1860 rifle with outlaw past aiming for $50,000

DENVER, Pa. – An outstanding lineup of antique and contemporary firearms, swords and other edged weapons awaits bidders June 15th at Morphy’s. The 440-lot auction includes a nice balance of 130+ antique firearms, 150+ modern firearms and more than 50 lots of knives, swords and miscellaneous items. In addition to live bidding in the gallery, all other forms of bidding will be available, including absentee, by phone and live via the Internet through Morphy Live or Artfact.

Rare 1860 Henry .44-cal. repeating rifle formerly owned by Sheriff William R. Rowland of Los Angeles County and believed to have been the same Henry firearm used by California outlaw Tiburcio Vasque, may commander the top lot spot, with a presale estimate of $30,000-$35,000. (Photo courtesy Morphy Auctions).

Rare 1860 Henry .44-cal. repeating rifle formerly owned by Sheriff William R. Rowland of Los Angeles County and believed to have been the same Henry firearm used by California outlaw Tiburcio Vasque, may commander the top lot spot, with a presale estimate of $30,000-$35,000. (Photo courtesy Morphy Auctions).

The auction begins with a longtime collection of .22 caliber rifles, many of which are hard-to-find types in excellent-plus condition. A fine collection of Henry repeating-style rifles is led by Lot 92, a rare, original .44-caliber Henry 1860 Model with matching serial numbers and a great original finish. This gun was formerly owned by Los Angeles County Sheriff William R. Rowland (1846-1926). Sheriff Rowland served from 1872 through 1879 and was re-elected when he ran for office in 1879. He was best known for chasing and apprehending the notorious California bandit Tiburcio Vasquez.

The Henry gun to be auctioned by Morphy’s is accompanied by a 1993 issue of Wild West magazine that includes a story about Vasquez and his string of bloody gunfights, stagecoach robberies and other crimes. After being captured by Rowland, the feared career outlaw was tried, convicted and hung, on March 19, 1875.

“Vasquez was known to carry a Henry gun, and we believe it was his gun that ended up in Sheriff Rowland’s possession and subsequently was passed down through his family and now to our auction,” said Morphy Auctions CEO Dan Morphy. The Henry rifle is expected to make $30,000-$35,000 in the sale.

Next on the auction agenda is an impressive selection of high-end shotguns, both O/U and SXS, with key lots being Lot 137, a Belgian-made Browning Superposed Diana Grade 20GA, and Lot 174, a 1910 A.H. Fox (Philadelphia) CE Grade 20GA double barrel. Another important part of the sale is the grouping of revolvers and rare pistols. Topping this

Colt Bisley Model .32-cal. revolver, manufactured in 1908, may fetch $8,000 to $12,000. (Photo courtesy Morphy Auctions).

Colt Bisley Model .32-cal. revolver, manufactured in 1908, may fetch $8,000 to $12,000. (Photo courtesy Morphy Auctions).

category are Lot 227, a Colt Bisley revolver; and Lot 242, an NRA-marked Springfield Armory Colt 1911 pistol.

Also slated for sale is a specialty section comprised of 130+ antique firearms, ranging from early Kentucky rifles through black powder SXS shotguns. The featured Kentucky rifle, Lot 327, is an original John Shuler of Liverpool, Pa. It comes from the longtime collection of Donald L. Mitchell, an avid collector and the author of “A History of Early Perry County Guns & Gunsmiths.” Many other Kentucky-style rifles complete the wide variety of firearms in the sale.

The session will conclude with a small grouping of early hunting and military knives, swords (both military and fraternal) and some German Nazi memorabilia.

Morphy Auctions’ Saturday, June 15, 2013 auction will commence at 9 a.m. Eastern Time. Morphy’s gallery is located at 2000 N. Reading Rd., Denver, PA 17517. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through Morphy Live or Artfact.

For additional information on any lot in the sale, to order a catalog or to organize a phone line, call 717-335-3435 or email serena@morphyauctions.com. Visit Morphy Auctions online at www.morphyauctions.com.

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