American Ammunition Company shell box achieves new world record price

MATTHEWS, N.C. — An extremely rare American Ammunition Company smokeless 12-gage empty shell box, one of only a few examples known and in nice condition, sold for a new world record price of $6,859 in an Internet and catalog auction that went online Sept. 1 and concluded the weekend of Sept. 27-28. The sale was conducted by SoldUSA.com, the premier hunting collectibles auction site.

The box featured the American flag in the center, and was surrounded by American shields and red and blue banners. The integrity of the box was very sound, with a correct label on the bottom. It showed some light soiling and edge wear, but was otherwise in fine condition, with no fading. The end panel clearly read, “Long Brass, Smokeless Powder, 3-1/8 Drams – 1-1/4 Oz. – No. 7-1/2 Chilled.”

“Even with the tumbling of the world’s financial markets to record lows, we experienced high and record prices in this sale,” said Chris Roberts, president of SoldUSA.com. “Once everyone got warmed up, it was clear the economy wasn’t going to affect us at all. New world record prices were set for ammunition and advertising lots, and very high prices were realized for general store merchandise.”

Mr. Roberts attributed the sale’s success, in large part, to the general store items. “This is a new area of selling for us and we hope it will become a staple for us in future auctions.” In all, 935 lots changed hands (of the 1,000 or so offered). About 2,200 bidders participated, literally from around the world, most of them online. There were also 150 phone and fax bids recorded, plus some e-mail bids.

“We were actually kind of worried about this auction, right up to the ending day,” Mr. Roberts commented. “We saw huge numbers of people viewing our advertisements and our auctionzip.com page (ID #13906), and we had registered over 500 new people to our extensive mailing list. But bidding got off to a slow start until the last few days of the sale, when it seemed everyone suddenly got real busy.”

Additional highlights from the sale follow. Prices quoted include a 13 percent buyer’s premium.

The top lot of the auction was a very rare and fully correct A.L. Hall (Seattle, Wash.) shell box, featuring a hunter in the field and a setter in the foreground with a quail in its mouth. The piece soared to $8,294, also setting a new world record price. The integrity of the box was sound and its overall condition fine, with no fading. The shells were in fine original condition, with the correct top wads.

A Luxus Beer “The Beer You Like” reverse-on-glass advertising frame, in fantastic condition, coasted to $6,215. The piece featured a Southern gentleman, “The Critic,” holding a bottle of Lexus Beer. The slogan “No Better Beer Made, No Beer Better Made” was on the bottom. Made in 1908, the beer advertisement was housed in its original oak frame and measured 24-1/2 inches by 32-3/4 inches.

An original tin flanged Red Hat Motor Oil sign, measuring 18 inches by 17-1/2 inches and showing only light wear to the flange, slight scratching and discoloration to the sides, minor paint loss to the edges and some minimal rusting, gaveled for $3,124. There was virtually no fading, and the sign would probably rate a 7 overall on a 1-10 scale. Even so, it would display well in anyone’s collection.

An extremely rare and authentic “Dreadnought” fishing lure, introduced back in 1912 by the Moonlight Bait Company and only available for a year or two, went for $1,463. The “Dreadnought” was a monstrous, five-hooked contraption that must have created quite a wake as it churned through the water. “Dreadnoughts” are commonly counterfeited, but this example had been guaranteed authentic.

A beautiful and magnificent Bristol calendar from 1912, with a full and original pad and both top and bottom bands, fetched $4,152. The calendar, featuring artwork by Oliver Kemp, is one of the most highly sought after Bristol pieces. It measured 17-1/4 inches by 31 inches and was in immaculate overall condition. The piece showed no fading at all, and only had slight wrinkling from being rolled.

A Weed Chains Gasoline price dial tin-over-wood sign with rotating dial (circa 1920) hammered for $2,121. The piece measured 24 inches by 17 inches and was in near mint original condition. The only flaw was where the original wax paper had been removed and left some slight streaking. That, however, can be cleaned. Otherwise, there was virtually no damage or significant fading whatsoever.

An extremely rare Mobiloil Arctic Oil eight-pack of bottled oil and carrier, featuring all correct bottles and spouts, climbed to $1,271. The bottles were marked “Mobiloil Filpruf” and the spouts were marked “Arctic.” The carrying rack was marked “Mobiloil Arctic,” with the ends marked “Filpruf.” All the bottles and spouts were in near mint condition, with the carrier showing light paint loss and rusting.

An original tin flanged Ramco Piston Rings sign in fantastic condition, measuring 26-1/4 inches by 19-1/4 inches, garnered $742. The piece showed only light to moderate wear to the flange, with some moderate paint loss of paint to one side. The sign is only slightly faded, and would probably rate a 6 on a scale of 1-10, as there was some slight paint loss to the outer edges and minor rusting in areas.

SoldUSA.com is one of the oldest Internet companies in the world. It started in 1990 as the brainchild of Ronnie Roberts, who launched Dixie Sporting Collectibles and very shrewdly took note of the young company’s success with Internet sales. It eventually evolved into what it is today – SoldUSA.com, the premier hunting collectibles auction site on the Web, with 30,000 registered users.

SoldUSA.com’s next big sale will go online in mid-November and conclude Dec. 13-14. The auction will feature general store items, hunting and fishing collectibles, militaria and other quality lots. Consignments are still being accepted for this and future sales. To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call them directly, at 704-815-1500, or you can e-mail them at croberts@SoldUSA.com.

For more information about SoldUSA.com and its calendar of upcoming auctions, you can log on to www.SoldUSA.com.

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