Firearms estate of respected collector drives bidding interest

MOLINE, Ill. — Rock Island Auction started the year strong with its first premiere sale of 2010 attaining over $7.6 million. While dazzling stories of shockingly high prices excite many readers, this auction held much that will encourage the majority of firearms collectors. Prices set not by high auction house reserves but competing collectors proved that mid-range items are valuable for firearms collectors.

The main draw of the auction was no surprise, C. W. Slagle’s unique derringers, palm pistols and curio type firearms. Well known in the firearms world as a collector of the unusual, the antique derringer and curio type weapons in this auction drew bidding attention. An AM. Sterling marked solid sterling silver Colt second model derringer pistol attained $69,000. Other examples include a large Morrill, Mosman & Blair Elgin patent cutlass pistol, serial number 52 bringing $13,800, and an unusual Sedgley fist gun selling above estimate at $8,625. A cased Femme Fatale pistol ring also hammered above estimate at $5,750.

This auction included an extraordinary selection of Winchesters. The top seller of the auction was a factory cased and engraved Volcanic lever action navy pistol commanding $74,750. A one-of-a-kind custom engraved gold and nickel plated Winchester model 1873 lever action rifle with carved ivory stock and forearm relief realized $40,250; while $28,750 took home a rare deluxe special order Winchester 1873 lever action rifle in rare 22 short with a factory mounted Winchester A5 scope. Several outstanding 1866’s were sold including a Winchester model 1886 lever action rifle with casehardened receiver and factory letter bringing $25,875.

During the three-day sale other genres also brought impressive prices. Colts were represented with more than 650 examples in this auction. The high seller was a Gustave Young factory engraved, J.P. Lower shipped Colt model 1878 sheriff model double action revolver with factory letter that went near the high estimate at $46,000. Other examples are a Colt Bisley frontier six shooter flattop target revolver with factory letter and a scarce 44 rimfire black powder Colt single action army revolver with factory letter attaining $25,875 and $18,400, respectively.

Beginning with the Civil War, an unissued condition Burnside carbine sold for $9,775 while a Confederate Richmond marked percussion carbine with an original sling sold for $8,625. The swords did exceptionally well, featuring an exceptional historical Civil War inscribed presentation 9th Illinois cavalry officer’s saber and a historical high grade 17 Michigan Infantry (Stonewall regiment) inscribed presentation Civil War staff and field officer’s sword both selling above estimate at $9,200 and $8,050, respectively.

World War I and World War II offerings included sniper rifles, edged weapons and semi-automatic pistols. Of the 1911’s and early automatics most sold at or above estimate, the leader being a rare WWII Singer contract U.S. M1911A1 semi-automatic pistol with parkerized finish reaching $34,500. An extremely rare U.S. army first contract Colt model 1900 automatic pistol serial number 93 with holster estimated at $25,000 to $37,500 sold above estimate at $43,125.

A rare Savage trial military model 1907 semi-automatic pistol went out at $31,625. An excellent and rare Nazi WWII Luftwaffe model 30 survival drilling with original case and accessories drew bids to $20,700 and rare WWII German “bnz” single claw sniper rifle with Hensoldt scope sold at $8,625. The rare and beautiful military presentation swords featured an inscribed, 2nd pattern, Luftwaffe general officer’s sword which sold for $12,650.

An outstanding array of sporting arms boasted a custom order Luciano Bosis over and under shotgun with gold inlay selling at $43,125 while an extremely rare engraved Parker Brothers model AH double barrel box lock shotgun in 28 gauge took $34,500. The sporting rifles in general did well lead by a royal pair of exquisite custom built and engraved, gold inlaid Winchester pre-64 model 70 bolt action rifles owned by prince Abdorreza Pahlavi imperial highness of Iran with a low estimate of $45,000 commanded $51,750. A rare collector’s set of 20 Browning shotguns and rifles that feature the same collector number (00109) prefix in the serial number stole bidding interest garnering $25,875 and a factory engraved Belgium Browning Pointer Grade B25 superposed shotgun with original box reached $10,925.

The next Premiere Auction will be held Sept. 10-12. This auction will feature one of the finest European military collections to ever come to auction. Rock Island Auction Company is currently seeking consignments; for more information on selling at auction contact Pat Hogan or Judy Voss at 800-238-8022.

For more information about Rock Island Auction Company’s April firearms and militaria auction visit

You might also enjoy:

     •  Historic arms and militaria in gun auction
Cowan’s firearms and militaria auction goes off with a bang
Gatling gun hits the mark for $172K
‘Bo Whoop,’ ‘Hairtrigger’ Meldrum and Boutet lead gun auction
Vampire killing kit to cross the auction block


Great books, CDs, price guides & more

Warman’s Antiques & Collectibles 2011 Price Guide

Interact with other antique collectors in Antique Trader’s online forum

Browse hundreds of FREE online classified ads

Sign up for your FREE email newsletter

For more columns and features for antique dealers, restorers and collectors, get your own subscription to Antique Trader magazine