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ROCK ISLAND, IL – Considered by many to be the crown jewel of John Wayne memorabilia, a revolver used by the Western star in several of his movies has sold for $517,500.

The price, including buyer's premium, shot way past its estimate of $20,000 to $40,000 when it was offered by Rock Island Auction Company. 

The Colt six-gun initially received a significantly lower estimate by the auction company, but after establishing direct provenance, interest grew quickly among collectors. 

John Wayne's revolver.

Wayne's revolver shot way past its pre-sale estimate to sell for $517,500.

The Duke's Colt Single Action Army revolver is one of the most iconic firearms of the silver screen and can be seen used by him in such films as the Oscar-winning True Grit from 1969 and its sequel, Rooster Cogburn, 1978, and 1972's The Cowboys, among others. Included with the revolver was Wayne’s holster rig, numerous authenticating documents, and a 1972 copy of Life Magazine with Wayne on the cover wearing both the rig and gun.

John Wayne, as character Rooster Cogburn, using the revolver in the 1969 movie, True Grit.

John Wayne, as character Rooster Cogburn, using the revolver in the 1969 movie, True Grit.

The revolver's holster.

The revolver's holster.

Growth in the collector arms market continues to mirror the high sales numbers seen in the retail sector. The auction in which Wayne’s Colt revolver was offered was added to RIAC’s calendar to meet growing demand. The three-day event, October 6-8, included more than 7,000 collector firearms plus military artifacts, accessories, artwork, and realized over $8 million.

“The collectibles market has been experiencing tremendous growth in several genres,” said RIAC President Kevin Hogan. “When you combine two of those genres, Hollywood memorabilia and collector firearms, it can really invite some heated competition. We’re very pleased for our consignor and thrilled that our buyers trust us to authenticate these fantastic items.”

Watch the revolver sell at auction in this YouTube clip:

For more information and to see more auction results, visit Rock Island Auction.

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