,000 generated $8,625. A fine Colt SA Civilian issue black powder Peacemaker was estimated at $20,000-30,000 and went for $20,700.
Thursday, October 6 and Friday, October 7 comprised the Extraordinary section of the Julia Firearms Auction. This portion of the auction includes the high end, rare and valuable guns and the first lot of Thursday’s sale was a special offering from the Remington Arms Company which consisted of a 3 gun set commemorating Remington’s 200 years in business. The Remington Firearms Company is the oldest firearms manufacturing company in the United States still under the same ownership. The 3 gun set generated $23,000. All the proceeds from this particular lot will be used on various conservation funds, which Remington Arms supports. After the sale, the buyer met with Julia and indicated that he would like to reoffer the exact same grouping in Julia’s spring auction and this time the proceeds of which he would like to have donated to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. This is a unique situation wherein the proceeds of both sales will benefit a number of many worthwhile organizations.
The sale then proceeded to Julia’s Class-3 offering. Since 2008, the Julia Auction Company has consistently offered and sold more Class-3 weapons than all their auction competitors in North America combined. This sale was extremely strong with a number of healthy prices being generated. An early “Square Slot” Colt 1921A Thompson Machine Gun estimated at $30,000-50,000 finally sold for $57,500. An ultra-scarce Vet Bringback Korean Manufactured Type 58 AK-47 machine gun was estimated at $25,000-45,000 and after a long bidding battle, it generated $54,625. But the real surprise of the day in Class-3 was the fantastic Vietnam War trophy Chinese type 56 machine gun estimated at $20,000-40,000. Bidding on this gun seemed to go on forever and finally topped out at $132,250.
A number of fine Model 1911 pistols including a Singer Manufacturing Co. 1911A1 was estimated at $40,000-60,000. It sold for $57,500. More items from the Dauphin Collection were offered in this session. One of the more valuable pieces included a superb Mauser Conehammer Carbine SN 12 with period scope. It was estimated at $40,000-75,000 and generated $51,750. This auction also featured the final session of the extraordinary Geoffrey Sturgess Collection of Zurich, Switzerland. Julia’s started selling this collection a few years ago and it comprised the largest offering of semi-auto military arms in the world. This sale included a magnificent Large Ring Mauser C96 carbine presentation quality with extraordinary engraving and gold highlights. It came to the auction with a presale estimate of $20,000-40,000 and went out at $40,250.
Another area in which the Julia Firearms Auction Company has established a leadership role is that of Sporting Arms. No other auction house in the world sells more high end, rare and valuable sporting arms than Julia’s and the results of this sale consistently bore that out. A massive 4-bore Holland & Holland double rifle estimated at $45,000-75,000, realized $103,500. A very fine H&H 8-bore hammer gun estimated at $15,000-25,000 also saw a tremendous bidding battle and topped out at $75,000. The top lot of the day however for sporting arms was Annie Oakley’s personal 12 ga. William Cashmore Boxlock game gun. There are numerous photographs of Annie holding this exact gun and it came to the auction with a presale estimate of $125,000-175,000 but after a fierce bidding battle topped out at $207,000. A superb 20 bore Purdey O/U with many special features carried a presale estimate of $60,000-90,000 and brought above high estimate at $94,875.
Attending the sale was David Trevallion, formerly of London. Mr. Trevallion is probably one of the greatest living stock makers today. David apprenticed at Purdey’s at 15 years old and later began his own business which was known throughout the world. This sale included the 5th earliest known Purdey shotgun converted from flint to percussion. Mr. Trevallion consigned this gun to the auction with the stipulation that the entire proceeds shall be donated to the Gun Makers Company Charitable Trust in London. The gun was estimated at $10,000-15,000 and produced a generous $25,875 to the Charitable Trust fund.
An exceptionally rare 410 Ivo Fabbri Sidelock Ejector single trigger O/U game gun with phenomenal engraving by Tomasoni was presale estimated at $75,000-125,000 and sold for $74,750. A superb small bore Fabbri pinless Sidelock O/U with extraordinary engraved quail scene was estimated at $40,000-60,000. The bidding however was ferocious and drove the final price to $109,250. A superb Piotti “Boss” 20 ga. O/U from the famous William Larkin Moore Estate Collection was estimated at $35,000-55,000 and topped out well over high estimate at $69,000. Also from the William Larkin Moore Collection was the stellar award winning Parker AAHE 12 ga. in high original condition, estimated at $35,000-55,000. It generated a final selling price of $48,300. A large fine selection of Lefevers was also offered in this sale. Included was a truly spectacular documented Lefever 12 ga. Optimus grade shotgun estimated at $45,000-75,000. It went out at $46,000. Also from the same collection was an exceedingly rare Lefever AA Grade estimated at $30,000-50,000 which brought a strong $51,750.
A collection of L.C. Smiths was also part of this sale and an exceptionally rare A3 Pigeon gun was one of only 18 made. It carried a presale estimate of $35,000-55,000 and sold for $46,000. Another beautiful gun from the William Larkin Moore Estate Collection was a 28 ga. Browning Superposed Custom shop exhibition gun with gold inlays estimated at $20,000-30,000, it produced a strong $36,800.
The final day of the Extraordinary sale on Friday, October 7 started out with fine Winchesters and Volcanics. Extraordinary factory engraved Winchester Deluxe 2nd Model 1876 signed by John Ulrich estimated at $50,000-90,000, generated $40,250. A rare and beautiful special order Model 1886 Deluxe with fabulous case coloring estimated at $50,000-80,000 went out at $40,250. A rare special order Conrad Ulrich engraved Model 94 in spectacular condition, estimated at $50,000-100,000 but failed to sell.
Winchester cartridge boards definitely did better than the rifles. A rare and desirable Inverted V 1888 Cartridge Board estimated at $15,000-25,000 was hotly competed for until it finally realized $37,375. An extraordinarily rare Deluxe Conrad Ulrich engraved exhibition quality Marlin Model 1893 with gold and platinum inlays was estimated that $50,000-100,000, this magnificent treasure went out just a little over low estimate at $57,500.
A number of quality antique percussion Colts were offered. The high price realized was for a rare cased Ehlers Baby Paterson which came on to the auction block with a presale estimate of $110,000-160,000 and went out at $115,000. A rare Colt 1883 U.S. Navy Gatling gun on its original bronze tripod was estimated at $175,000-250,000. It generated $175,000. A number of quality Colt SA included a minty engraved SAA by Cuno Helfricht was estimated at $30,000-50,000 and sold at $57,500. One truly spectacular work of art was the magnificent Royal Wheelock sporting rifle by Samuel Kluge in Landshut. The gun was made for either King Charles XI of Sweden or King Christian V of Denmark. The gun was at one time the property of the Rothschild family and sold for $115,000. It is believed to be one of the highest priced Wheelocks sold in many years.
Other areas that Julia’s has performed exceedingly well with for many years is with rare Civil War and Confederate items. Julia’s consultant and firearms expert, John Sexton is one of the leading authorities on Confederate arms in the world today, helping to account for Julia’s great success. A rare and historic pair of fluted Armies of Lt. John Low, CSN, used on the CSS Alabama came to the block with a $25,000-50,000 estimate and flew to $51,750 because of the Confederate association. The most exciting Confederate lot of the day however was a Krider LeMat Revolver SN 2 believed to be the personal firearms of Col. LeMat himself. It came to the auction with a presale estimate of $60,000-80,000. Here it soared to $120,750. Also a spectacular Leech & Rigdon Confederate revolver captured at the Battle of Mobile Bay taken from the ironclad CSS Tennessee sold for $57,500.
A number of rare Bowie knives were offered. Included was an American Gravely & Wreaks Guardless Coffin Handle Bowie knife, estimated at $40,000-60,000, it generated $40,250. A spectacular and unique Breech loading presentation firearm engraved by Gustav Young and formerly the personal property of William Marston himself was estimated at $30,000-50,000 and sold for $40,250. An extraordinary engraved early brass framed Warner revolving percussion rifle believed to be the finest example extent was estimated at $20,000-30,000 and flew to $46,000. One notable lot was a personal grouping of items formerly owned by General George Armstrong Custer including his map of the Indian Territories, a camp chair, various images and an actual lock of his golden hair. The grouping had been consigned directly from Custer family members and had previously always been in the family. Here it brought $45,000.
“We were overall very pleased with the auction outcome. Prior to the sale, we had received reports from dealers and show participants alike who had been reporting lackluster sales. Our concerns were allayed once our auction started. The Sporting & Collectable sale overall performed well both days in all niches and on the third day, we started off with Class-3 which did exceedingly well. Lugers were soft, but have been for a while because of the overabundance on the marketplace. We then progressed to sporting arms which is an area where we normally generate superior results. Once again, very positive. Sporting rifles, quality high grade shotguns did very well overall. It was not until the final day when we sold the Winchesters and Colts that real softness appeared. Up until recently, Winchesters have been consistently strong however with this sale Winchesters and Volcanics showed a softness. Unfortunately, there is an overabundance of quality Winchesters on the market coming onto the marketplace which unquestionable impacted upon the price. A few weeks prior to our auction, another auction took place that featured a large assortment of quality Winchesters. Our sale followed with a great offering and now in a few weeks another auction is coming up with a great number of quality Winchesters. In addition to all of this, there are two major collections expected to come to market in the future so this increased supply is not only generating some softness but also an excellent buying opportunity for serious collectors. However, as I said, the auction was strong and continues to reflect the tremendous prowess of the auction process. Interaction from players throughout North America and all over the world continue to reflect the strong demand for quality firearms. We are pleased with the outcome and are also looking forward to our Spring 2017 auction which already includes a spectacular array of quality goods,” commented President, James D. Julia.
Julia’s next Firearms Auction is scheduled for Spring of 2017 and will again include a fabulous collection of spectacular arms. James D. Julia, Inc. is one of the top 10 antique auction houses in North America as measured by annual sales. It is headquartered in Fairfield, Maine. The company also has an office just outside Boston, Massachusetts in Woburn and has been in business for nearly 50 years. The company conducts high end, antique collectables and fine art auctions throughout the year. Julia’s has routinely established new world auction records through its sales events. The company consists of 3 key divisions. The rare Firearms Division in which they are the leader today for high end, rare and valuable guns. Their next Fine Art, Asian & Antiques Division auction will take place in February 2017. Also, the Rare Lamp, Glass & Fine Jewelry Division, again a leader in this genre, will hold their next auction on November 18, 2016. Each division is regarded for its excellence and is staffed with world class specialists to ensure fair and professional authentication, identification and evaluation services. For more information on James D. Julia, Inc. please visit www.jamesdjulia.com. Click here to view all items from this auction…