Julia’s Spring 2018 Extraordinary Firearms Auction

By Dave Dolbee published on in Firearms, General, News

This will be the final auction held at Julia’s fabled Fairfield, Maine auction barn before all future auctions move to Morphy Auctions Locations in Denver, Pennsylvania, and Las Vegas. Here is the entire release, for those who are serious investors and the rest of of us who will simply drool and dream…

Mauser Manufactured WWII German MG42 Machine Gun on Lafette Mount with Accessories

Mauser Manufactured WWII German MG42 Machine Gun on Lafette Mount with Accessories

Fairfield, ME ~ March 2, 2018 – In December 2017 James D. Julia Auctioneers merged with Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pennsylvania. In February, Julia’s conducted their last Fine Art & Antique auction in Fairfield, Maine and on March 21st, 22nd and 23rd will conduct the last auction of any type to be held in Fairfield, Maine by James D. Julia. All future auctions will be held at Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pennsylvania. The auction should prove to be a most notable one including extraordinary collections such as the Ray Bentley Collection of rare Winchesters, and numerous other outstanding and rare items including Louis XV extraordinarily rare and exquisite repeating flintlock rifle made by Sebastian Hauschka.

James D. Julia Auctioneers has been in the auction business for nearly 50 years, and for the last 15 years has been the leading auction house in the world for high-end, rare and valuable firearms. Julia’s has sold more rare and valuable sporting arms than any other auction house in the world, is the world’s leading seller of important Civil War and Confederate items, and has also sold more Class 3 weapons than any other auction house in North America. As James D. Julia Auctioneers concludes its business for the last time in Fairfield, Maine with this auction, the spirit of the Julia’s brand will be perpetuated by its merger with Morphy Auctions. Both companies take pride in having the most talented and knowledgeable experts in the industry, and the blending of both teams of leading experts will enhance processes, descriptions and valuations and create a synergistic team of passionate staff members to better serve their customers and strengthen the antiques and collectibles industry for years to come.

Headlining this auction, Julia’s will present the first phase of the magnificent lifetime collections of the late Ray Bentley. At the time of his recent passing, Ray’s Winchester collection was regarded as unquestionably the finest and most important of its kind in the world today. In fact, more than 100 of Mr. Bentley’s high quality, rare and valuable Winchesters and Henrys will be offered in this auction, and many of them are the finest examples that Julia’s has ever offered. The ultimate highlight from the Bentley Collection is one of the finest “One of One Thousand” Model 1873 Winchester rifles (lot 2017, $250,000-350,000) ever to be offered for sale, accompanied by rock solid provenance including a factory letter that verifies all the features of this outstanding firearm. This “One of One Thousand” bears serial number 27141 and is in the most desirable configuration, with full magazine, octagonal barrel, rifle butt with crescent buttplate, chambered in 44-40. Additionally, it was one of the first rifles to be identified as a result of the search for these ultra-rare and desirable rifles by Universal Pictures as publicity for their iconic Western film Winchester 73 starring Jimmy Stewart. All superlatives are entirely appropriate when applied to this incredibly beautiful rifle, and it is one of the very best ever offered for sale. Also from the Bentley Collection of Winchesters is quite possibly Conrad Ulrich’s greatest masterpiece and a legendary Winchester collector’s icon for nearly half a century, the magnificent gilded, high-relief engraved and fully signed Winchester Model 1866 lever action rifle, serial number 7994 (lot 2010, $175,000-275,000). The ultimate engraved Model 1866 Winchester rifle, it is one of the most famous of all Winchesters. As a work of 19th century art this rifle transcends the fact it is a firearm, with its interpretation of Hiram Power’s “Greek Slave” sculpture making it worthy of display alongside one of Powers’ sculptures or the finest American 19th Century paintings. Among the many great Henry rifles is a fantastic early Hoggson engraved and silver-plated Henry rifle with deluxe wood (lot 2004, $100,000-150,000). Engraved with flowing foliate patterns and finely cut borders, features typical of Henry factory engraver Samuel J. Hoggson, this splendid example of an early engraved Henry rifle saw little use and was just put away.

Engraved and Silver Plated Henry Rifle with Deluxe Wood from the Ray Bentley Collection

Engraved and Silver Plated Henry Rifle with Deluxe Wood from the Ray Bentley Collection

In addition to his incomparable Winchesters, Mr. Bentley amassed innumerable other collections with the same discerning eye. His spectacular silver trophy collection is like nothing you will probably ever see again. This includes a historic, sterling, oversized beaker to Baron von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron, from Kaiser Wilhelm (lot 2143, $20,000-30,000), an incredibly detailed sterling scale model of the British-built Brazilian battleship “Minas Geras” (lot 2145, $10,000-20,000), a rare and historic, finest known Lloyd’s Patriotic Fund £100 Battle of Trafalgar trophy, one of only 15 awarded after the famous 1805 engagement (lot 2142, $50,000-70,000), and many more.

Also offered from the Bentley collection will be countless other high condition longarms, Colt and S&W handguns, Gatling guns, edged weapons, rare ammunition and much more. Additional fine Winchesters and Colts from the Bruce Burtner collection will also be featured, as will treasures from the Fritz Baehr, Daryl Middlebrook and Robert Roughton collections.

As advanced collectors of rare Class 3/NFA machine guns have come to expect from Julia’s, over 100 NFA items will lead off the sale on the first day of the auction. This increasingly popular collecting genre is highlighted by an exceptionally rare Colt R-75A machine gun (lot 1065, $70,000-100,000). Among the WWII-era machine guns certain to attract the attention of discerning WWII collectors is a fantastic Mauser-manufactured German MG-42 on a Lafette mount with accessories (lot 1016, $30,000-40,000), as well as an exceptionally rare Hungarian model 43M machine gun which utilizes the powerful 9mm Mauser cartridge and saw service on the Eastern Front during WWII (lot 1028, $30,000-50,000). This auction will also include many additional and important Class 3 items such as Thompsons, H&Ks, Colts and superb advanced weapons of all kinds.

Top shelf offerings from the esteemed private collection of Rafael Cruz include an extraordinary Marlin 1893 Deluxe Rifle engraved with gold & platinum inlays presented by Marlin to history’s most famous marksman, Annie Oakley (lot 1421, $200,000-250,000). The receiver has special deluxe engraving with gold & platinum embellishments, most likely the work of the renowned Conrad Ulrich. This fine firearm has a very interesting history, chronicled in the book, Marlin Firearms by William S. Brophy and is pictured on pages 200, 547, and 548. Also from the Cruz Collection comes the only known matched presentation pair of Helfrecht-engraved silver plated Colt Single Action Army revolvers with a rich South Texas history (lot 1410, $150,000-225,000), and many others.

High Relief Engraved Winchester Model 1866 Lever Action Rifle from the Ray Bentley Collection

High Relief Engraved Winchester Model 1866 Lever Action Rifle from the Ray Bentley Collection

In addition to the world class Winchesters and Colts in the first session, an extraordinary offering of antique arms will come to the block, led by a historic Royal French Flintlock Repeating Rifle by Sebastian Hauschka for King Louis XV, incised with the inventory number of the French Royal Cabinet d’Armes #464 (lot 1138, $175,000-275,000), This extraordinary rifle exhibits the very highest quality throughout as befits a royal presentation piece, and is also an exceptional rarity being a repeating rifle built on the Lorenzoni/Berselli system. Another historic masterpiece of elegance in this auction is a cased four gun garniture by French master arms maker Nicolas Noel Boutet (lot 1139, $75,000-125,000). Boutet (1761-1833) was Napoleon’s personal armorer and examples of his work have graced the greatest museums in the world, including a fine collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Rare Civil War and Confederate items have always been a mainstay at Julia’s and this auction is no exception. The finest pair of consecutive numbered Confederate manufactured pistols known, Rigdon & Ansley revolvers SN 1774/5 (lot 1349, $60,000-80,000) and a fine Civil War Ames 1863-dated bronze 12-pounder Mountain Howitzer (lot 1346A, $45,000-65,000) are the headliners, along with a superb selection of edged weapons and Martial arms to round out this genre.

Great sporting arms have been a hallmark at Julia’s for decades and this auction does not disappoint with the offering of the “Miracle Six,” a battery of Holland & Holland Royal Doubles made at the turn of the 20th century for Boston tycoon Nathaniel C. Nash (lots 1180-1184, estimates ranging from $30,000 to $95,000). These guns were put into cold storage in 1915 and have been out of circulation for over 100 years, until now! Also, a magnificent pair of contemporary Holland & Holland 28 gauge gold engraved game guns (lot 1185, $125,000-175,000) and a host of best quality English and Continental guns will be sure to please. Fabulous American sporting arms from the estate collection of Daryl Middlebrook feature rare Parker shotguns and big bore fowling pieces. A one-of-a-kind consecutive serial numbered set of experimental Grand American style Winchester Model 21 Double Rifles (lots 1279-1286, estimates ranging from $20,000 to $35,000) anchor this category.

Consecutively Numbered Confederate Pistols Known, Rigdon & Ansley Revolvers

Consecutively Numbered Confederate Pistols Known, Rigdon & Ansley Revolvers

Julia’s Sporting & Collector offerings on the second part of day 2 and all of day 3 will feature over 650 modestly priced lots across all categories, appealing to a broad base of interests and budgets. Great items from the Ray Bentley collection will lead the session along with the final phase of the prestigious Warren Buxton collection of Walther related goods. Offerings from the Bruce Burtner and Robert Roughton collections will also be featured in the Sporting & Collector sessions.

About James D. Julia, Inc.

James D. Julia, Inc., a division of Morphy Auctions, has been one of the top ten antique auction antique houses in North America as measured by annual sales. In business for over 45 years, the company conducts high-end antique, collectible and fine art auctions throughout the year. The company has routinely established new world records through its auction events through three key divisions, including Rare Firearms; Fine Art, Asian & Antiques; and Rare Lamps, Glass & Fine Jewelry. Each division is regarded for its excellence and is staffed with world-class specialists to guarantee fair and professional authentication, identification, and valuation services. In December of 2017, James D. Julia, Inc. merged with Morphy Auctions of Denver, PA. Morphy Auctions and James D. Julia, Inc. share a common purpose of delighting collectors worldwide with aligned missions and unparalleled customer service standards. Joining forces creates a synergistic team of passionate staff members to better serve our customers and strengthen the antiques and collectibles industry. All future auctions will be held at the world class facilities of Morphy Auctions. For more information, please visit www.jamesdjulia.com.

Scott Wentzell
Director of Marketing for James D. Julia, Inc.

Auction Estimates

Lot Description Low Estimate High Estimate
1016 Mauser Manufactured WWII German MG42 Machine Gun on Lafette Mount with Accessories $30,000 $40,000
1028 WWII Hungarian Model 43M Machine Gun $30,000 $50,000
1065 Colt R75A Browning Automatic Rifle with Detachable Barrel $70,000 $100,000
1138 Lorenzoni-System Flintlock Repeating Rifle by Sebastian Hauschka Made for & Presented to King Louis XV of France, circa 1735 $175,000 $275,000
1180 Holland & Holland “Royal” Ejector .577 NE Double Rifle in Maker’s Case, Made for Nathanial C. Nash of Cambridge, MA in 1909, one of the “Miracle Six” $65,000 $95,000
1284 Experimental Winchester Model 21 “Grand American” Double Rifle in 45-70 with Case and Factory Letter (1 of 8 consecutively numbered experimental M21s being offered) $25,000 $35,000
1349 Consecutively Numbered Confederate Pistols Known, Rigdon & Ansley Revolvers $60,000 $80,000
1410 Pair of Engraved & Inscribed Silver Plated Colt Single Action Arm Revolvers $150,000 $225,000
1421 Engraved Marlin 1893 Takedown Rifle with Gold & Platinum Inlaid Design Presented by Marlin to Annie Oakley $200,000 $250,000
2004 Engraved and Silver Plated Henry Rifle with Deluxe Wood from the Ray Bentley Collection $100,000 $150,000
2010 High Relief Engraved Winchester Model 1866 Lever Action Rifle from the Ray Bentley Collection $175,000 $275,000
2017 “One of One Thousand” Winchester Model 1873 Rifle from the Ray Bentley Collection $250,000 $350,000
2142 Lloyd’s Patriotic Fund £100 Presentation Sterling Vase from the Ray Bentley Collection $50,000 $70,000
2145 Scale Model of the British-Built Brazilian Battleship “Minas Gereas” from the Ray Bentley Collection $10,000 $20,000
1346A Civil War Ames 1863 Dated Bronze 12-Pounder Mountain Howitzer $45,000 $65,000

Spring 2018 Extraordinary Firearms Auction – Order of Sale

 March 21st Extraordinary Session

  • Lots 1000 – 1127 Class 3 Machineguns and Military Items
  • Lots 1128 – 1326 Antique and Modern Sporting Arms
  • Lots 1327 – 1391 Antique and Martial Arms/Swords (Custer/Indian Wars, Civil War)
  • Lots 1392 – 1420 Colt Revolvers (Percussion and Cartridge)
  • Lots 1421 – 1443 Marlin and Winchester Lever Action Rifles
  • Lots 1443 – 1459 Gun Safes, Artwork, Fish Carvings

March 22nd Ray Bentley Collection (Extraordinary and Sporting & Collector Sessions)

  • Lots 2000 – 2084 Bentley Extraordinary Winchester Lever Action Rifles
  • Lots 2085 – 2104 Bentley Rare Cartridge Boards and Collector Ammunition
  • Lots 2105 – 2128 Bentley Colts, Gatling Guns and Smith & Wesson Revolvers
  • Lots 2128 – 2150 Bentley Saddles, Silver, Misc.
    • End of Bentley Extraordinary
  • Lots 2200 – 2243 Bentley Sporting & Collector Winchester Lever Action Rifles
  • Lots 2244 – 2279 Bentley Sporting & Collector Colt Revolvers and Misc.
  • Lots 2280 – 2327 Bentley Sporting & Collector Antique and Martial Arms/Swords
  • Lots 2328 – 2395 Bentley Sporting & Collector Military Items and Misc.
    • End of Bentley Sporting & Collector

March 22nd Sporting and Collector Session

  • Lots 2396 – 2453 Sporting & Collector Winchester Lever Action Rifles

March 23rd Sporting and Collector Session

  • Lots 3000 – 3047 Sporting & Collector Colt Revolvers/Accessories, Smith & Wesson


  • Lots 3048 – 3119 Sporting & Collector U.S. Martial Arms Edged Weapons/Swords
  • Lots 3120 – 3157 Sporting & Collector Antique Arms (mostly Foreign)
  • Lots 3158 – 3317 Sporting & Collector Antique/Modern Sporting Arms (US and Foreign)
  • Lots 3318 – 3429 S. And Foreign Military Items
  • Lots 3430 – 3454 Colts and Sporting Arms

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