History Sold, and Made, as James D. Julia Spring Firearms Auctions Generate Almost $14 million

Fairfield, Maine (April, 2017) – Our Spring Firearms Auctions began with our Extraordinary Firearms Auction on April 11 and 2-day Sporting & Collector Firearms Auction April 12 & 13, which together grossed nearly $14 million, including multiple world record prices.

James D. Julia regularly sells the greater number of rare and high-end firearms in the world, and the results for this auction bear this fact out: 317 lots brought $10,000 or more, 160 lots brought $20,000 or more, 29 lots brought in an excess of $50,000, 11 lots topped out at over $100,000, and four lots brought in over a quarter of a million dollars each. Some of the more notable highlights from Julia’s Extraordinary Firearms Auction on day 1 included:


  • James D. Julia has handled more firearms from the infamous Battle of Little Bighorn than any other auction house extant. This sale continues to drive that fact. A Colt Single Action Army pistol SN 5773, the only complete and original Colt positively proven to have been used by one of Custer’s men during the infamous Battle of the Little Bighorn. This great American historical treasure, estimated at $175,000-275,000, realized a price of $460,000.
  • Rare and extraordinary cased 100 Guinea Lloyd’s Patriotic Presentation Sword for a hero of the Battle of Trafalgar, Captain William George Rutherford (1764-1818), Commander of HMS Swiftsure. Three descendants of Captain Rutherford traveled great distances to bear witness to the sale of this important piece of maritime history, including Captain Rutherford’s great-great-great niece who first learned about the sword coming to auction at Julia’s while reading the paper on the subway in her home city of London. She also, in a way, continues the family’s proud seafaring tradition as the winner of two Olympic silver medals in rowing. This magnificent sword carried a presale estimate of $150,000-250,000 but saw intense bidding competition and sold over high estimate at $270,250.
  • One of the most exciting Parker shotguns to come to auction in recent years was an incredible, high original condition 20 bore Parker A1 Special. Having fine scroll engraving and gold inlay, this recent discovery carried a presale estimate of $125,000-200,000 and after tremendous competition sold for a whopping $253,000.
  • An absolutely stunning pair of 20 ga. Ivo Fabbri game shotguns set a world auction record for a true pair of Fabbri shotguns when they sold for $299,000. What really sets these guns apart, other than the meticulous craftsmanship for which Fabbri is renowned, is the remarkable scrolling and engraving. The superbly executed large flowing open scroll with acanthus and floral highlights is a unique creation by Valerio Peli of Creative Arts, whose signature appears on right sides of the trigger plates. This dramatic scroll surrounds engraved portraits of an English Pointer and a Gordon Setter in different poses on each gun. The astonishing engraving work is by Italian master engraver Firmo Fracassi. Often engraving of this caliber takes 1000+ hours to complete, and Fracassi engraves an average of two guns a year for obvious reasons. Simply an irreplaceable pair of guns, and work of this intricacy will most likely not be available in the future.
  • A fantastic and extraordinarily rare early Krieghoff First Model German FG-42 Machine gun SN190. For collectors in the Class 3 world, this is a pièce de résistance. It carried a presale estimate of $175,000-250,000 and despite the fact it is a DEWAT (Deactivated War Trophy) it sold for an extraordinary $195,500. This is the auction world record for a Krieghoff First Model FG-42 and is the world record for any DEWAT machine gun ever sold at auction. This iconic and enigmatic machine gun was used by German paratroopers and had been in a private collection for nearly 50 years before being consigned to Julia’s.

    As is usually the case for James D. Julia, this auction included numerous important and in some cases, iconic collections. The Warren Buxton Collection is a great example of an old iconic collection. Warren was a wonderful man, passionate collector, great scholar and amassed what is most certainly the finest, most comprehensive collection of Walther arms remaining in private hands today. He was also the author of what is considered to be the three Bibles on Walther pistols. This sale represented the first session (the next will be in late October) for this collection and included a number of great rarities from Warren’s collection that commanded strong prices, generating over $850,000 in total. Military pistols from the collection of Frank H. Wheaton, III generated strong interest. His superb unissued Singer model 1911A1 presentation semi-automatic pistol attained the highest price from this collection, estimated at $60,000-80,000, it brought just over high estimate at $80,500. One of the finest collections of German Pickelhauben and early military helmets, and unquestionably one of the best brought to the market in many years, is that of Doug Buhler. An extremely rare Prussian 1st Guard Regiment of Foot Officer’s Model 1897 Helmet which included storage case and Field Marshall shoulder boards from the estate of Prince Heinrich of Prussia, brother of Kaiser Wilhelm II. This excellent ensemble was estimated at $20,000-35,000 and sold for $21,850. Another fine collection is that of German industrialist, Friedrich-Wilhelm Dauphin. This was the final session of Mr. Dauphin’s Collection of Rare Military Pistols and the highlight was an absolutely superb Early Loewe Borchardt Model 1893, SN 13, with experimental features in absolutely stunning condition; it was estimated at $50,000-$100,000 and realized a final sale price of $74,750. Another great collection was the world renowned collection of British rifle collector Robert W. Faris and included his incredibly rare 1924 British R.S.A.F. Enfield .303 SMLE No.1, MK VI Prototype Rifle, which blew away its estimate of $15,000-25,000 and sold for $56,350. The Dr. Zack Catterton Collection of Rare Confederate Arms included a Dance SN 243 which sold above low estimate at $46,000. His Griswold Navy, SN 1218, estimated at $25,000-30,000, topped out at $28,750. This sale also included the final session of the Allen Hallock Collection of Extraordinary Schuetzen Rifles. Mr. Hallock’s collection is probably one of the finest of its type today. The highlight of his collection was an extraordinary solid silver, gold and enameled trophy referred to as the Ehret-Schuster Trophy which was presented at the first National Bundesfest held in America in 1895. It carried a presale estimate of $40,000-60,000 and went out at $43,125.

    Julia’s set the world record for Bowie Knives a couple of years ago with a rare Bowie that brought over $200,000 and have since marketed a number of fine Bowies. This sale included a rare spectacular, recently discovered Henry Schively Bowie Knife with original sheath and belt. It carried a presale estimate of $50,000-100,000 and did a little over mid-range at $80,500.

    One unusual and interesting lot in the sale was a superb handcrafted Werner Concord Style Stage Coach. In superb condition and entirely handcrafted, it was at one time in the collection of the late and renowned Winchester collector, Wes Adams. The coach had not only been a prideful part of his extraordinary collection, but bore him to the graveyard after his demise. It carried a presale estimate of $30,000-40,000 and went out at $46,000. A silver mounted Bowland Saddle was estimated at $30,000-50,000 and sold for $39,000.

    For a number of years now, Julia’s has consistently handled some extraordinary and important military collections and this sale included various collections as previously mentioned, but one special item consigned by a private collector was an extremely rare pre-WWII Polish Wz .38m Semi Auto rifle estimated at $40,000-80,000, which sold for $69,000. The rifle was developed by Josef Maroszek and adopted by the Polish Army as the Wz. 38 M. A very limited production of just 55 of these rifles was completed in 1938 by Warsaw Rifle Factory 2 (Zbr.2) before the German invasion. Just five known documented examples are known to have survived, and this rifle, with an overall appearance and finish that is near mint, is one of only two of these that have been in the United States. This rare rifle generated intense interest and bidding. An Officer from the Polish Army came all the way from Warsaw to Maine to repatriate this rifle to his homeland. After much bidding, this extremely rare and historical rifle is indeed heading back to its origin and will eventually be preserved and displayed at the Polish Army Museum in the heart of Warsaw.

    When talking about Military items, there is one thing for certain and that is Julia’s excels in the Class 3 department. Since 2008, John Keene, head of the Class 3 Department, has kept a detailed analysis of Julia’s Class 3 sales as compared to all other North American Auction Houses and Julia’s has consistently, to this day, on average sold more Class 3 than all their North American competitors combined, both in the number of units and in dollar value. This sale generated extremely strong results. In addition to the Krieghoff previously mentioned, an 1898 Brass Argentine Maxim estimated at $30,000-40,000 went out at $43,000. A very scarce Krieghoff FG-42 Second Model generated approximately $150,000. An iconic German MG-42 Tripod Machine Gun estimated at $32,000-42,000, brought $57,500 which is now a world auction record for that model gun at auction. Another highlight was the Colt M-16 A1 with grenade launcher used in the 1983 movie, Scarface, in which Al Pacino announces, “Say hello to my little friend!” It carried a presale estimate of $25,000-50,000 and went out at $51,750. A desirable Steyr AUG Machine Gun with Fleming auto-sear pack was estimated at $10,000-15,000 but shot to $33,350; another world auction record for this type of gun. A registered full auto H&K Machine Gun estimated at $15,000-22,000 brought a new world auction record which was slightly over $43,000.

    Sessions 2 & 3 on April 12 & 13 featured Julia’s newly formed Sporting & Collector sessions. This session usually includes guns that average under $8,000-10,000 with some exceptions. A vast array of firearms were offered over these two days, including fine moderately priced shotguns, Winchesters, Colts, etc. A Winchester Model 66 Carbine estimated at $10,000-17,000 went out at $13,800. A Colt from the Collection of Gary Helin estimated at $7,500-10,000 went out at $12,075. This session of the sale included a little over 1,000 lots and saw a great deal of participation.

    Julia’s next Firearms Auction is scheduled for October of 2017 and will again include a fabulous array of spectacular arms, including the first session for the Dana J. Tauber Estate Collection of Exceptional A.H. Fox Shotguns, the most spectacular collection of A.H. Fox shotguns to ever come to auction. Whether you have a collection or single high value firearm that you would like to sell, please contact us today to be a part of what is sure to be another spectacular sale.