An ultra-rare Winchester three-panel triangle mobile-style die-cut poster – the mate to a similar example that sold in March for $13,080 – soared to $18,858 in an Internet and catalog auction that concluded May 30-31 by SoldUSA.com. The die-cut triangle poster was the top lot of the auction and featured a canvasback duck, a bear and a squirrel. Its mate showed different animals.
“The version we sold in March was one of several known examples, but there are no known examples of the one just sold, nor is it pictured in any reference book that we’re aware of,” said Chris Roberts of SoldUSA.com. The poster, patented in February 1909 by John Igelstroem Co., measured 15 inches by 21 1/2 inches and had never been folded. It still had the original instructions on the reverse.
The die-cut was one of about 1,000 lots that sold in an auction that featured hunting and fishing collectibles, firearms and militaria, ammunition, general store items, Samurai swords, armor and more. “We had about 13,000 registered bidders worldwide,” Mr. Roberts said, “and bidding was brisk in certain countries, especially Canada, Italy, France, Australia and New Zealand, in addition to the U.S.”
The sale attracted around two million hits to the Web site in the final two days alone. “What this showed was that hunting, fishing and military antiques continue to thrive as a sought-after investment,” Mr. Roberts commented. “We saw very high and in some cases new world record prices set for high-end, investment-quality collectibles. It was the latest in what has been a string of very successful sales.”
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 13 percent buyer’s premium.
An original still life watercolor painting by Adolf Hitler, signed and dated 1912 when the former leader was living in Austria, realized $11,046. The work, done on period rag paper, depicted a vase filled with flowers. It measured 9 5/8 inches by 11 1/2 inches and was signed “A. Hitler 1912” in the lower right hand corner. Hitler was an aspiring artist before politics consumed his life.
A Winchester 1897 “Double W” bullet board in near-mint original condition chalked up $18,645. The same board sold in 2003 for over $25,000 and its mate brought $32,000 a week later. Except for a couple of small nicks in the gold inner frame, which were tended to by a SoldUSA.com restorer, the piece was flawless. It exhibited no fading and there was no corrosion of any of the shells.
A rarely seen Winchester 1879 lithograph cartridge board in a narrow replacement wooden frame garnered $7,062. It was the second cartridge board produced by Winchester in 1879 and is often referred to as the “double oval.” The depiction of cartridges included many early rimfire cartridges, Berdan primers, Remington, Sharps, Martini calibers and some other early-style Winchester cartridges.
A new auction record price of $3,616 was paid for a Peters Quick Shot 10-gage single shell box (the yellow background version). An example of the box appears on page 77 of The Encyclopedia of Shotgun Shell Boxes. It is a transition box, with an over label end panel in the buff color. The box had had no restoration work and had the correct bottom. Some edge and corner wear were its only flaws.
Another world record was established when a determined bidder paid $3,266 for a Leroy L. Leland hand-load 12-gage partial shell box (made more desirable by the fact that it is not pictured in The Encyclopedia of Shotgun Shell Boxes). The box had no restorations and contained 19 original shells. A variation occurred in the non-scripted name “Leroy L. Leland” at the top portion of the box.
Yet another auction record was set when a top bid of $1,188 was paid for a Winchester “World Champion Ice Skates” pinback. Measuring one inch in diameter, the rare pinback had no paper on the reverse and featured Bobbie McLean on the front. It had mild yellowing, with some light edge foxing.
SoldUSA.com’s next big sale (already online, at www.SoldUSA.com) features the largest collection of hunting and gun company advertising to come on the market in the last 20 years. Over 300 lots of rare tin signs, die-cuts, posters and calendars have been offered to the highest bidder. “This is an auction that serious collectors cannot afford to miss,” Mr. Roberts said. It concludes Aug. 1-2.
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 and fishing collectibles Internet auction site, with over 30,000 registered users.
To learn more about SoldUSA.com and the Internet and catalog auction that ends Aug. 1-2, visit www.SoldUSA.com.
Photos courtesy SoldUSA.com.