The Old West comes alive twice a year in Missouri and if you are lucky enough to make it to Macon in northeastern Missouri you can grab a piece of it for yourself at the Old West Show & Auction sponsored by East Fork Guns & Collectibles.
East Fork is located next to its affiliate, Lolli Brothers on Main St. Lolli Brothers, in business since 1947, is the largest single family owned auction in Missouri.
What began as a one-day affair several years ago has gradually expanded and in 2007 the event filled four days for the first time. The most recent sale on March 19-22 continued that tradition and was one of the largest sales in East Fork history with more than 4,000 lots crossing the block. This year the inventory was expanded to six categories from four and included: antiques; artifacts; antique sporting goods; Old West collectibles; and guns and military collectibles.
Traditionally the top lot of the semi-annual sale is a firearm. This year was no exception but the top lot this time around far exceeded recent years’ winners. It was a factory engraved Winchester 73, .44-40. It was a late arrival, so it was not featured in the online catalog. But word quickly got around and the 400 in-house bidders were ready when it crossed the block on March 21. It sold on the floor for $49,000 and will stay in the Midwest. Other notable Winchesters included a Win 66, .44-40, SN 31414, closing at $4,000, a Win 86, .45-90, SN 93170, at $3,500 and a Win 94 Crazy Horse Commemorative with a knife and boxes at $3,000. The best Colt was a a Bisley flat top .45 cal that sold for $5750. There is no buyer’s premium at East Fork Guns.
Civil War-era firearms were solid with a Burnside 5th Model SRC .54 cal. going for $3,450, an 1860 Colt Army .44 making $2,200 while the Colt 51 Navy went for $1,800. A Sharps 1852 SRC .52 cal brought $1,950 and a Spencer carbine in .52 cal. closed at $1,600. Other 19th century guns included a Colt Sheriff’s Model 1873, .44-40 , M&L Engraved, SN SA39076. The Sheriff’s Model of the 1873 SAA was introduced in 1882 with a short barrel version to aid concealment. This elegant short barreled beauty brought $2,300. Another earlier Colt model also designed for concealment was the Colt 1849 Pocket pistol. This one, SN-238855, manufactured in 1863 in .31 cal. still retained all matching numbers including the cylinder. It was a very good buy at $750.
The new category of military collectibles was filled with mostly World War II artifacts from all the major participants but the field was dominated by Nazi Germany memorabilia. A Luftwaffe officer’s sword brought $800, a Nazi police bayonet made $350, an ornate Luftwaffe dagger sold for $300 and a Nazi naval helmet with decal brought $230. A German SS Trumpet banner was accompanied by a book showing the banner in a Nazi Youth parade. The book/banner combo closed at $600.
This sale featured something new for East Fork, a serious collection of late 19th century furniture and accessories, compliments of an estate in Illinois. An Eastlake style walnut three piece bedroom suite with tall bed, marble top dresser with mirror and marble top washstand brought $1,400 and a carved oak curved glass china cabinet with columns resting on paw feet made $1,500. An elastic bookcase with two glass front shelf units and a drop front secretary may have been the bargain buy of the sale at $650. A 9-foot by 6-foot stained glass panel brought $1,600 and solid brass neo Grec style chandelier with tulip stained glass globes made $2,100. A Parker diamond cranberry glass hanging oil lamp made $1,000.
But since this is called the Old West Show & Auction there had to be some Old West inventory, right? Right. The best in the category was a fancy parade saddle with breast collar, bridle and serapes made by prolific Indiana saddle master Ted Flowers. It closed at $9,500. A Canyon City silver bit made $1,100 and a table model George Mason roulette wheel, circa 1900, spun out at $2,000. A pair of Kelly Brothers spurs spooked up $750 and a Buermann Indian head bit and spur set brought $600.
In the artifacts portion of the sale a frame of Dalton points from the Robb Collection brought $1,150 and a pair of Hopewell effigies made $550. From the Cumberland Collection a 4-inch Cumberland point sold for $400. A sinew sewn Sioux beaded rifle scabbard with a horse effigy on one side sold for $1,050 and a 90-inch by 48-inch Navajo rug from the 1930s made $1,450.
The next Old West Show & Auction at East Fork Guns will be held August 20-23. For more information call Amy Peterson at 660-385-7252, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Web site at http://www.lollibros.com/eastforkguns.htm.