Julia’s Fall Firearms Auction-Another Great Success at Over $9 Million!

James D. Julia’s October 4th & 5th firearms auction was another great success at over $9.1 million! The total low estimate of everything sold was approximately $6.6 million, which indicates that the sales results were $2.5 million dollars above low estimate. The sale once again produced the highest numbers of expensive firearms sold at any auction in the world this year. Nearly 70 lots brought $25,000 or more; 11 of those lots were over $100,000 and several of the items established new world records.

The first session traditionally begins with Class III and as usual was well rounded and included some great rarities. Most notable was the near mythical extraordinarily rare Colt AR-15, SN 106. This exact firearm was the very firearm that was tested by General Curtis LeMay (who used watermelon and coconuts as targets and thus the gun became known as the “coconut gun”). This exact gun was also test fired by President John F. Kennedy and various other dignitaries. It carried a presale estimate of $40,000-60,000 and after a heated bidding battle went out at $103,500. A German STG-44 was estimated at $10,000-15,000 and finally sold for $25,150. Another popular Class III was a German MG-34 tank gun made by Brunn estimated at $12,000-17,000; it brought $23,575. A tremendous amount of interest was registered for the rare US Lewis Gun MK VI made by Savage (C&R). Estimated at $10,000-15,000, it topped out at $40,825. A staple of almost any offering of Class III are the Thompson submachine guns. One example estimated at $15,000-20,000 went out at $24,150. A number of Ingram Mac-10s were consigned from one single source. Most were still in their original wrapping paper from 1971 with numerous extra clips. Each was estimated at $2,000-3,000 and most realized $4,300. Julia’s has gotten some very strong prices for original Pedersen devices in the past and an Extremely Rare Model 1918 Mark I Pedersen Device with can was no exception. This one, estimated at $15,000-25,000 realized $34,500. A number of rare Springfield target rifles included a Model 1903 Sporter Secretary of Navy trophy rifle from 1936 with original insert silver medallion stating, “Secretary Of Navy’s Rifle Trophy / Won By Midshipman / William Blenman U.S.N. 1936”. Estimated at $7,500-12,500, it sold for $10,350. An extremely rare, one of a kind and historic Merkel 201E Over-Under double rifle with extra combination and shotgun barrels, scopes and case had been made expressly for Hitler’s henchman, Heinrich Himmler. Very few Himmler items ever come to auction and this was a truly unique example, complete with copies of the original factory records. This set carried an estimate of $100,000-150,000 and went out at $115,000. A group of Lugers included a Superb DWM 1902 Luger Carbine with original leather case, estimated at $15,000-25,000; it sold for $19,550. A Spectacular and rare 1900 DWM American Eagle US test trials rig estimated at $14,000-20,000, sold for $15,525. A rare one millionth gold plated presentation Remington Rand Model 1911A1 semi-auto military pistol estimated at $8,500-12,500, realized $15,525. Also offered with the military items was an extremely rare case V-42 WWII Commando Stiletto with original sheath. This extremely rare Ranger Stiletto carried a presale estimate of $7,500-9,500 and sold for $8,625. A highly engraved and gold embellished Smith & Wesson Model 19 Combat Magnum DA done by renowned engraver Alvin White, was originally a presentation by Mr. Bill Sweet on July 26, 1958 to J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI. This highly decorated weapon estimated at $35,000-55,000, finally sold at $34,500.

Ned Schwing is a renowned figure in the shotgun world, a scholar, an author and an avid & passionate collector of high-grade shotguns, particularly Winchesters. His comprehensive works include The Winchester Model 42; Winchester’s Finest – The Model 21; two volumes on Winchester Slide Action Rifles; The Browning Superposed; Standard Catalog Firearms, etc. His great love focused around Model 42s & 21s and the guns offered from his collection included some superb examples of this specific model. An outstanding and desirable Model 42 Deluxe Pump with original box, estimated at $15,000-20,000, sold at $16,675. A special order Model 42 Deluxe pump also with original box, estimated at $15,000-20,000 went out at $16,100. A scarce Model 42 trap grade skeet style pump, estimated at $10,000-15,000 was sold at $18,400. A rare and desirable Model 42 trap grade estimated at $10,000-15,000, brought $24,150. In addition to Winchesters, this collection also included some wonderful small bore Parkers. A rare and desirable 410 Parker GHE estimated at $30,000-50,000, sold for $34,500 and a minty 20-gauge Parker BHE estimated at $35,000-55,000 sold for $37,950.

Despite the incredible success of this sale, there are always some disappointments. A Winchester Model 21 presented to baseball’s “great”, Joe DiMaggio from Capt. Joseph Cocozza was given to the “Yankee Clipper” at the time of his breaking George Sisler’s record of 41 games straight with a base hit. DiMaggio not only beat his record but went on to establish a new record of 56 straight games, which to this day has not been beaten. The gun carried a presale estimate of $125,000-250,000. One would think, considering a baseball signed by DiMaggio and his wife Marilyn Monroe recently realized over $190,000 and his 1936 Yankee uniform was offered at $600,000, the estimate would seem appropriate. But unfortunately there were no takers. There was, however, a taker for the very next lot, a rare John Ulrich Number 6 engraved Winchester Model 21 Custom Deluxe 20 ga with extra barrels. Estimated at $35,000-55,000, this beautifully engraved shotgun went out at $57,500. An extremely rare Number 3 engraved Model 21 custom grade 410 with original box, estimated at $40,000-60,000 went out at $51,750. A custom built Model 21 No. 5 engraved shotgun in .410 gauge, estimated at $20,000-30,000, went out at $33,350. A very fine Parker A-1 Special trap or pigeon gun in 12 gauge estimated at $50,000-80,000, sold for $57,500. A Parker AAHE single trigger trap or pigeon Gun in 12 gauge, estimated at $15,000-25,000 sold for $21,850. An Exceptional, High-Condition Parker GHE 410 estimated at $30,000-40,000, finally sold at $39,100. A Rare 20 gauge Browning, P4-W Superlite with Case was estimated at $27,500-37,500 and brought $29,900 and a Superb Browning Midas Grade Small Frame with Three Sets of Barrels estimated at $22,500-32,500 finally sold at $33,925. A spectacular Capece-engraved, five color gold inlaid Browning Superposed 20 gauge was estimated at $13,000-17,000 and went out at $23,000.

The most exciting price attained for a shotgun in this sale, however, was the truly exceptional Boss over/under sidelock single trigger game gun with original case and accessories in 20 gauge. Prior to the auction there was tremendous interest in this superb and rare shotgun and many serious bidders set up to participate on the phone. However, two very determined bidders flew to the auction in their private jets to do battle. Estimated at $65,000-85,000, the bidding was long and spirited and topped out at $189,750. This is believed to be currently the world record for a Boss shotgun at auction. An exceptional Woodward over/under sidelock in 12 gauge was estimated at $40,000-70,000 and sold for $48,875. One very fine J. Purdey sidelock ejector game gun with original case in 12 gauge was estimated at $30,000-50,000 and finally sold at $31,625. A Holland & Holland Royal Brevis self-opening sidelock in 20 gauge, estimated at $25,000-35,000 went out at $28,750.

A great number of other fine quality shotguns were offered including a Fabbri sidelock over/under pigeon gun, estimated at $15,000-22,000, which topped out at $36,800. Fine sporting rifles included a Holland & Holland Royal hammerless sidelock ejector in caliber 375 H&H. Estimated at $37,500-47,500, it sold for $43,125. The sale also included a cased pair of Westley holster pistols in outstanding condition and estimated at $17,500-27,500, they sold for $28,750.

The second session began with an outstanding private collection of rare Volcanic pistols and long arms. The first lot, a rare Smith & Wesson Volcanic small frame pistol, estimated at $20,000-30,000 was the subject of a heated and prolonged bidding battle that ended at $47,150. Another great item in this collection was an extremely rare Volcanic Arms pistol carbine, estimated at $20,000-30,000 which went out at $44,850. A rare engraved Volcanic action carbine with remnants of its original silver wash, estimated at $15,000-20,000 went out at $32,200. The Volcanics were immediately followed by Winchesters and the top lot in this offering was an extremely rare & spectacular John Ulrich Engraved, gold inlaid Deluxe takedown Model 86 in .33 WCF. This spectacular example had for many years been on display at the famous Cody Firearms Museum, lent by the family who had owned it for a very long time. The family recently decided to sell the gun and was well aware of some of the recent extraordinary Winchester sales at previous Julia auctions. After contacting Julia’s, this work of art was offered at $150,000-250,000. The final bid price realized was $201,250. A scarce early Henry marked Model 66 lever action brass frame was estimated at $22,500-32,500 and went out at $36,225. Also a Lucian Cary’s H. M. Pope Winchester high wall single shot rifle, “The last Pope muzzle-loader built”, with original false muzzle, mold, lubricator, and powder measure in caliber 32-40 was offered with an estimate of $8,000-12,000 and sold for $16,100. One other exciting Winchester highlighted the sale was a scarce Winchester single “W” cartridge board. An excellent example, it was offered with an estimate of $15,000-25,000. A monumental bidding battle ensued resulting in a final sale price of $56,350 – probably a world auction record for a Winchester cartridge board.

The most exciting news of all concerning Winchesters could not be revealed at the auction. This was regarding the extraordinary Wes Adams Estate Collection of High-Grade Winchesters. Just prior to the auction Julia’s had closed the deal on this monumental collection and they will be offering the Winchesters in three different sessions for their upcoming 2012 and 2013 auctions. The late Mr. Adams assembled an extraordinary collection of Winchesters and this collection will represent one of the finest single-owner collections of Winchesters offered in many, many years! Adams’ collection is not limited to Winchesters. In addition, there is a spectacular offering of Marlins, an extraordinary collection of Savage Arms, Colt single actions and numerous other fine examples. One thing they all have in common is their extraordinary condition! Speaking of extraordinary condition, this sale included only a couple of Marlins but both were in truly spectacular condition. The first, an extraordinarily rare factory engraved Deluxe Model 1893 takedown with bird’s eye maple stock inscribed to D. M. Hazelton. It carried a presale estimate of $45,000-55,000 and sold for $48,875. Also a rare takedown special order deluxe engraved Marlin 1894 was also in truly spectacular condition. It was discovered just prior to sale time that this exact gun had been a special exhibition gun used by the Marlin firm for a period of time to promote their guns. This rare lever action, estimated at $45,000-55,000, sold just after the auction for $43,000. A spectacular Colt double rifle, originally in the renowned Eldon Owens collection is one of the finest condition ones known. It carried a presale estimate of $90,000-120,000 and sold for $103,500. A number of very rare Colts were offered in this sale. Most notable was a spectacular cased No. 5 Texas Paterson percussion revolver with 2-barrels, one being an exceedingly rare 12” barrel. This truly rare example in outstanding condition was estimated at $400,000-700,000 and went out at $431,250. An extraordinary Colt rimfire single action army revolver, considered to be the finest of its type known today in 44 Rimfire Henry carried an estimate of $175,000-275,000 and went out at $201,250. A Rare L.D. Nimschke engraved Colt single action army revolver in 45 caliber and in impeccable original condition carried an estimate of $125,000-175,000 and sold for $149,500. A Fine Indian Wars Colt cavalry single action 45 caliber, carrying a rare David F. Clark inspection mark and in superb condition was estimated at $75,000-125,000 and sold for $86,250. One rare Colt single action with a 4-13/16” barrel carried the identification mark of Samuel Lombard Hart. Hart was the only gun repairman and dealer in Tombstone at the time of the fight at the O.K. Corral. He had just relocated in Tombstone and reconditioned US Cavalry Colts. And before selling them, he branded them with his special “SLH” brand and “heart”. This example, originally sold through his shop carried a presale estimate of $25,000-35,000 and sold for $33,350. An extremely rare, factory engraved nickel & gold Colt Model 1877 Thunderer had the added distinction of being inscribed to W.L. Berg. Berg was a well-known businessman in his day and eventually became a business agent for Orville and Wilbur Wright. This beautiful small Colt was estimated at $15,000-25,000 and went out at $28,750. The inspiration for Samuel Colt’s revolving cartridge revolver is believed to have come from a successfully manufactured flintlock revolver designed and patented by Elisha Haydon Collier of Boston, Massachusetts in 1818. These were supposedly produced in London and this rare example, in very fine condition, was estimated at $20,000-$35,000. It sold for $43,125.

At the conclusion of Julia’s very successful spring firearms auction, a Maine family came in, met with Jim Julia and one of his consultants to show a rare engraved cased Colt Root very similar to an outstanding example sold in their spring auction. This one, however, had the distinction of being presented to “Captain Pleasanton, USA” with Colonel Colt’s compliments. Captain Alfred Pleasanton graduated from West Point in 1844 and had a gallant war record during the Mexican War and served as General of Cavalry during the Civil War with George Armstrong Custer as a member of his staff. The Colt was estimated at $15,000-30,000, but the history of its former owner propelled the final price to $51,750.

There were many historic lots in this auction and one very interesting one was a Kerr Revolver presented by Confederate President Jefferson Davis to his personal escort Given Campbell. The pistol, which had descended through Campbell’s descendents, came with a small hand-written diary Campbell had kept during the final days of the Confederacy. The gun and the small diary were offered as a lot with a presale estimate of $20,000-30,000 and went out at $37,375.

Julia’s sales consistently offer a fine selection of Civil War and Confederate items and this auction was no exception. A unique Confederate Morse carbine estimated at $15,000-20,000 sold for $37,375. And a rare confederate Dickson Nelson Rifle, estimated at $15,000-30,000 went out at $23,000. The biggest battle of the day, however, was a presentation Third Pennsylvania Cavalry Regimental Colors. The silk flag with beautiful painted field depicting horses, eagles, etc., carried a presale estimate of $15,000-25,000. After a prolonged bidding battle it went out at $73,600.

Indian War memorabilia is another strong area represented at Julia’s auctions and this sale included an extraordinary single-owner collection of images and objects relating to Custer, his 7th Cavalry, and the infamous Battle of Little Big Horn. The lot included approximately 80 pieces, most of which were rare photographs, some of which depicted troopers killed in action. The single owner lot estimated at $300,000-400,000 ultimately sold for $316,250. An Indian War Era Plains decorated pictorial Buffalo robe was estimated at $40,000-60,000 and went out at $86,250.

Also included were two late model Colt Gatling guns, both of which performed admirably. Part of their success was attributed to the fact that they had been recently restored and arsenal re-barreled to accept 30-06 cartridges. The original early Gatling guns take 45-70 or 45-90 ammo which costs $5-7 per round whereas 30-06 Government surplus can cost a tenth of that or less per round. The first, complete with reproduced limber and carriage, was estimated at $125,000-175,000 and sold for $143,750. The second, without carriage or limber but on a special Arsenal tri-pod frame was estimated at $80,000-120,000. After a prolonged bidding battle, it realized $207,000.

One notable historical lot was a British cartridge pouch, belt, buckle and bayonet holder which had originally been taken from a dead British soldier of the 36th Regiment on April 19, 1775, the day of the infamous Battles of Lexington and Concord. This had descended through the Hosmer family down to the early 20th century. The family history was that a Hosmer ancestor was plowing his field and discovered a dead British soldier, believed to possibly have been a grenadier. After taking the soldier’s Brown Bess Musket and this leather rigging, the Hosmer farmer gave the soldier a Christian burial. The Battles at Lexington and Concord claimed only a small number of British soldiers, most of whom were accounted for. However, the eventual retreat back to Boston was almost a rout and all during the retreat, minutemen and militia hid behind stone walls and trees and sniped at the British lines, killing a great number of regulars as they attempted to get back to Boston. This extraordinary historic lot from one of the first and most famous military engagements in the history of our country carried a presale estimate of $30,000-50,000 and sold for $74,750. Another exceedingly rare and important indentified Revolutionary War boarding helmet made from leather carried a presale estimate of $5,000-15,000. Believed to be the only complete and intact example known, it sold for $19,550.

A Revolutionary War Era bayonet stamped “Webster”, considered to be the rarest marked American bayonet in existence, was estimated at $6,000-8,000 and sold for $20,700. If not a record, this must have been one of the highest prices ever attained for a bayonet. An extremely rare Harper’s Ferry Model 1840/1835 Pattern Model flintlock musket was estimated at $15,000-20,000 and sold for $27,025. An extremely rare martially marked 2nd variation of the 1st model Savage & North Figure 8 revolver with brass frame was estimated at $6,500-10,000 and sold for $23,000.

One of the most famous veterans of WWI was Sergeant Alvin York, a conscientious objector who finally entered the service and was sent to France. In one engagement, his entire company was pinned down by German machine guns and he singlehandedly moved forward, silencing the machineguns and eventually capturing over 170 Germans. This extraordinary feat earned him the Medal of Honor and was commemorated in a movie starring Gary Cooper and Walter Brenan. Cooper won the Academy Award for his portrayal of York, and with it, enshrined York’s legacy. This sale included a Leman-style percussion “Chunk” gun used as a target rifle by Alvin York. York was a great marksman and frequently attended shooting matches in and around the Appalachian region where he lived. On one occasion he attended a match and sold this rifle to the consignor’s father who proudly cared for it and kept it as one of the feature items of his collection during his lifetime. Normally this type of gun would only bring $1,000-1,500. However, its historic association resulted in a $3,000-$10,000 presale estimate. It went out at $20,700.

At Julia’s last auction, a new world record of $184,000 was established for a Kentucky rifle. The consignor’s father had originally taken a good portion of the family savings and over a period of time and purchased four very choice Kentucky rifles from the renowned Joe Kindig. His wife at the time was not certain this was the wisest means of investing money, but since the minister’s death and his widow now needing special care, the family decided to sell the four Kentucky rifles. The first two were sold in the March sale resulted in one setting the world record of $184,000. This time, the remaining two were sold and once again, generated a new world record. This magnificent carved Frederick Sell Kentucky of Littlestown, Pennsylvania in outstanding condition carried a presale estimate of $65,000-95,000. It was hotly contended for by host of knowledgeable participants, finally fetching $195,500, establishing another new world auction record for a Kentucky rifle. The other Kentucky consigned by the family was estimated for $45,000-65,000 and was by Adam Ernst of York County. Having a carved relief stock, it was also an outstanding example and also highly competed for with a final selling price of $74,750, all of which made the widow a true believer in the investment potential of rare antique firearms.

Various other Kentucky’s included an attractive Kentucky attributed to Lehigh County gunsmith Peter Kuntz estimated at $8,000-12,000 and went out at $11,500. Another attractive relief-carved Kentucky rifle by Henry Koons of Frederick County, Maryland was estimated for $10,000-15,000, and went out at $11,500.

More details on this extraordinary auction can be had by visiting Julia’s website at www.jamesdjulia.com or by contacting Julia’s at PO Box 830, Fairfield, Maine, 04937, or by calling (207) 453-7125. Julia’s is now accepting individual items and entire collections for their upcoming spring 2012 auction which will surely be another extraordinary firearms auction with the inclusion of the renowned late Wes Adams Firearms Collection.

Extraordinarily rare cased no. 5 Texas Paterson percussion revolver 2-barrel set. Est: $400,000-700,000. One of only a handful of Patersons ever made with a spare 12” barrel. Sold $431,250

Extraordinary, finest of its type known in the world, Colt rimfire single action army revolver. Est: $175,000-275,000 Sold $201,000

Magnificent relief carved Frederick Sell Littlestown, Pa. flintlock rifle. Est: $65,000-95,000. This price represents a new world record for a Kentucky rifle at auction and beats Julia’s March 2011 world record of $184,000.

Extremely fine Adam Ernst York County relief carved flintlock rifle. Est: $45,000-65,000 Sold $74,000

One of a kind and historically important Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler’s Merkel 201E over-under double rifle with extra combination and shotgun barrels, scopes, and case. Est: $100,000-150,000 Sold $115,000

Extremely rare & spectacular John Ulrich engraved & gold inlaid deluxe takedown model 1886 lever action Winchester. Est: $150,000- $250,000 Sold $201,000

Very fine Parker A-1 special trap or pigeon gun. Est: $50,000-80,000 Sold $57,000

Very rare L.D. Nimschke engraved Colt single action army revolver. Est: $125,000-175,000 Sold $149,000

Near mythical extraordinarily rare Colt AR-15 model 1 original select fire test rifle known as “The Coconut Rifle”. Est: $40,000-60,000 Sold $103,000

An extraordinary single owner collection of images and objects relating to Custer, his 7th cavalry, and the infamous Battle Of Little Big Horn. Est: $300,000-400,000 Sold $316,000

Indian War era Plains Indian painted pictorial robe. Est: $40,000-60,000 Sold $86,000

Presentation Third Pennsylvania Cavalry regimental colors. Est: $15,000-$25,000 Sold $73,000

Rare John Ulrich number 6 engraved Winchester model 21 custom deluxe shot gun with extra barrels and case. Est: $35,000-55,000 Sold $57,000

Important and historic British cartridge box, bayonet and belt taken from a dead British soldier of the 38th Regt. Foot near Concord, Mass April 19, 1775. Est: $30,000-50,000, Sold $74,000.

Exceptionally fine Woodward over-under sidelock ejector single trigger game gun with original case and accessories. Est: $40,000-70,000 Sold $48,000

Scarce Winchester single W cartridge board. Est: $15,000-$25,000 Sold $56,000

Rare Smith & Wesson Volcanic small frame pistol. Est: $20,000-30,000 Sold $47,000

Rare & spectacular Colt double rifle. Est: $90,000-120,000 Sold $103,000

Truly exceptional Boss over-under sidelock single trigger game gun with original case and accessories. Est: $65,000-85,000 Sold $189,750. This price represents a new world record for Boss shotgun at auction.

Rare Colt model 1903 Gatling gun on Manila gun boat deck mount. Est: $80,000-120,000 Sold $207,000

Truly exceptional 20 gauge Parker BHE (Schwing Collection) $35,000-55,000 Sold $37,000

Rare and desirable Winchester model 42 trap grade pump action shotgun (Schwing Collection). Est: $10,000-15,000 Sold $24,000