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We recently ran a post written by Rock Island Auctions’ Joel R. Kolander in which he questioned the provenance and listings of guns in the catalog of James D. Julia auctioneers. Jim Julia has written this rebuttal:

Thank you for passing along and sharing with me a copy of the recent “trashing” of my company by Rock Island Auction Company that was presented on your website. I feel bad that I did not have the opportunity to weigh in and present my side of the story when you first printed this and although some of your readers have made a decision based on this one-sided representation, I do appreciate at least having finally been alerted so that I could set the record straight . . .

Contrary to Rock Island’s misrepresentations of my company, we have a sterling reputation for honesty and fair dealing. We go out of our way to protect our clients and as you read further, you will see and perhaps agree with us that we do more than any other firearms house to protect our clients. It easy for one to say something like this but “the proof is in the pudding”.

Firearms collectors are some of the savviest people in the business and results speak to our statement. In recent years, we have handled more high end, big name collector’s collections than any other firearms auction house on the planet Earth. We do not handle the greater number of firearms that is not our goal. We handle the greater number of high end, expensive, valuable firearms. In fact, for a number of years now, we have annually sold far more than any other auction house in the world. You do not get to do these types of things in this astute collecting world without having a stand up reputation and being fair and honest.

Rock Island’s trashing of me is not a great surprise and this is not the first time there has been an attempt to besmirch my company and my character through distortions by this firm.

I have been in the business for around 45 years and long ago I made the decision to promote myself and growth of my business by providing my customers with honesty, tremendous service, expertise, and the lowest commission rate in the trade. All of this does not mean I never make a mistake but it does mean I continually attempt to do what I feel is right. I realize that some competitors would rather attempt to bolster themselves by disparaging their competition and thus in their minds elevate themselves. In fact, this process of “trash talk” is unfortunately a mainstay in the political process today.

In regards to the collector/consignor RIAC references: The man is an older man from the Dakotas. He used to run a construction company and over many, many years his business employed a number of Native Americans. During this time, working with the Sioux Indians and other tribes, he acquired various items that had come down from their families. On occasion, according to his representations to us, there were cases wherein he saw and discussed a gun, but the family would not sell. In such cases, he kept a record of the gun included the SN along with the story the family related and he documented these observations in a written journal he kept.

The consignor/collector told us when visiting shows and gun shops, if he found a gun similar to one in his written journal that he would compare SN’s to see if there was a match. If there was, he bought it. He shared with us he had discovered a couple of guns recently that were in his original journal and they were now a part of the current consignment to us. It just so happens that the guns he bought from a dealer are those same guns that Rock Island mentions in their disparaging article.

When cataloging guns, we try to make full disclosure if there is provenance, it is noted in our descriptions. In those cases where the only information we have is the documentation from his written journal and/or stories he had received from the Indian families that was pointed out also.

Last week, two people contacted our firm advising us that 3 of the guns offered had been in Rock Island and Little John’s auction within the recent past. As I noted above, the consignor/collector had previously revealed a couple were recent purchases. However in checking the 3 guns, I discovered a serious contradiction with one. After much consideration, I made a decision to withdraw the entire consignment from auction.

My actions were not those of a person conspiring to do wrong (as RIAC would have you believe) but on the contrary, highly conservative actions to ensure the right. The consignor/collector’s guns however are for the most part just as we represented them in our catalogs.

In regards to Rock Island’s other pontifications, they remind me of an old saying that my grandmother used to use about “the pot calling the kettle black”, which is of course an idiom used to claim that a person is guilty of the very thing of which they accuse another.

I. Regarding RIAC implication that they always attempt to do the right thing and somehow Julia’s has done something wrong because they withdrew an item or items from the auction. This is thoroughly confusing to me and the sale of a recent Carbine touted by them to have belonged to Napoleon III gives me pause for cause. The Carbine I refer to was Lot #9 in their April 20th, 21st, & 22nd, 2012 auction. RIAC specifically states in its description, “Carbine made by famous Paris gun maker Gastinne Renette for Napoleon Bonaparte’s nephew, Emperor Napoleon III”. The gun was estimated at $22,500-37,500. The buyer, trusting RIAC’s representation, purchased the gun for what he thought was a bargain and later consigned it to us, hoping and planning to make a lot of money.

With good reason, if the gun indeed had definitely been made expressly for Napoleon III, it would have sold for considerably more than what it had sold for at RIAC auction. Once consigned to us, in the process of our due diligence, we became concerned to as whether it truly was made for Napoleon III. Normally, a gun such as this owned by an Emperor would carry his regal marks. We shared this with the consignor, but the consignor being convinced that the gun was Napoleon III”s because RIAC represented it that way. He pleaded with me not to use the phrase “purported to be”. After a great deal of consideration and because an attached newspaper article stated it was Napoleon III’s, we elected to change the wording to, “according to a newspaper account”.

Shortly after my catalog went up online including the infamous carbine, we were immediately contacted by an attorney. There had been a big court case involving the carbine some years back and during this case, this attorney was responsible for an in-depth investigation of the carbine. His investigation clearly and convincingly proved what we had suspicioned, and that was that the carbine never belonged to Napoleon III. The attorney in his letter to me indicated that I was third person that he had contacted over the years about this misrepresentation.

I had to go back to the consignor and share my newfound information and suggested to him under the circumstances that while I could reprint an addenda explaining all of this, I felt it was in his best interest to simply withdraw the gun, which he decided to do. Out of curiosity, I reconnected with the attorney who had told me that he had previously contacted 3 people. I asked if by chance he had contacted RIAC before they had sold this very same gun and his response to me was, not once but twice and yes, he had provided them with exactly all the information that he provided us with but RIAC apparently refused to acknowledge it when they sold the gun with their previously claimed attribution.

The consignor immediately contacted RIAC with the revelation of all this information, it was pretty difficult for them not to refund the money. Which is what they did. This is the same auction house with the “holier than thou” approach pointing their finger at my firm and implying that we are not to be trusted??? As I said, an example of the “pot calling the kettle black”.

II. Guarantees: Both Rock Island Auction House and my firm provide guarantees. But there is an extraordinarily dramatic difference between the guarantee provided by Rock Island and the guarantee provide by my auction house.

1. Rock Island: Rock Island touts their guarantee as “a guarantee of the headline” of every single item in their premier firearms auction. Should that item not be as advertised in the items headline, RIAC will make it right via a full refund”.

a) Please note: they did not mention regional firearms auctions. It is my understanding they guarantee nothing with regional firearms auction.

b) In regards to the premier auctions, did you notice that they say headline only. What this means is that they guarantee the title only so if the title is “Model 1886 Winchester rifle”, the title only is guaranteed. Does that give you a warm and fuzzy feeling knowing that when you buy that rifle from Rock Island, they absolutely guarantee that it is Winchester and a Model 1886, but nothing else?

c) So there can be no confusion as to what is guaranteed, under point 9 in their Conditions of Sale, it states “Guarantee. All property for sale is as is, where is. All sales are final. There will be no refunds and no exchanges. RIAC does not guarantee or make warranties on any lot sold”.

Please compare that with the Julia guarantee.

2. James D. Julia: We provide a special limited warranty for all items that we offer at auction. We are currently unaware of any other major firearms auction house in the world whose guarantee equals or exceeds ours. Every firearms auction house that we are aware of has a similar Conditions of Sale as that of RIAC. Essentially caveat emptor, buyer beware, sold “as is, where is”. At Julia’s, we do not hide behind “caveat emptor”:

a. Our guarantee which is the first item on our Conditions of Sale in the front of the auction catalog and states as follows, “Guarantee: We have attempted to make a consistent effort in cataloging and describing the property to be sold. The catalog descriptions carry a limited guarantee. It is a guarantee to protect you against major discrepancies that would have a major effect upon value. Under no circumstances do we guarantee against anything less than a major discrepancy that would have less than a major effect upon the value. This limited guarantee covers authenticity. It also covers any major restoration or repairs not described. Also we guarantee against fakes, reproductions or major fabrications.

b. Our guarantee is good for 45 days from the date of the auction so that all buyers have ample opportunity to obtain the item, examine it, and verify that there is no major issues with their item. Therefore, if we had made a mistake with one of the items RIAC is pontificating about, our clients unlike RIAC’s clients (at least per their Conditions of Sale in their catalog) after proving our mistake would have full right for a full money back refund.

Julia’s does not hide behind caveat emptor but our guarantee is not the only thing that we do.

c. Special consultants and experts. Since we hold ourselves to a higher standard and guarantee all objects, it is extremely important that we are as correct as possible. To that extent, we hire special consultants to catalog our guns. These special consultants are some of the most knowledgeable in their specific field. Many are recognized in their field as authorities and in some cases are noted authors, most are also active in the trade. They hold not only the necessary scholarly knowledge but they are also able to detect between what is right and what is wrong while at the same time coming up with a reasonably intelligent estimate.

But the guarantee together with the considerable expense for hiring special consultants, still does not ensure perfection.

d. Review and solicitation of input. Any of you who have ever attended a James D. Julia Auction know at the very beginning in my opening remarks one of the things I clearly state is that if you are aware of a problem or issue that was somehow missed in our cataloging process be certain to bring it to our attention before we sell the item. If something is wrong, we will:

1. Put a note beside the lot indicating it;
2. Make a correction in my catalog to be announced at the time of sale;
3. Notify all absentee bidders of this new found issue;
4. Post a notice on the website;

Our reasoning is that if our staff and our specific consultant missed something, surely one of the many hundreds of eyes reviewing the guns will pick up what we might have missed. If someone does come to us and tell us of a problem, we always thank them for bringing it to our attention. As I have said over and over here, we try to do the right thing.

III. Regarding RIAC Attempt to Vilify Us Because One of the Cataloguers Statements in their Description: Judging our company by one statement a cataloguer made in our catalog, “fool your enemies, sell them this great fake”, is rather farfetched. As I said early on, I have a number of consultants that provide my descriptions. It is expected from them that they will:

a) Attempt to describe the item correctly;
b) Point out significant problems and issues;
c) If they question authenticity, bring it to my attention.

I do not read all the descriptions after they are written and had I read this description, I would have extracted that statement. I know that the cataloger was attempting to express to his reader that this was such a great copy that it would fool anyone. Many of my catalogers not only bring in scholarly knowledge and valued information but sometimes they inject what they consider to be personal or humorous remarks. Such was the case here. It has nothing to do with the implication of our honesty or lack thereof.

Most nearly anyone who has done business with us for any period of time, who knows our firm, knows our reputation, knows our continued and sincere efforts to be honest would likely never think the worst in a statement such as this. on the other hand, if we were an auction house that from time to time were embroiled in questionable handling of things, were we from time to time sued by people for what we did or did not do, etc.; then that rash statement could have a far greater revealing implication.

In conclusion, RIAC makes a sweeping statement about fake guns which is untrue. When these guns were cataloged, our descriptions were based on information and facts we had concerning the guns and in most cases, these guns are exactly as cataloged. In one case, I discovered a significant issue and it was because of this that I elected to withdraw the items.

Thank you again for notifying me and giving me an opportunity to share the true facts of the matter as opposed to those of an envious competitor.


Jim Julia

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  1. Why pay more than the value of anything as determined by condition, rarity, utility, etc? I don’t understand paying more than something is WORTH simply because ______ may have one owned/touch it. Pretty sure that no magical powers can be transferred to an inanimate object even if DNA is actually deposited.

    The entire “collectibles thing just proves PT Barnum was correct.

  2. i think it’s good that both parties now have a post on here. i’m not sure who i believe, simply that i knew of RIAC before JDJ.

  3. As an antique dealer who has made more than $100000 selling at auction I second the Julia response. I have bought fine art at a small auction and resold at another (advertised) auction for huge $. Most auctions are “as is-where is”. The warranty of Julia is very good in the auction world. And I stated Julia has sold many millions of dollars in goods OTHER than gun related. Unlike RIA. They have a fairly good reputation in the antique and fine art world-unlike Sotheby, Christies and a few other huge auction houses. And NO I’ve never had dealings with Julia. Please don’t publish auction house feuds and accusations as if they are fact.

    • Please don’t publish auction house feuds and accusations as if they are fact.

      This… I don’t give a flying sh*t what he said she said and who’s reputation is better. This sort of tabloid nonsense is below the userbase at TTAG…

  4. I’m quite glad to see this post by Jim Julia. I was actually scandalized by the TTAG post propagating RIAC’s grotesque mud slinging.

    • It was odd. Lets just print some shit talking and see what happens.

      Personally speaking, I would have told them to take it somewhere else rather than just post it up for them.

      Why is ttag involved in this seeming business feud?

      • I could see a more indepth story about auction house practices etc.. getting both sides of the story and all that. You know what people used to call journalism.

        Reprinting, I assume, unsolicited statements and rebuttals from two auction houses fighting it out on a gun blog is entertaining enough, its does seem be to be below TTAG usual standard.

      • Rock Island Auctions items or events have been featured in TTAG at least five times before. I would suspect they have had, in some indeterminate sense, a beneficial relationship, and this lowered TTAG’s guard.

    • I agree.

      Even though I can’t afford anything at these auctions, afaic, this gives interesting background on how they deal with provenance.

      And it’s about guns. Complainants sound like sour grapes.

  5. Why is TTAG even getting involved in this anyway?? Talk about guns, not drama.

    Leave the drama to TNT: They Know Drama.

  6. When the prices get up in the thousands and not just tens or hundreds of thousands then it is the time when you have to know what you are looking at inside out and the fact is that today the skills and tools to dress up almost and pigs ear of an old gun into a silk purse collectable are not hard to find.

    And there is nothing new about this. I recall when the first Italian volume reproductions of mid nineteenth century cap and ball revolvers first hit the shores of North America at the time of the centennial of the war between the states, within months places like flea markets started to see these guns dressed up as guns that had belonged to a great grandfather in that war… They would go for the ” bargain price” of perhaps 2 or 3 times the cost of the reproduction. Then a year or so later they would show up at a regional auction with the provenance ‘enhanced’ with paper work and perhaps a dim tintype. These days these guns have added 50 + years of actual age and can be very hard for a non expert to spot.

    If you have an interest in old guns as I do it is much safer to stick to “shooter” guns and you have the huge bonus that you can enjoy them by shooting them with out affecting the value that your heirs will realise when you are gone

  7. RF has inserted his blog into a pi$$ing contest between two world-class pi$$ers.

    Maybe it’s just click bait. Maybe a lot of POTG like reading this crap. I can do without it.

  8. So, if something, say anything is worth a lot of money (say $28,000), would it not be worth it to a crook to invest $18,000 making a replica into the old antique gun?

    Take a look at the ragged ass new jeans these kids are wearing now. Except for being washed they look as old as the hills.

    I love it when someone says “Yup, that’s Lincoln’s signature, look at how he curves his A!” Give me a break!

  9. Many paragraphs of trust me I’m respectable that other guy is a rat by both. Keep TTAG out of their petty squabble.

  10. Alright you two, quit the bloviating and settle this like antique firearms dealers. Pistols at dawn. And just stay out there till someone gets someone or you’re both too tired to write these screeds.

  11. It looks like RIAC could have been sued for false advertising if they had not refunded the money in that case. RIAC may also be subject to criminal charges for false advertising depending on the circumstances.

  12. Rich people/companies can’t even fight properly. They are supposed to call you something bad and then you say something bad about their mom. Geez, it can’t be that hard.

    Thank God I don’t do the whole collecting thing. Only collection I keep is of different shell casings and of course the casing from the first round I fired (because I am sentimental to some extent).

  13. Honestly the only thing id fault jdj auctions for is trusting a client who is fabricating provenance. His story of provenance is all hearsay and nor reliable in my opinion. But then again, i dont believe in fairytales when it comes to an item

  14. I found this article quite interesting as I collect “muscle bikes” from the ’60s & ’70s. As with firearms, bikes can be faked or cloned to be something worth much more than it actually is. If some object-gun, bike, car- can be faked, it will be faked and someone will unknowingly overpay.
    It all comes down to doing your homework before you buy. With all the experts available, no one should take it in the shorts.

  15. I am shocked, shocked that the provenance of an antique sold at auction turned out to be questionable! Who could imagine such a thing?

  16. However, I am in the position to offer your readers the opportunity to purchase a prized firearm. I have in my personal collection the HK 416 that will be used by John Conner 2018 to defeat the T-600s on Skynet. Bidding can begin at $1 million. For those worried about the provenance of this offering, I am willing to meet with you in 4 years for a full refund.

  17. To the collecting community,

    Individuals had some concerns to our article written on certain items that RIAC sold and have since mysteriously gained provenance claims relating to the Battle of Little Bighorn. We’d like to address some of those concerns.

    1. “This is a hit piece” or “trash talking.”

    For those unaware a “hit piece” generally attacks or negatively singles out an individual or business. The article we wrote, while discussing indisputable facts, did single out a competitor and the allegations were pretty serious. There is still a chance for our competitor to make things right, and so far they have said nothing on the web or any posting we can find, excepting the response to our initial post. Simply pulling items off the web is not addressing the issue. For them to list those items claiming they were something they weren’t was wrong. If that’s being negative or casting aspersions, then we’re happy to be so.

    2. “Those aren’t the same guns” or “RIAC is mudslinging with no evidence.”

    They are indeed the same guns. The serial numbers match. This information is available online. No facts are in dispute. The only thing not known, is how this will be resolved.
    • Gun sold by RIAC in February 2014, Lot 3083: SN 3667
    • Gun Offered by Julia as having killed Gen. George Custer, October 2014, Lot 3196: SN 3667

    (Note: This consignor had already consigned guns to Julia before he purchased this gun! Note the date of sale and the first auction of this consignor in March 2014. The gun that killed Custer was apparently found during his consignment to Julia.)

    • Gun sold by RIAC in June 2013, Lot 1250: SN 19316
    • Gun offered by Julia as “found on Little Bighorn Battlefield by Nicholas Black Elk,” October 2014, Lot 3200: SN 19316

    • Gun sold by Little John’s in May 2011, Lot 1313: SN 51336
    • Gun offered by Julia as “Used by Nicholas Black Elk at the Battle of Little Big Horn,” October 2014, Lot 3199: SN 51336

    3. “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” and “the pot calling the kettle black.”

    If RIAC claimed we never got a fake gun, it would be wrong. However, we don’t intentionally misrepresent items, and should an item be unintentionally misrepresented, we make it right.

    Unfortunately, our competitor brought up the example of the Gastinne Renette carbine that was believed to have ties to Napoleon III. This gun was well documented in several publications and previously confiscated from an American collector by the FBI in order to be returned to France, as it was believed to have been stolen by Nazis during World War II. Let that sink in – this particular gun even fooled the FBI’s treasure hunters. It took three years for it to come to light that the gun had been fooling everyone (including the FBI) for years. What is true, is that an individual did contact us once after it was in our catalog. However, he only stated the French Government did not appear in court and he also suggested the inscription be transcribed. He did say that it was his opinion that the carbine was not associated with Napoleon III, however, the balance of what he said was not definitive in our opinion. We made a judgment call – in retrospect a wrong call. A prominent European specialist then confirmed the papers and gun were not connected to Napoleon III. We immediately told our buyer to ship the item back and issued him a full refund – even three years after the fact. The outrageous part that Julia neglected to tell is that he charged our buyer $200 to release the gun from his possession! RIAC also gave the buyer this fee back.

    In the event a forgery is discovered, that should be the result. We made it right when we discovered it. I ask Julia, what will you do with the pieces in question and the previous $240,000 worth of merchandise sold from this consignor in March?

    4. “They should get a chance to respond to the article.”

    We couldn’t agree more and that’s exactly what this article was designed to do. While we are pleased that Julia has responded, he never addressed the rather serious FACTS at hand. These are not “disparaging” remarks, not “trash talk,” not mudslinging, not misrepresentations, not “sweeping statements,” or anything else our letter is claimed to be. Quite to the contrary, we have cited facts, links, and documented sales. He has not addressed these issues on his own website to inform his customers.

    Julia attempts to accuse RIAC of many unflattering things, but only half addresses the issue at hand. He states that “I made a decision to withdraw the entire consignment from auction,” but has failed to actually disclose it. Is lot 3206 from the same consignor? If so, it still remains in the auction stating that it was, “used by Cheyenne Chief Lame White Man at the Little Big Horn” and still mentions the same consignor. James D. Julia has also posed no solution to the buyers of the $240,000 of merchandise sold in his spring auction that originated from this same consignor.
    Lastly, the consignor did not write the descriptions! It was written by his firearms specialist. Did anyone really believe that, without documents, on one page is the gun that killed Custer, the next page is the gun that killed Sitting Bull, and the many other pages of guns from the Little Bighorn?

    We can talk differences in Terms & Conditions all day long: the nuances of our warranties, hidden fees, “insurance” charges, who publishes their auction corrections and where, etc. There can be a time and place for that and we would gladly welcome such a comparison and not a one-sided diatribe that does not address the issue. However, right now what matters is honesty and transparency to ensure that collectors’ trust is not misplaced any more than it has been. The ball is in your court, Mr. Julia. We stand behind what we sell. What do you intend to do with the $240,000 in sales of the Wendell Grangaard collection sold in March?

    Patrick F. Hogan

    • And now folks, let’s fast forward to RIAC and the “Singer” that was recently pulled! Haha, some things never change (or go away).

  18. Not sure if this is the forum for this p***ing match. I wish I could get those ten minutes of my life back.

    Now, if you were to add some antique dueling pistols, then things might get interesting….

  19. As a real-life antique dealer with a tax ID # (NOT a collector} I don’t believe either auction company has convinced anyone of anything. Yes auction companies use hype and hyperbole to describe what they are selling. I don’t know the truth and don’t care.

  20. While it is true you should do your homework. But, really did any of you read the crap this so called top10 auction house has right now on their website? If I did not read this myself I would not have believed it!
    Read it yourself, freakin hilarious, here is just a small part of it:

    I can’t stop laughing!!!

    On the morning of the Custer Battle, June 25, 1876, Lame White Man and his friend, Brave Bear, along with Lame White Man’s wife, Twin-Woman, and his two daughters, Red-Hat & Crane-Woman, along with Monahseetah (and presumably her son, Yellow Bird), were in Lame White Man’s lodge. Lame White Man was talking with Brave Bear, trying to convince him to join the Medicine Wheel Mirror Society. They both agreed that after the battle that was looming Brave Bear would join the Mirror Society. After they had eaten Lame White Man and Brave Bear went to the sweat lodge for a time until they heard shots and when they emerged they saw Two Moon and his group riding south towards the shooting. He caught his and yelled “Let us kill them all this time”

    • Yeah, sure, just leave 10mm out of it, right? I’ve seen this movie before an’ I’m not gonna watch it. I know prejudice and cartel-building when I see it. Sure, gang up on 10mm and push it out of the dance hall. We’ll see how long that little two-caliber tango lasts. When the government loads 10mm it can do everything the 9mm can do except save you money. If my cousin Roscoe loads it, it bumps .45ACP from quarterback to waterboy, and your muzzle won’t come back down ’till next Sunday. The little trick creating .40 cal? Now that was clever, just so 9mm and .45ACP could could take eyeballs off 10mm, only to then gang up on .40 cal because “it has too much recoil and the hole it makes is too small.” 45! No, 9mm! 45. 9mm. How about for once, including 10mm? But nooooo.

  21. Caveat Emptor is all well and good but IMO equally important is: Considerandum est de causa, Consider the source.

    RIAC and James Julia are in direct competition with one another, why TTAG would print or credit claims by one against the other or rebuttals of the same is beyond confusing. If Wal Mart told you that Target was mis-labeling their products to save money you’d ignore it because their ulterior motives are blatantly apparent. Just as if Chevy tried to tell you that Ford was using cheaper steel in their auto frames than they said they do or McDonalds claimed that Burger King is using horse meat in their hamburgers.

    No reputable organization would print claims from sources like that, most would likely not even investigate because of how obviously doing so would benefit the claimant. If customers don’t claim it then why you would ever lend it any credence is far beyond me.

  22. It is my belief that both of these companies (as well as other high-profile firearms auction houses) are now exploiting the same generation that collected Beer Cans then Baseball Cards & Sporting ‘memorabilia’. Most of the individuals that they ‘target’ are not serious collectors or scholarly about their hobby. This is in spite of what they may believe.

    To quote Mr. Julia: “Firearms collectors are some of the savviest people in the business…”
    (Upon reading this, I nearly fell out of my chair ROTFLMAO’d…)
    I believe that he left out the qualifiers “A select few” as a precedent to this statement.

    While I can appreciate that Mr. Jim Julia and Mr. Joel Kolander have businesses to run and hope to make a profit; theirs and similar other companies, serve no other true service that to produce slick, colorful brochures that allow a vast majority of gun aficionados to day-dream.

    Their auction houses, I believe, do a much larger disservice and damage to the industry we are so passionate about: they continue to assign inflated values (disguised as auction estimates) that have no basis in fact. These figures are predicated upon the lack of knowledge of the ‘savvy collector’ who has more money than knowledge.

    As with other artificial markets, see my examples above as well as the ‘collector car’ market with its artificial highs and lows (thanks Craig Jackson, et. al.) the answer to all of this comes in two forms: 1) ignore the ‘man behind the curtain’ (whether he be Oz, Barnum, Julia, Kolander and their companies); and 2) wait, as hard as it may be in our culture of instant gratification, for the inevitable collapse in prices, that has accompanied other artificial markets.

  23. The last 25 minutes of my life reminded me of something I read once…

    “The first to plead his case seems right,
    Until another comes and examines him.”

    …and then the commenters examine them both…

  24. Fortunately none of my crappy guns are collectable or prized by anyone other than me. I’ll gladly take 50K for my Remington 870, It might have been handled by someone famous in the gun shop before I bought it.

  25. The in-house so called “firearms expert”, Richard Ellis, is a convicted felon/con man! This is the same ex-felon that made the interpretation, based on nothing more than his fundamental visual observation, that a rare Winchester model 1873 rifle, auctioned in the summer of 2011, was nothing more than a excellent “Copy” and not “Original”! Also the comment made by the auther of a book on Winchester “1 of 1000 rifles” Edward Lewis, also contacted owner Patrick Hogan and stated that he had personal knowledge of the existence of another “1 of 1000” with the same serial number? This other rifle, Ed Lewis stated was the original, and that Hagan’s then must be a “Copy”! That is when the plan was conceived, to have Pat Hogan and Richard Ellis make a rush to judgement about the rare Winchester model 1873 “1 of 1000” rifle, that was sold in 2011 for $35,000.00 + ($5,250.00 in auction house fees), based only on the information of a phone call from Ed Lewis and the observations of the convicted felon Richard Ellis! The rifle sold in 2011 has been examined in every possible methodology available, and “authenticated” by the top Winchester experts from the Winchester company as the true 100% original 1 of 1000 rifle, of the two rifles apparently having the same serial number? The rifle sold in 2011, by the Rock Island Auction Company, and has since been been appraised for $250,000.00 – $450,000.00, and has the title of holding the rank of being one of the top five existing “overall original condition” Winchester model 1873 1 of 1000 rifles” known to exist! It is this writers opinion that, based on the past and presant actions of Pat Hogan, Richard Ellis and Edward Lewis steming from the scandle in 2011, as well as all of the documented vast reports of other inappropriate/ unethical dealings of these three men and the R.I.A.C., that an in depth federal and state investigation is warranted on the owner, employees and every past reported “wrong doings” of the Rock Island Auction Company! Thank you for your time in this very serious matter. Sincerely, “concerned citizen”. 08/18/2015

  26. I had no dealings with Julia Auction, but had plenty with Rock Island.
    I run the Manowar’s Hungarian Weapons website, I consider myself an expert on Hungarian weapons. I found plenty of technical and historical errors in Rock Island’s descriptions of Hungarian guns. I notified them several times with corrections, but the same “misleadings” and errors are repeated over and over again. I also posted corrections to their Youtube videos, but they DELETED my comments!
    However, Rock Island is not not alone, I found that most auctioneers and dealers are posting false info in their ads. Some are worse than others.


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