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Winchester rifle commands $7,000 in militaria auction

A Winchester Model 1866 rifle with a connection to the Civil War soldier for whom Ricketts Glenn State Park is named topped all lots during Cordier's Dec. sale.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Vintage and military firearms, including a storied Winchester rifle, are highlights of Cordier’s December 10th Firearms and Militaria Auction. The sale also brought edged weapons, modern guns, and taxidermy.

Winchester Rifle With Civil War Ties

Winchester Model 1866 rifle

Top Lot: Winchester Model 1866 lever action rifle, commanded $7,000. (All photos courtesy Cordier Auctions & Appraisal)

The top lot of the sale was a Winchester model 1866 action rifle manufactured in 1870, with provenance connecting it to Civil War officer Robert Bruce Ricketts, for whom state park Ricketts Glenn is named. Despite no physical records existing to formally connect the firearm to the famed Union soldier and Pennsylvania businessman, the consignor’s familial connection and provenance was enough to drive the price up to $7,000.

WWII items were among the other high performing lots, including a 1942 Enfield No. 4 MKI .303 sniper rifle, which hammered down for $2,800. Furthermore, a WWII leather bomber jacket with authentic patches for the 90th bomb group The Jolly Rogers inspired fierce competition. In the end, it went to an online bidder for $1,500.

A factory engraved special order Marlin Model 1889 brought $3,400, helped no doubt by the Marlin factory letter documenting that the firearm was ordered with the engraving, which was included in the sale. Furthermore, other unusual vintage firearms included a Mauser broomhandle pistol with wood stock, manufactured between 1911 and 1915 ($1,800). In addition, a US Underwood M1 Carbine commanded $1,500. Finally, an Ithaca Model M 1911 AI US Army semi-automatic pistol realized $1,300.

Colt Contributes to Sale Success

It was the first auction for Cordier’s new director of firearms and militaria, Matthew Chilton. Upon completion of the sale his comments included, “This really was a wonderful auction to start with, and collectors really seemed to respond to both the antique and modern items.”

Colts also continue to be popular among bidders. A Colt Python .357 magnum went to an internet bidder for $2,100, while a second brought $1,900. In addition, a Python hunter double action revolver with scope in fair condition sold for $1,500, as did a Diamondback.

Other modern firearms also brought strong results. Among those are a Remington Game Master model 760 which sold for several times its pre-sale estimate. It's hammer price ending at $2,100. Chilton reported the sale price was a pleasant surprise for Cordier.

“Sometimes two bidders will just get locked in a battle over a lot, and neither one wants to let go. We think that’s what happened here," states Chilton.

Eyes on Edged Weapons

A Grulla engraved shotgun in 12 gauge sold for $2,600. It includes a checkered walnut stock.

17th century Katana

17th century Japanese Katana, signed Kanesada, sold for $2,100.

In edged weapons, the stand out lot was a circa 17th century Japanese Katana sword with a tang signed “Kanesada”. The sword appears in a WWII formal parade type scabbard with ray skin and a wire encase grip. The object commanded $2,100 after lengthy competition between internet and floor bidders.

In addition, the upcoming auctions at Cordier Auctions & Appraisals include: Mega 1,000+ lot Auction - Dec. 30 and an Estate Auction - Jan. 6.

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