DOWNINGTOWN, Pa. – Just one week after honoring the service of our brave American military veterans on Veterans Day, Pook & Pook is hosting its semi-annual Firearms, Militaria and Sporting Auction on Saturday, Nov. 17 beginning at 9 a.m. On the day of the sale, Pook & Pook is offering free catalogs to all veterans attending the auction. The Chester County auction house is at the perfect cross roads for military enthusiasts, with a close proximity to Brandywine Battlefield Park, Valley Forge National Historic Park and Paoli Battlefield Historic Park. Pook & Pook’s militaria experts have been busy cataloging many fine consignments from local collections.
Saturday’s sale will be comprehensive in its offerings and will feature more than 400 items. Examples of items on offer include antique and modern firearms, swords, knives and other edged weapons, a signal cannon, powder horns, antique fishing equipment, ethnographic weapons and tools, military objects including antiquities and literature, flags, and war ephemera such as uniforms and photographs.
Perhaps the most intriguing lot of the sale is the exceptional matched pair of 18th century Scottish flintlock pistols, signed by John Campbell, member of the renowned gunsmith guild in Doune, Perthshire. This distinctive pair is a classic example of the Doune pistol, featuring an entirely steel construction, with scrolled ram’s horn butts, silver inlay of Celtic inspired foliate ornamentation, flared muzzles, and button-shaped triggers without trigger guards ($20,000-$30,000). Similar examples of Doune pistols are included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Museum of Scotland. Doune pistols were favorites among Highland clansmen and were similarly favored by wealthy socialites as fashion accessories. Popular folklore suggests that the first shot fired in the American Revolution – the “shot heard around the world” – was from a Doune pistol. George Washington also owned a pair of the famous pistols and upon his death bequeathed them to General Lafayette. The pair set to cross the block at Pook & Pook are in a crisp, fine condition, a testament to their status as treasured heirlooms for over two centuries.
Locally made arms include a number of long rifles, for example a Henry Deringer Philadelphia model 1817 common rifle ($2,000-$3,000), a Thomas Allison full stock flintlock long rifle with a vibrant tiger maple stock and engraved patch box ($2,000-$3,000), and a fine Thomas Douglass full stock flintlock long rifle, once belonging to a Brigadier General from the war of 1812 ($10,000-$15,000).
Early American weapons will be a boon to the sale, with examples such as a Colonial American flintlock long fowler, with a brass thumb escutcheon inscribed 1767 ($3,000-$5,000); a Revolutionary War-era French Charleville musket inscribed 1779 ($3,000-$4,000), and a Revolutionary War-era India pattern Brown Bess flintlock musket ($1,000-$1,500).
International arms crossing the block include a French flintlock model 1779 first type naval pistol ($2,000-$4,000), a unusual French Baringer system breech loading pistol ($800-$1,200), a desirable Beretta single shot percussion shotgun ($2,500-$3,500), a Henry Atkin double-barrel side-by-side shotgun, The Raleigh ($6,000-$10,000), and a Swiss-made Hammerli International model 210 semiautomatic target pistol ($700-$900). Items from Japan include a katana in wooden shirasaya ($400-$500) and a Japanese lizard skin recurve bow with two bamboo shaft arrows in attached quiver ($200-$300).
Revolvers on offer in the sale include a Colt single action Army revolver made in 1908 ($1,500-$2,500), a Colt first generation single action Army revolver ($800-$1,200), a Smith & Wesson number two Old Arm nickel-plated revolver ($800-$1,200), and a new-in-box Colt Sheriffs model commemorative single action revolver ($1,500-$1,800).
Military and sporting ephemera in November’s auction include a full plate Civil War cavalry officer tintype, allegedly taken before the soldier went into action where he lost his right eye ($500-$800), a seldom-offered Marble’s Game Getter Gun felt pennant ($800-$1,200), and a scarce WWII identified Demolition Outfit UDT canvas bag ($200-$300).
A selection of taxidermy will also be on offer in the sale, including three elk shoulder mounts, featuring one piebald example, and a staggeringly large American bison shoulder mount ($600-$800).
Interested bidders are encouraged to contact Pook & Pook, Inc. at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-269-4040 with questions regarding condition reports; in-house, phone, or absentee bidder registration; or to purchase a catalog. Catalogs can also be viewed online at www.pookandpook.com, or on www.bidsquare.com and www.proxibid.com, where online bidding is available.
Gallery exhibitions will be held at Pook & Pook’s auction gallery and are scheduled for Wednesday , Nov. 14 through Friday Nov. 16 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Bidders may also preview items the morning of the auction on Saturday, Nov. 17 from 8-9 a.m. Live bidding will commence promptly at 9 a.m. Pook & Pook is located at 463 E. Lancaster Avenue, Downingtown, Pennsylvania.
By Kaitlyn Julian, Pook & Pook