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Historic Winchester 1886 may command $500,000

A Winchester Model 1886, serial number 1, and accompanying presentation watch and chain, with a significant connection to the history of the American West is estimated at $500,000 to $750,000 heading into Rock Island Auction Co.'s April Premiere Firearms Auction.

Winchester Model 1886, serial number 1, and pocket watch originally given to Captain Henry Ware Lawson for his capture of Apache leader Geronimo, may realize between $500,000 and $75,000 at auction. (All photos courtesy of Rock Island Auction Co.)

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. ­— Many examples of seldom-seen, prototype, ornate and historic firearms and related antiquities will cross the auction block April 29-May 1 during Rock Island Auction Co.’s 2016 April Premiere Firearms Auction.

This sale is anchored by six carefully assembled collections, four of which have appeared in previous RIAC auctions. The Piedmont Collection of Kentucky rifles and ornate high art antiques leads the way for more than 850 antiques in this sale. In a third appearance is the Walker West Collection of Colts & Winchesters. In addition, the Putnam Green/Sycamore Collection contains German military items from World War II. These historic pieces of militaria include high condition original uniforms and rare helmets. One of the new offerings to the private market in this auction will be the Dr. Peters Collection showcasing a large amount of historic Civil War weapons and other fascinating arms from 19th century manufacturers, both the well-known and the obscure. In addition, the auction includes items from the Robert “The Bear” Bretherton Collection and The Royal Hunt Collection of antique mounts.

Three of the four firearms expected to vie for top lot are Winchester and Henry rifles. The most talked about arm of the auction thus far is a historic Winchester Model 1886, serial number 1, presented to Captain Henry Ware Lawton for his capture of the Apache leader Geronimo, accompanied by his presentation watch and chain. The firearm carries a presale estimate of $500,000 to $750,000 into the auction. A close runner-up is a Hoggson engraved, first model Henry rifle with a lustrous gold plate finish ($250,000-$375,000). Among the more than 500 Colt firearms in this auction is a prewar Single Action Army revolver in original box, in new or near new condition, and scores of cased Colt revolvers smothered in the finest of factory embellishments. One Colt that embodies all those qualities is the nickel plated, pearl gripped, Cuno Helfricht engraved Single Action Army that was a single gun shipment in 1917 to the extraordinary Texas cattle baron A. B. “Sug” Roberson, has remained in his family ever since and is estimated at $100,000 to $150,000.

Examples of military firearms featured in the sale include:
• Walther prototype “Armee-Pistole” ($75,000-$110,000)
• Confederate Leech and Rigdon revolver ($25,000-$40,000)
• 1931 Springfield rifle ­— serial No. 15 ($45,000-$65,000).

For more information, visit, email or call 800-238-8022.

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