The legend of Samuel Colt was alive and well as Colt firearms accounted for 8 of the top 10 items sold during the weekend for an astonishing sum of $2,012,500. The talk of the weekend was with out question the breathtaking original and ultra rare Colt 16 inch “Buntline Special” Single Action Army Revolver with its original Factory Stock which sold for a World Record $546,250.00 (lot 3228). Colt only manufactured ten of these iconic 16 inch “Buntline Specials” and this current result breaks the previous record set by Rock Island Auction in December of 2010 when they achieved a sales price of $368,000.00 for a 16 inch Buntline . . .
“We are the only auction company to ever offer one of these magnificent and rare specimens to the collecting world and they have certainly lived up to their iconic status”, said Patrick Hogan President and CEO of Rock Island Auction Company.
Other notable Colts included two Colt Single Actions recovered from the infamous Dalton gang’s failed double bank robbery attempt in Coffeyville Kansas, one of which was documented to have been taken of the hip of the slain “Highwayman” himself Bob Dalton which sold for $322,000.00(lot 1281) and the other from the same shipment to the Dalton gang brought $109,250.00(lot 1282) respectively.
A Colt 1851 Navy personally presented by Samuel Colt to his friend and famous 19th century Sea Captain J.J. Comstock of the U.S. Steamship Baltic sold for an impressive $276,000.00(lot 1201). While a Factory engraved Colt Single Action brought $103,500 (lot 1295) and Factory engraved silver plated Colt Bisley Model sold for $97,750.00. Rounding out the Colt’s was an impressive and rare original Colt Model 1890 Gatling gun with its original field carriage which fetched $253,000(lot 3279).
Colt’s major 19th century manufacturing competitors also experienced a banner weekend. An original nickel Plated deluxe case presentation Smith & Wesson 320 Revolving Rifle brought a World Record price of $97,750.00 and a beautiful Smith & Wesson Number 3 American brought $23,000. A scarce blue finish Remington 1890 revolver went for $28,750.00 and an ultra rare Factory engraved Remington Model 51 with its original box brought $11,500.00.
Firearms from the Winchester Repeating Arms Company and its predecessors were also in high demand. An extraordinary Factory documented Winchester Model 1873 “One of One Thousand” with an extremely rare half octagon barrel rang the bell at $402,500.00(lot 1007). A Factory engraved gold plated New Haven Arms Co. Henry Rifle brought an impressive $184,000.00(lot 1003). Both a Factory engraved Winchester Model 1866 and a special order Winchester Model 1873 sold for $80,500.00.
The September auction marked another chance to own a piece from one of the most significant U.S. and German military collections ever assembled as prices for these two genres continue to soar. A 1943 dated Krieghoff Luger rig with Lutfwaffe Proofed holster and two matching magazines brought $46,000.00.
An original early production model 1902 DWM Luger carbine with matching shoulder stock commanded $43,125.00. While the U.S. military grouping saw an exceptional World War II U.S. Singer Manufacturing Company 1911A1 bring $69,000.00 and serial number 119 Springfield Armory Rod Bayonet 1903 went for $40,250.00.
Other notable sales include a Angelo Bee master engraved Winchester Model 21 Shotgun for $46,000.00, an 1987 Humvee brought $37,375.00, an early Colt Model 1921 Fully Automatic Thompson Sub Machine Gun sold for an impressive $48,875.00 and a Washington Territory shipped Sharps Model 1874 sold for $20,750.00. A historic Napoleon Bonaparte presentation silver hilted French Saber sold for $63,250.00 and a rare 2nd Light Horse Lancers of Napoleon’s Imperial Guard Czapka brought $21,850.00.
Touted as Rock Island Auctions “most anticipated sale in the company’s history” the sale was comprised of four well known estate collections headlined by the world renowned Gateway Collection. “The offering of firearms was truly an unprecedented event for the gun collecting community as these key collections had been assembled for over a half a century. Collectors will go a life time without seeing some of these extreme rarities ever offered for public sale again”, said Hogan, who also has the pleasure of selling part II of the Gateway Collection in November.