Julia’s Spectacular Firearms Auction Produced “Bully” Results!

Fairfield, Maine, October 5-6, 2010 – Teddy Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States was by many accounts one of the greatest ever to hold the office. He was also the head of the Bull Moose Party, and had he been present at the Julia Firearms Auction on Tuesday, October 5th, he would surely have used his favorite exclamation “Bully!” when his personal gold inlaid Fox Shotgun sold for a world record $862,500. Roosevelt was an avid Conservationist and indeed it’s because of his actions and efforts that many species of water fowl and animals were saved from extinction. Roosevelt was also an avid hunter. In 1909, at the end of his Presidency, he was planning what would eventually become the most famous of all African safaris to ever take place. His son Kermit would accompany him, and prior to leaving on the safari, the President of the Fox Shotgun Company had made a special F grade, gold inlaid, 12-ga.double-barrel, shotgun, which was inscribed, “Made especially for The Hon. Theodore Roosevelt.” Roosevelt was thrilled with the gun, and upon receiving it, he wrote a thank you note to the President of the Fox Gun Co. stating, “ I really think it’s the most beautiful gun I’ve ever seen. I am exceedingly proud of it.” In another letter he stated to Mr. Fox, “It is so beautiful that I take pleasure in just looking at it. I shall keep it as long as I live, and when I die, it shall go to my son Kermit…” And indeed the shotgun did.

After Kermit’s death, it was passed on to his son Kermit, Jr. But in 1974, the family made the decision to sell the gun, and a renowned Fox Shotgun collector eventually acquired it. He kept it for some years and later sold it to another private collector who was an avid admirer of Roosevelt. Recently the collector, a retired businessman, made the decision to dispose of the gun and the Julia Auction Co., having distinguished themselves over the years as the leading seller of high-grade shotguns in the world today, was selected to handle the sale. Julia’s touted the gun as the most valuable and most historic American shotgun ever made, and indeed it was! The gun, the man, and the history of the gun make this one of the most historic American shotguns known to exist, and the final price unquestionably established that fact. It was the most expensive American shotgun ever made. In fact, at $862,500, it is the 2nd highest price ever attained for any firearm at auction in history, and of course is the most expensive American or European shotgun to be sold at auction. (The world record for the most expensive firearm ever sold at auction is the Colt Walker sold in October of 2008 by Julia’s for just under a million dollars.)

Just as this release was being prepared, Julia’s learned of a wonderful postscript to the sale of the Roosevelt shotgun. The new owner, a passionate young and serious collector of historical arms is currently exploring the possibilities of a temporary loan and exhibition of his new prize at various firearms oriented museums in North America. If he is successful, his great generosity will provide the opportunity for the most historic and valuable American shot gun ever to be shared with a vast array of gun enthusiasts. In the words of Jim Julia, “This is a truly noble and generous gesture befitting Roosevelt’s character and the kind of man he was.”

The shotgun however, was not the only success story of this $10 million plus auction. Session I, Tuesday October 5th began with Class III weapons. Included in the Class III offering was the collection of the late A. William Vallerand. Bill was not only a collector of Class III, but was a dealer. In fact, he was the first federally licensed dealer in the state of Maine. When he first applied for his license, the Attorney General of Maine denied his license request and claimed he would not allow any machine gun dealers in the state. Bill however, contacted a long time family friend, Senator Margaret Chase Smith whose official letter set things straight. In a short period of time, he had his license. Included in the sale from Bill’s collection was a North Korean AK-47, estimated at $15,000-25,000, and went out at $28,750. Also an FN/C.A.L. marked 1957 was estimated at $14,000-18,000, that went out at $17,250. His BREN, estimated at $25,000-30,000 went out at $27,600, and his WWII MG-42 made by Styer, estimated at $20,000-25,000, and sold for $23,000.

In addition to the Vallerand collection, there were other Class III weapons. One of the most interesting was the near mint Ithaca Auto & Burglar Shotgun with factory Holster. In outstanding condition, it carried a presale estimate $3,500-4,500, but saw a tremendous amount of bidding and sold for $10,350. A small offering of 20th Century militaria was offered. Perhaps one of the most unique items offered in this sale (or any other sale in recent years) was a Soviet Mig 21, Supersonic Jet Fighter, which sold for $23,000.

One New England family discovered a way to take care of their heating bill for this winter and many winters to come. Just as the catalog was being completed, they met with Wes Dillon, one of Julia’s department heads, to inquire what their relative’s Singer Model 1911A1 semi-automatic military pistol might bring. The pistol, in outstanding condition, was conservatively estimated at $20,000-35,000. The family was elated to think the gun might bring that much, but was floored after the sale when it realized $80,500. A rare Colt Model 1900 sight safety, semi-auto pistol in extremely fine condition was estimated at $11,000-15,000 and went out at $17,250. An extremely rare Bittner self-loading pistol, an example of an early semi-automatic pistol in extremely fine condition carried a presale estimate of $4,000-6,000. It sold to a motivated collector for just over $12,000. An extraordinary and rare prototype/experimental semi-auto military rifle, based loosely on the 1903 Springfield realized $40,250.

Immediately after the Class III, and the 20th Century firearms were sold, an incredible array of high quality shotguns and sporting rifles were offered. A rare Lefever A-Grade, 16 ga. side-by-side shotgun with spare barrels carried a presale estimate of $30,000-60,000, and realized $51,750. A very rare L.C Smith Deluxe Grade 12 Gauge Shotgun with gold inlays carried a conservative presale estimate of $50,000-100,000 and went out at $57,500 in a post-auction sale. A nearly new Remington Parker in a highly desirable AAHE Grade 28 ga. was estimated at $32,500-42,500, and sold just under $40,000. A popular VHE Grade Parker in the highly desirable .410 ga. carried a presale estimate of $20,000-30,000, and sold for $27,000. An exceptionally fine cased R.D. Rodda double rifle in caliber 4-Bore carried a presale estimate of $75,000-125,000. The massive gun weighing nearly 22 pounds was used for hunting elephants and other pachyderms. It went out at just under $110,000. Immediately afterward, a wonderful pair of R.D. Rodda, Howdah Pistols from the late David Crowley collection in caliber .577 was offered. The pair carried a presale estimate of $12,500-17,500 and sold to an absentee bidder for $57,500.

One of the most beautiful guns in the sale had to be the spectacular gold encrusted Daniel Fraser sidelock ejector big game double rifle in caliber 600 Nitro. The gun was an incredible work of art with sculptured game scenes on the barrels and breech. It was also embellished with extraordinary gold inlays depicting various species of dangerous game. The gun saw considerable competition and went out at $132, 250.

A number of fine Purdey Shotguns were offered including a desirable, over/under sidelock ejector in 20ga. estimated at $50,000-90,000, which sold for $69,000. Another extremely fine, Ken Hunt engraved, Purdey, extra finish shotgun with an extra set of barrels was estimated at $35,000-55,000, and sold for $34,500. A very fine Boss, O/U sidelock ejector game gun in 12ga. carried a presale estimate of $35,000-55,000, and sold for just under $49,000. A cased matched pair of AA Brown, sidelock ejector guns in spectacular condition were estimated at $25,000-35,000 and sold for just over $24,000. An exquisite pair of David McKay, round action, O/U shotguns in their original case was estimated at $55,000-75,000, and finished up at $77,625. An exquisite pair of Muffolini engraved F.I.LI Rizzini R1 Side lock ejector single trigger game guns carried a $60,000-80,000 estimate and ultimately sold for $63,250.

Near the end of the first day, a remarkable offering of Marlin Rifles were offered, all of which came from the esteemed collection of the late Richard Rohal. A walking encyclopedia on Marlins, Rohal was a passionate collector and spent his lifetime amassing what was unquestionably one of finest small bore collection of Marlins firearms ever assembled. Three of the prizes of his collection were referred to as the Blue Book Guns as they were prominently featured in color on the cover of the 28th edition of the Blue Book of Gun Values. Each of the guns were works of art and in outstanding condition having fabulous #10 engraving and exquisite gold inlay. They included a Marlin Model 20 pump action rifle from Mahon Marlin estate, a Model 38 pump-action, and a Model 27S pump-action. Carrying a presale estimate of $62,500-102,500, the trio sold for $112,125. Another prize in the Rohal collection was an engraved and gold inlaid Model 20 pump action rifle in .22 cal. Estimated at $10,000-15,000, it went out at $41,975.

An exceptional and rare deluxe engraved takedown special order Marlin 94 lever action in caliber .38 WCF was estimated at $10,000-15,000 and realized $29,900. Another Rohal prize was an extremely rare Model 94 deluxe engraved carbine in caliber 25-20. Estimated for $10,000-15,000, it sold for $31,000. In addition to the Rohal collection, there was a small group of Marlins from other collections. Most notable was an extraordinary deluxe engraved Model 1892 in cal .32 Cal. It was estimated for $25,000-35,000 and realized $50,600. Also included in Tuesday’s offering was a group of guns that belonged to the late western actor David Carradine. His Colt SAA estimated at $2,000-3,000, brought $6,900.

Session II also proved to be a “Bully” sale. One of the first lots of the session was an extraordinarily rare and exceptional Winchester 1st Model 1873 “One of One Hundred” lever action rifle. Perhaps the finest condition One of One Hundred (or 1 of 1000 for that matter) in existence. The gun had been in private hands until it was placed on loan at the Cody Museum in the 1990s, and previously was essentially unknown. The wood and the metal were in extraordinary condition, so much so, people were amazed at its condition. And never having seen a new Model 73, they had a hard time believing it could possibly be this good. An extra screw hole on the backside of the breech helped to explain the extraordinary condition of the gun, for at one time it had been mounted in a special display case by this screw hole where the gun had been protected from handling and the ravages of time. It’s unlikely that one would ever find an example to rival this Model 73, which carried a presale estimate of $225,000-325,000. The original owner, now a widow, traveled a great distance to be present for the sale of the gun, and was ecstatic at the $373,750 it ultimately realized. Immediately after this remarkable gun was another extraordinary Winchester, a very early Henry 1860 lever action rifle in extremely fine condition. In fact, it was one of the finest the Julia firm has ever handled. It came from the collection of the late David Crocker of Easley, South Carolina. Mr. Crocker was a passionate collector with a taste for quality Winchesters and Colts. The gun carried a presale estimate of $75,000-125,000 and went out at $138,000. An outstanding Conrad Ulrich Engraved and gold plated Model 66 lever rifle in extremely fine condition was another prize from the Crocker collection. Estimated for $50,000-100,000, it sold for just under $110,000. Another desirable Winchester from the Crocker collection was a rare and important cased Nimschke engraved Model 66 with ivory stock and originally presented to the President of Peru. It was estimated at $35,000-50,000, and sold for $60,375.

In the late 1870s Buffalo hunting was a major endeavor in the west, and the Sharps Rifle became recognized as one of the finest Buffalo hunting rifles on the market. Offered in this sale was a very rare and special Sharps Rifle known as a desirable Freund “Boss Gun” Sharps Model 1874. In the late 1870s, the Freund Brothers acquired various Sharps and altered them to make them a more efficient and accurate long-range rifle. Only a few of these prizes exist today. This one in very good condition carried a presale estimate of $90,000-125,000, and sold for $103,500.

Mr. Crocker was also a great admirer of Colt firearms. There were a number of Colts in his collection including a minty engraved SAA with Texas history. It was estimated at $20,000-30,000, but after a bidding battle, it sold at over twice the high estimate for $66,000. Another outstanding Crocker Colt was a minty engraved SAA with the original owner’s initials engraved on the mother of pearl grips. The gun was estimated at $30,000-50,000 and sold for just over $43,000.

An exceptional Henry Neddleton inspected Colt SAA revolver in extremely fine condition was estimated at $85,000-135,000 and sold for $92,000. The earliest Colts made were known as Patersons. Late in their production period, a gentleman named John Ehlers acquired the remnants of the Paterson Company and he continued assembling Patersons from the remaining parts. This fine example was a holster model, No. 5, Texas Paterson, which carried a presale estimate of 150,000-200,000 and went out at $168,000.

An extremely rare and historic Colt model 1848 Baby Dragoon with an exceedingly rare leather bound case to Minnesota Governor Alex Ramsey was estimated at $75,000-125,000 and sold for $92,000. An exceptional engraved cased Colt Model 1849 percussion revolver with ivory grips, estimated for $35,000-55,000 sold for just under $55,000. One of the finest percussion Colts of the day was an exceptional engraved special order Model 1860 with exceedingly rare ebony grips. Engraved by the renowned Gustave Young, its engraving was similar to the famous General Grant pistol. Estimated at $135,000-165,000, it brought $149,500.

An excellent selection of Civil War and Confederate items included an exceedingly rare Tucker and Sherrard revolver that was retrieved at the battle of Gettysburg by a soldier in the 26th Maine Infantry. It was estimated at $90,000-110,000 and sold for $86,250. A fine Confederate Dance Dragoon, estimated at $45,000-50,000 reached $51,750. An exceedingly rare and important Springfield US Patent Model 1842 percussion musket was estimated at $10,000-20,000 and became the subject of a heated bidding battle where it finally ended at $20,700. An outstanding cased pair of John Manton flintlock dueling pistols were estimated at $35,000-55,000, and sold well above the high estimate at just under $75,000.

The Julia Auction, as usual, was preceded by the Poulin Firearms Auction Company’s 3-day sale, which is held approximately 50 yards from the Julia Auction facilities. Their sale of midrange goods realized $2 million, making the entire 5-day event’s gross of $12 million dollars in firearms sold! Julia’s next important firearms auction will take place in March 2011. They are now accepting consignments for that sale. More details for the October 5th and 6th auction are available online at www.jamesdjulia.com.




The Theodore Roosevelt “F” Grade Shotgun was gifted to him by the President of the Fox Gun Company to be used on his 1909 African Safari. Julia’s billed this as the most historic and valuable American Shotgun ever made, and indeed it was, selling for $862,500.




Extraordinarliy rare & exceptional Winchester 1st Model 1873 “One of One Hundred” lever action rifle, the finest of its type in the world estimated for $225,000-325,000 sold for $373,750




Extraordinary cased engraved Special Colt Model 1860 army percussion revolver with extremely rare ebony grips, eng. by Gustave Young in the style of engraving found on Gen. Grant’s Colt., sword, sash, & book estimated for $135,000-165,000 sold for $149,500




Incredible very early Henry 1860 lever action repeating rifle estimated for $75,000-125,000 sold for $138,000




Extraordinarily rare & desirable Freund “Boss Gun” Sharps Model 1874 single shot rifle estimated for $90,000-125,000 sold for $103,500




A Soviet Mig 21 Supersonic single seat jet fighter sold for $23,000




Extremely rare Singer Model M1911A1 semi-auto military pistol estimated for $20,000-35,000 sold for $80,000





North Korean AK-47 estimated for $15,000-25,000 sold for $28,750




Bren MK-1 estimated for $25,000-30,000 sold for $27,600




Near mint Ithaca auto & burglar shotgun with factory holster estimated for $3,500-4,500 sold for $10,350




Incredible Lefever A Grade side by side two barrel set with case estimated for $30,000-60,000 sold for $51,750




Massive exceptionally fine R.B. Rodda 4-Bore hammer double rifle with case and accessories estimated for $75,000-125,000 sold for $109,250




Wonderful pair of R.B. Rodda Howdah pistols estimated for $12,500-17,500 sold for $57,500




Spectacular gold encrusted Daniel Fraser sidelock ejector big game double rifle with case estimated for $120,000-170,000 sold for $132,500




Extremely fine James Purdey & Sons over-under sidelock ejector single trigger game gun estimated for $50,000-90,000 sold for $69,000




Very fine Boss over-under sidelock ejector game gun estimated for $35,000-55,000 sold for $48,875




Exquisite true pair of David McKay Brown round action over-under single trigger, sidelock ejector game guns estimated for $55,000-75,000 sold for $77,625




Exquisite pair of Muffolini engraved F.LLI Rizzini R1 sidelock ejector single trigger game guns with cases estimated for $60,000-80,000 sold for $63,250




Lot of three Marlins as featured in The 28th Blue Book Of Gun Values estimated for $62,000-102,500 sold for $112,125




Deluxe #10 engraved & gold inlaid Marlin Model 20 pump action rifle estimated for $10,000-15,000 sold for $41,975




Extremely rare deluxe factory engraved Marlin Model 1892 lever action rifle estimated for $25,000-35,000 sold for $50,600




Colt 3rd generation Sherrif’s Model single action army revolver from the collection of the late Western Actor David Carradine estimated for $2,000-3,000 sold for $6,900




Outstanding Conrad Ulrich engraved Winchester Model 66 lever action rifle estimated for $50,000-100,000 sold for $109,250




Rare and important cased Nimschke engraved Winchester Model 1866 presented to the President of Peru estimated for $35,000-50,000 sold for $60,375




Minty engraved Colt single action army revolver with Texas history estimated for $23,000-30,000 sold for $65,550




Rare engraved and silver plated Colt single action army revolver with Montana association estimated for $17,500-27,500 sold for $43,125




Exceptional Henry Nettleton inspected Colt Cavalry single action army revolver estimated for $85,000-135,000 sold for $92,000




Extremely rare Colt-Ehlers holster Model No. 5 Texas Paterson percussion revolver estimated for $150,000-200,000 sold for $172,500




Extremely rare and historic Colt Model 1848 Baby Dragoon percussion revolver with leather bound casing of MN Governor Alex Ramsey estimated for $75,000-125,000 sold for $92,000




Exceptional engraved & cased Colt Model 1849 pocket percussion revolver estimated for $20,000-30,000 sold for $54,625




Tucker & Sherrard State of Texas Confederate revolver, war souvenir of a 28th Maine soldier sold for $86,250




Confederate Dance dragoon revolver estimated for $45,000-55,000 sold for $51,750




Exceedingly rare and important Springfield “USM” pattern Model 1842 U.S. percussion musket estimated for $10,000-20,000 sold for $20,700