PITTSFIELD, Mass. – An important cataloged auction comprising over 700 lots of rare and vintage firearms, Civil War items and other militaria will be held Jan. 16, at 11 a.m., by Fontaine’s Auction Gallery. The sale will be held in Fontaine’s gallery, located at 1485 West Housatonic Street in Pittsfield. Previews will be held Jan. 15, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Jan. 16, from 8-11 a.m.
“This auction will feature a fine and diverse collection of items from the Civil War through World War II, as well as many pre-Civil War pieces,” said John Fontaine. “Included will be 300 vintage firearms, a collection of over 300 swords, daggers, bayonets and other edged weapons, plus uniforms, accessories, flags, paintings and prints, letters, ephemera, daguerreotypes, tintypes, books and more.”
The auction will also be the first one to feature a new policy at Fontaine’s Auction Gallery: zero percent consignors’ commission on high-end consignments. “This is our way of thanking our many consignors who have helped make our past auctions so successful, and of insuring that these same folks and others like them with wonderful collections will consign with us in the future,” Mr. Fontaine said.
Zero percent consignors’ commission is just one highlight of the auction. The single session event will be held onsite and via the Internet, with multiple online bidding platforms, to include the one custom designed specifically for Fontaine’s and accessible via their Web site at www.FontainesAuction.net. The other platforms include LiveAuctioneers.com, Proxibid.com and iCollector.com. In addition, phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. A free full-color catalog is available by calling 413-448-8922.
Vintage rifles, pistols, carbines and revolvers will dominate the day’s offerings, but the top lot just may end up being a fantastic bronze grouping after John Rogers, titled “The Picket Guards.” The group shows two Union soldiers dressed in Zouave jackets and armed with muskets. They are centered by a 2nd Lieutenant armed with a sword. The fine polished gold finish group should hit $10,000-$15,000.
Rifles will be offered up in abundance. Expected top earners include a Colt model 1855 military rifle, .56 caliber and a nice example of a rare Colt (estimate $12,000-$15,000); a full-stock Kentucky rifle, 48 caliber, with a beautiful tiger maple stock and 43 3/4-inch octagonal barrel (estimate $3,000-$5,000); and a Remington Zouave rifle with “1863” marked on the barrel and a bright shiny bore (estimate $3,000-$4,500).
Other rifles of note include a flintlock full-stock Kentucky rifle with 41 1/4-inch octagonal barrel, .48 caliber and nice stock (estimate $2,000-$4,000); a Remington Zouave percussion rifle, .58 caliber, with 33-inch barrel with 7 grooves (estimate $3,000-$4,000); a full-stock flintlock plain Kentucky rifle, .60 caliber (estimate $2,500-$3,500); and a 1939 German Mauser model 98 SS Nazi rifle (estimate $2,000-$3,000).
Revolvers are also expected to do well, too. A Colt first model Dragoon revolver with .44 caliber barrel, good bore and matching serial number (#5658) should command $12,000-$16,000. Other stars of the category include a cased Colt model 1851 Navy revolver, .36 caliber, with a great bore (estimate $8,000-$10,000); and a Colt single-action Army revolver, .44 caliber, in superior condition (estimate $6,000-$7,000).
Additional revolvers will include a Remington new model Navy revolver, conversion to .38 rimfire, marked patented in 1858 and 1863, with a very good bore (estimate $3,000-$4,000); a C.R. Alsop Navy model revolver, Civil War-era, .36 caliber, made in Middletown, Conn. (estimate $2,500-$3,000); and a Colt model 1860 Army revolver with matching serial numbers that date to 1867 (estimate $2,000-$3,000).
Some pistols will be offered as multiple lots. Examples include a wonderful cased pair of D. Egg percussion dueling pistols, British made, 19th century (estimate $4,000-$6,000); a pair of English flintlock pistols by the premier London gun maker Henry Nock (estimate $3,000-$5,000); and a unique cased set of Remington rolling block pistols and a genuine Bowie knife – all Civil War-era (estimate $3,500-$4,500).
Additional multiple-lot pistols will include an elegant pair of flintlock pistols with 9-inch Damascus barrels that are about .56 caliber, in perfect working order (estimate $2,500-$4,500); a cased pair of flintlock dueling pistols, the case engraved with “Jefferson Davis 1861” (estimate $2,000-$3,000); and a cased set of percussion pistols with 7-inch round cannon style barrels, .52 caliber (estimate $2,000-$3,000).
Single-lot pistols will feature a Colt third model Dragoon, .44 caliber, with the top of the barrel marked “Saml Colt New-York” and the cylinder stamped “W.L. Ormsby” (estimate $8,000-$12,000); a unique double-sided leather case concealing a small pinfire gambler’s pistol that fuctions perfectly (estimate $3,500-$4,500); and a Remington 1871 Army rolling block pistol, Civil War-era (estimate $3,000-$3,500).
Carbines will include a highly unusual Austrian flintlock carbine made in 1842, possibly a factory prototype that never made it to production (estimate $3,500-$4,500); and a Triplett & Scott 7-shot repeating carbine with 30-inch barrel and nice bore (estimate $2,500-$3,500). Also sold will be a massive Hudson Bay flintlock punt gun, 8 feet long and weighing more than 50 pounds (estimate $2,500-$4,000).
Following are additional anticipated top lots from a broad array of categories, all military:
• A Confederate Bowie knife with black leather belt and cap box, the belt having a copper-colored brass buckle and the knife in a tin with a 9-inch blade (estimate $4,000-$6,000).
• A 14th New York Utica Citizen’s Corp Civil War officer’s coat, dark blue, with a row of 9 buttons down the front and large UCC buttons on each side, in excellent condition (estimate $2,000-$4,000).
• A pre-World War II (model 1934) light cavalry sword (Poland), with nickel-plated scabbard, brass pommel cap, brass stirrup guard, black wood groove handle and rear finial (estimate $2,000-$3,000).
• A muzzle-loading brass signal cannon, small but heavy, with a 22-inch brass barrel, 1.4-inch bore and a breech end of tube marked “Wm. Read & Sons” over “Boston” over “6” (estimate $2,000-$3,000).
• A rare Andersonville lithographic print titled “Let us forgive, but not forget” and detailing some of the atrocities committed at Andersonville Prison in the Civil War, framed (estimate $2,000-$3,000).
• A Florida state Confederate stars and bars flag, said to have been designed by Nicola Marschall, with seven original stars and an eighth later added, for Virginia in 1861 (estimate $2,000-$3,000).
Fontaine’s Auction Gallery is always accepting quality consignments for its future sales. The firm is especially interested in vintage clocks and watches, Civil War items and other militaria; fine art, period American and Continental furniture, and decorative accessories.
For consignment and other information, call Fontaine’s at 413-448-8922; or you can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit www.fontainesauction.net.
Photos courtesy Fontaine’s Auction Gallery.
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