ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – An iconic Colt revolver started a recent auction off with a bang, with an opening bid of $900,000 and ending with a final price of $1.67 million.
The Millikin Dragoon, which has been in and out of the world’s finest collections for the last century, was the star lot at Rock Island’s Premiere Firearms Auction that saw a total of $20 million.
“It gave all in attendance a jump-start when the bidding began at $900,000! After a back-and-forth battle for the right to own this extraordinary, artisan Colt, the bidding gradually slowed until only one remained,” said Rock Island.
The Colt’s total price was $1,667,500; it had a pre-auction estimate between $1.2-$2 million.
The historic and well-documented Colt third model Dragoon percussion revolver with inscribed grip strap was master engraved by Gustave Young. Rock Island said it “is a virtual superstar even amongst an elite category of antique firearms recognized by the collector fraternity by its nickname. It is a type of revolver with an unprecedented level of historical pedigree, ownership pedigree, artistic merit and condition that collectors usually can only fantasize about owning.”
According to the auction house, “The Millikin Dragoon served as flagship and was flanked by powerful military vehicles, lifelong collections, pristine condition pieces, and inconceivable rarity in nearly every genre. It was an event absolutely jam-packed with exciting pieces collectors could not wait to get their hands on,” the auction house said.
Other big sellers
Other auction highlights included a near-mint Colt Baby Paterson that sold for $644,000; a presentation 1902 gold-inlaid Luger carbine, given from inventor Georg Luger to machine gun inventor Hiram Maxim, that went 12 times above its low estimate of $35,000 and pulled in $425,500; a factory engraved and chromed Walther PP, bearing Germanic pagan runes and an “HH” monogram attributed to SS Chief Heinrich Himmler, which far surpassed its $250,000 high estimate before reaching $356,500; and a classic Winchester 1866 “flatside” carbine for $92,000.
Rock Island said another surprise lot was a superb-condition 1941-dated police Luger with two matching magazines, all bearing the serial number 3y, that had an estimate of $8,500-$14,000 and sold for $63,250 – more than seven times its low estimate.