Julia’s October firearms auction could set another new world auction record for the highest gross ever attained. Julia’s is a leading auction house for valuable high-end guns. It has also been distinguished by handling the greatest number of important, old time collections. This sale is certainly true to form and will once again feature an extraordinary array of guns from numerous collections. The Fall 2013 auction grossed $18 million, making it the largest ever conducted in the world, and the Spring 2014 Auction exceeded that at over $19 million. Now Julia’s upcoming October 2014 auction with a presale estimate of approximately $19-22 million could once again establish a new benchmark. Speculation of gross is one thing but the importance of the collections to be offered is beyond reproach.
Heavy Dahlgren Howitzer, Vickers Maxim Model 1904
Session I includes the renowned Springfield Arsenal Collection of rare antiques and artillery assembled by the world’s leading authority on this venue, Mr. John Morris. John’s collection is unquestionably the largest, most diversified offering of antique cannons and artillery ever to come to auction. The significance of his collection is such that it has been divided into two parts. The second part will be offered in the spring of 2015. There are many great rarities to be included, one of which will be the Civil War 10-inch Siege Mortar in original carriage bearing SN#7. This is one of the few such examples in existence today and carries a very conservative estimate of $15,000-25,000. A Dahlgren heavy 12 lb. Boat Howitzer on original carriage SN #52 is another very desirable specimen. This is one of the best Heavy Dahlgren Howitzers and carries a presale estimate of $60,000-90,000. Also of great note is the Spanish Siege Mortar dated 1750 captured by DuPont at Fernadina, Florida in 1862. This is a most historic and important piece of American history and is estimated at $90,000-125,000.
Julia’s has also come to be a leading marketer of rare Class III weapons. Included is what is believed to be the most significant collection of Class III material to ever come to auction. This is the collection of Evergreen Ventures, Inc. of McMinnville, Oregon. This collection was formerly on loan to the Evergreen Museum and includes an extraordinary array of choice and rare working machine guns. This collection is also so expansive that it has been divided into two parts. The second portion is to be sold in Julia’s March 2015 auction. In addition, part of this same collection together with an extraordinary array of machine gun parts will be offered at the Poulin Auction Company located adjacent to Julia’s on Monday, October 6, 2014.
Villar Persoa 1915 Twin 9mm Glisenti Machine Gun
There are so many choice and rare items such as an extremely rare and desirable Vickers Maxim Model 1904, formerly used in the Fox movie studio. SN #48 in a desirable caliber .30-06, this rare and extremely fine piece is estimated at $75,000-125,000. Another extremely rare and unusual example is the Villar Perosa 1915 twin 9mm Glisenti Machine gun estimated at $40,000-60,000. This is one of the first anti-aircraft guns. There is also a scarce Villar Perosa gunner’s chest that will be sold in this sale, which is estimated for $5,000-10,000. Another great rarity is the Cadillac Gauge Stoner Machine gun estimated at $75,000-125,000. These are extraordinarily rare and almost never come on to the marketplace. Some years ago, a handful of these guns were assembled from some real and reproduced parts and on occasion those have come up for sale, but an original genuine one such as this is almost never seen. In fact, to our knowledge no other complete and original C.S.G. gun has come to auction.
Mataxis and Sturgess Class III Weapons Collections
Also included is the personal collection of Brigadier General Theo C. Mataxis. His Class III weapons were all collected by himself from various battles and are accompanied by their provenance. A Chinese copy of the Soviet RPD Belt Fed Machine gun captured November 1965 in Vietnam by Gen. Mataxis carries a presale estimate of $20,000-25,000. Another extraordinarily important collection to be offered is the Dr. Geoffrey Sturgess Collection of Zurich, Switzerland. The Sturgess Collection of auto loading weapons is the most comprehensive and largest of its type currently in private hands. This offering represents the third session Julia’s has handled for Sturgess (with more to come). A unique and important Baby Luger SN #4 in excellent condition is estimated at $50,000-100,000. A fabulous presentation cased Model 1902 Luger carbine formally a presentation from Kaiser Wilhelm II to Mexican President Porfirio Diaz is in stunning condition and carries a presale estimate of $90,000-150,000.
Another important Kaiser Wilhelm presentation is a fabulous cased presentation Manlicher Model 1901. It was originally in the renowned Visser Collection and it carries a presale estimate of $30,000-60,000. A super rare item is the Model 1897 Silverman-Maxim prototype pistol in 7.63mm. Sir Hiram Maxim, who was born in Sangerville, Maine, went on to develop the first practical machine gun and was later knighted by the British government for his accomplishment. He later considered the possibility of creating a semi-automatic pistol. This is one of the extraordinarily rare remaining prototypes of Maxim’s endeavor. This one in excellent original condition and carries a presale estimate of $20,000-30,000.
An extraordinary Walther Model PP long slide with Verchromt finish is another extremely desirable lot. There were fewer than 10 of these pistols produced and only a couple survive today with this being the finest example known. This exact gun is illustrated in Rankin’s book as SN #779150. This example also includes the correct and original Verchromt finish safety lever in nearly new condition retaining approximately 99% finish (originally from the famed Visser Collection). It carries a presale estimate of $45,000-65,000.
American Sporting Arms
Session II includes an extraordinary array of sporting arms. American Sporting Arms are highlighted by the spectacular private collection of rare engraved and gold inlaid Winchester Model 21 shotguns of Mr. Bill Phifer. Mr. Phifer became acquainted with the Winchester Custom Shop in the 1970s and began to make special orders for select guns. Over a period of years, he continued to order about every known configuration that could be purchased from the custom department, but never fired them. In fact, he never even assembled them; they are still in the original boxes that they came in and so they are essentially new. One of the most extraordinary items in his collection is the unprecedented, spectacular, unique cased Winchester Model 21 Grand Royal with extra barrels. They are embellished with lavish gold ornamentation including the iconic Winchester rider on horseback as well as hunting dogs, etc.
This extraordinary work of art is estimated at $60,000-90,000. The exceptional Winchester Model 21 Grand American, “1 of 8,” small bore with three barrels is another pièce de résistance and estimated at $50,000-80,000. A special order 2-barrel small gauge set (28 gauge and .410 gauge) Winchester Model 21 Grand American has exceptional engraving and gold inlay by Robert Kain and is estimated at $35,000-55,000. There are numerous other spectacular Grand Americans offered in this remarkable sale. Notably is the unprecedented eight-gun set of Winchester .410s representing one of each grade Model 21 produced by the Winchester Custom Shop. They are consecutively numbered as ordered by Mr. Phifer and verified with factory letter. Depending upon configuration, they are estimated anywhere from a low of $25,000 to a high of $55,000. Many of us wish we could go back in time to the 1970s and visit the Winchester Custom Shop to have one of these creations produced new for us but this is the next best thing as these guns are new in the box and exactly the way you would have received them from the Winchester Custom Shop in the 1970s.
Other extraordinary high art American shotguns include a rare L.C. Smith Deluxe Grade single barrel trap gun with two sets of barrels, lavishly embellished with gold inlays. This gun was made for William B. Rohde and is so inscribed. This spectacular L.C. Smith is estimated at $80,000-150,000. This auction includes a large and outstanding offering of Parkers including a fine 20 gauge AHE. This Parker with unusual engraving and in fine condition is estimated at $30,000-50,000. A rare 28 gauge Parker DHE in excellent condition is estimated at $32,500-52,500.
Also an exceptionally rare 410 GHE in fine condition is one of many .410 gauge Parkers in the auction and this one is estimated at $35,000-55,000. An Ithaca NID grade 7E with 32” barrels in 20 gauge in exceptionally fine condition is estimated at $35,000-65,000. Also a very nice selection of Brownings including a very fine FN Browning Superpose Exposition Grade engraved in gold inlay Jaquez Lodewic that carries a presale estimate of $20,000-25,000.
Fine English sporting arms include two exceptional Boss .410 gauge shotguns. Both are in nearly new condition. One being an over/under estimated at $100,000-200,000. The other being a side by side also estimated at $100,000-200,000. An exquisite cased pair of 28 gauge extra finish Holland & Holland Royal Deluxe single trigger game guns with game scenes by W.P. Sinclair and in excellent condition is estimated at $75,000-125,000. A fine cased pair of James Purdey extra finish side lock ejector game guns in 12 ga. in exceptionally fine condition are estimated at $35,000-65,000. Another pièce de résistance by Holland & Holland is an exquisite Royal Deluxe double rifle in caliber .500/.465 H&H Magnum. This superlative gun is estimated at $150,000-225,000.
One notable example is the extremely rare factory engraved Winchester Model 1866 that belonged to Winchester’s most famous salesman, Thomas O’Connor. In fine condition with lovely engraving, it is estimated at $25,000-40,000. Also from the Yearout collection is a very rare iron framed 1860 Henry that is estimated at $40,000-70,000. From the Dr. Edmund Lewis Collection of rare Volcanic arms comes an exceedingly rare factory cased and engraved New Haven Volcanic 25” lever action carbine. This example being in very fine condition is extremely difficult to find, but to find one in the original factory case is nearly impossible. It carries a presale estimate of $100,000-150,000.
Session III will include more fine offerings from the Lewis and Leyton Yearout collection including a number of desirable Colts. One of which is a rare cased Patterson #3 revolver including all accessories and most notably an extremely rare original directions for loading the Patterson. This carries a presale estimate of $75,000-125,000. From the same collection are a lot of three Smith & Wesson revolvers, which at one time belonged to the most revered handgun shot in the world, Ed McGiven.
McGiven was a sign painter in Montana who developed an extraordinary skill with handguns. At the time, he proved himself to be the finest handgun shot in the world. In the 1940s, he appeared on the cover of Outdoor Life performing a show of his shooting skills. In the image, an assistant had just thrown up five hard rubber balls, each the size of a silver dollar. Ed McGiven with a revolver had fired five shots hitting all five balls and there were five clouds of debris above his head, all shot in less than a half a second! Formerly owned by McGiven, the lot of three are generally in very good condition and as a group carry a presale estimate of $10,000-15,000.
This sale will include the third session of the Dr. Douglas Sirkin Collection. Dr. Sirkin’s Collection of Kentucky rifles is one of the largest most diversified offerings sold in many years and has included a number of important and rare examples. This sale will feature an award winning incise carved flintlock Kentucky rifle by N. Beyer of the Lebanon School. This very gun in 1988 had won the Silver Award for the Best Relief Carved Rifle. It is in very fine condition and carries a presale estimate of $40,000-60,000.
Another fine example from the Sirkin Collection is an important and very rare relief carved curly maple rifle signed by J. Shriver, the elder. This beautiful gun carries a presale estimate of $30,000-50,000. John Armstrong is one of the premier names in fine early relief carved Kentucky rifles. While only a handful of these magnificent works of art survive today, Dr. Sirkin had a great passion for Armstrong and had more than one in his collection. This auction features two examples by Armstrong; one, a percussion and the other, a flintlock. The flintlock in fine condition carries a presale estimate of $30,000-45,000.
Flintlocks, Derringers and Kentucky Pistols
Also, offered are a magnificent pair of 17th long Italian flintlock holster pistols with steel mounts relief chiseled in the Brescian manner by Vincenzo Borazo and splendid barrels by the master, Lazarino Cominazzo, circa 1685. These carry a presale estimate of $20,000-40,000. Another fine early firearm is a fine and very rare early Italian flintlock repeating gun from the workshop of Michael Lorenzoni with the most distinguished provenance dating to around 1700. It carries a conservative presale estimate of $10,000-20,000.
This third session also includes the collection of John Montague of Memphis, Tennessee. His expansive collection of rare Kentucky pistols features an 18th century pair of Flints possibly by Peter Neihardt in very good condition. This pair is estimated at $30,000-50,000. In addition to his fine collection of Kentucky pistols is his collection of rare Southern Derringers. A rare cased matched pair of Schneider and Glassick Memphis, Tennessee Derringers in very good to fine condition is estimated at $8,000-12,000. A cased pair of Schneider Memphis, Tennessee dueling pistols with silver mounts in good to fine condition is estimated at $15,000-25,000.
Not all of the items came from collections; many have come from numerous estates and collections from all over North America. Included is a rare cased silver finish Colt Model 1849 pocket pistol with carved ivory grips estimated at $30,000-50,000. A matched pair of engraved Colt SA Army revolvers has a presale estimate of $60,000-80,000. A historic cased Spencer sporting rifle that came from the estate of Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of Navy, Gideon Wells, carries a presale estimate of $40,000-70,000. Also included is an important Civil War statue grip presentation sword to Major John F. Reynolds who was killed at the Battle of Gettysburg. This spectacular sword was at one time part of the legendary Philip Medicus Collection and later in the collection of Norm Flayderman. It carries a presale estimate of $40,000-60,000.
One interesting historical museum object is a rare French single shot falling block breech loading carbine by Gastinne Renette. This gun carries a brand in the stock, “Musee de L’Art’Le,” and was once in the famous French museum of art and later in the museum of artillery. At one time it was the subject of a great lawsuit in Texas involving a private collection and the French government wherein the French government maintains that this gun had once belonged to Napoleon III, the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte. And because it carried the stamp “Musee D’Artillerie,” they claimed rights to it. The end result of this well publicized lawsuit was that the French government lost and the private owner prevailed in court. Here is an opportunity to own a firearm that legitimately once was in the famous French Musee D’Artillerie and was coveted by France to the extent that they went through significant but unsuccessful efforts to get it back. This treasure is estimated at a reasonable $20,000-30,000.
Also from a private collection is a very fine and superbly etched complete suit of armor after the original made for Goachim II, Lector of Brandenburg, circa 1850 by an unidentified German master armor. This extraordinary suit of armor carries a presale estimate of $100,000-150,000. A fine full “Gothic” plate armor suit for a youth of excellent form and style of the 15th century but made sometime in the 1850s carries a presale estimate of $50,000-80,000.
Another item of great note is a historic and rare cased Smith & Wesson Outdoorsman revolver that once belonged to the former First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt. The cased inscribed gun was a personal gift from friend and bodyguard, Earl Miller. Miller was a New York State Trooper and eventually became a personal bodyguard for President Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt. Included in this package is an image of Eleanor with Earl Miller and also another image of Eleanor appearing to shoot this very same pistol. The presale estimate is $45,000-65,000.
The sale is rounded out by a tremendous array of fine historical and outstanding items. The previews for the auction will take place on October 3-6, and from 8-10 a.m. on the days of the sale. Julia’s auction gallery is located on Rt. 201 in Fairfield, Maine. This auction catalogs is featured in a three-volume catalog set, one for each day and can be ordered from the company at $39 each or all three for $100. For more information, contact James D. Julia, P.O. Box 830, Fairfield, Maine 04937 or call 207.453.7125, Fax 207.453.2502 or view all three sessions of the auction online at www.jamesdjulia.com.