MATTHEWS, N.C. – A Parker Brothers AA Pigeon Gun wood and metal advertising sign, one of only two known, sold for a record $7,543 in an Internet and catalog auction that concluded Aug. 1-2 by SoldUSA.com. The only other known example sold a few years ago at auction to a Parker Gun Collectors Association member, for $5,500. The one sold by SoldUSA.com was the top lot of the sale.
The auction also saw other sporting collectibles and firearms-related materials achieve record prices. “This sale went better than expected,” said Chris Roberts of SoldUSA.com. “In fact, we were dumbfounded by some of the prices being paid for hunting collectibles. It was one of our best sales ever, and it suggests to me that more people are bailing out of the stock market and investing in collectibles.”
Of the 1,502 lots that came up for bid, 1,422 were sold. Only two lots failed to meet the reserve. “We had over 1,300 new bidders who were not previously on our mailing list,” Mr. Roberts commented. “There were 33,000 people who were aware of the auction and on the last two days of the sale we had 600,000 hits per day. There were 6,000 people on our Web site at any given time. It was a great auction.”
The Parker Brothers sign was self-framed and mounted on a wooden base. It measured 7 inches by 26 inches and showed very little overall wear. In the center of the sign was a highly detailed double barrel with metal barrels and highly detailed wood and receiver. It read, “World’s Finest Hammerless, Parker Bros. AA Pigeon Gun, Meriden, Conn.” The reverse read, “Parker No. 4” (the serial number).
Following are additional highlights from the sale. All prices quoted include a 13 percent buyer’s premium.
A Winchester Leader case insert die-cut “Grouse” – in near-mint original condition and one of only a few examples known – soared to $5,270. The piece, measuring 7 3/8 inches by 12 inches and made around 1920, showed only slight scratching to the shell and had no fading or soiling. It is actually in better shape than the example shown on page 73 of the book Winchester Rarities, by Tom Webster.
A UMC Shooting Gallery Bull’s Eye Cartridges flange lithographed tin sign, in the shape of a bull’s head and measuring 18 1/2 inches by 26 3/4 inches, went for $4,068. The piece read, “Shooting Gallery, Hit the Bull’s Eye With UMC Cartridges.” The original lithographic company on the inside portion of the flange read, “American Art Sign Co. NY.” The sign had undergone some light restoration.
An original Marlin Repeaters Rifles and Shotguns factory tin sign, one of only two known to exist, changed hands for $3,884. An example in lesser condition sold at a Tulsa gun show about five years ago for $5,000. This example, measuring 6 inches by 27 1/8 inches, had the correct rolled edges and paper backing. It featured the embossed picture of the factory, plus the words embossed in gold.
A Winchester Leader “The Shell For Nitro Powders” brass embossed sign in near mint condition and made for Winchester by C.W. Shonk, Sign Mfr. (Chicago) coasted to $2,500. The only other known example of the piece in lesser condition sold at a James D. Julia auction a few years ago for $3,500. The example just sold – 9 3/4 inches by 13 1/2 inches – showed no fading at all and only slight wear.
Rounding out the top lots, a U.S. Ammunition “Demonstrated Standard of the World” self-framed tin sign, one of the best examples of the piece ever offered by SoldUSA.com, brought $2,260. The sign, measuring 22 1/4 inches by 28 1/4 inches, showed some light edge wear with some very minor surface scratches. But there was no fading, and the original side decals of the cartridges were all intact.
SoldUSA.com’s next big sale is now online at www.SoldUSA.com. Featured are high-end ammunition collectibles, advertising items and some of the rarest Christmas boxes ever offered anywhere. Also for bid are hundreds of lots of rare tin signs, die-cuts, posters, calendars and many other hunting and fishing collectibles. The sale concludes Sept. 26-27. “Serious collectors need to log on now,” Mr. Roberts said.
SoldUSA.com is one of the oldest Internet companies in the world. It was launched in 1990 as the brainchild of Ronnie Roberts, who started the firm as Dixie Sporting Collectibles. Mr. Roberts very shrewdly took note of the company’s success with Internet sales and grew it into what it is today – SoldUSA.com, the premier hunting collectibles Internet auction site, with over 30,000 registered users.
To learn more about SoldUSA.com and the Internet and catalog auction that concludes Sept. 26-27, visit www.SoldUSA.com. The firm is always looking for quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item or a collection, call them directly at 704-815-1500 or e-mail them at croberts@SoldUSA.com.
Photos courtesy of SoldUSA.com.