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Rock Island Auctions Off $12.6 Million in Guns

Two old antique shotguns rifle on wooden table background, close-up. Top view of a hunting equipment

Rock Island Auction Company had a huge day recently. If you haven’t heard of these guys before, listen up, you might find something you can’t live without. In the last auction, RIA sold over $12.6 million in guns!

Some interesting pieces came across the auction block too. An excellent example of a Hitler Guard Luger popped up. This is the only example of this pistol, flashlight, and holster ever offered at public sale, making it one of the rarest of all Lugers and accessories. The consignor also states that a GI acquired the gun while he was in Germany. To our knowledge, this is the only one currently in private hands. The gun sold for $184,000, not a bad payday for the seller.

This is yet another example of the magnificent Colts that Rock Island Auction brings to the collector. This extraordinary Colt revolver, serial number 1, is factory cased and exhibition engraved and Colt presented it to Lewis Sheldon on December 1, 1871. Lewis Sheldon was the bookkeeper and paymaster of Colt’s Hartford factory and worked for Colt from around 1863 until 1871. Colt had the revolver inscribed and was presented to Lewis Sheldon when he left Colt and remained in possession of Sheldon or his direct family for 141 years until it was placed on consignment with the Rock Island Auction Company. The revolver sold for $368,000.

This is an extremely rare, factory-cased presentation, Colt No. 3 Belt Model Paterson revolver. It was manufactured somewhere between 1837 and 1840. The revolver is complete with a factory mahogany case with beveled lid and brown velvet lining, extra cylinder and full complement of accessories. The top of the beveled case lid is inlaid with a silver plate inscribed: “W. Watson/from A. P.” After further research, “A.P.” appears to stand for Andrew Parsons. Andrew Parsons was a stockholder, owning 10 shares in Patent Arms Manufacturing Company in August of 1837. Mr. Parsons served in the upper house of the New Jersey Legislature, which the New Jersey Constitution established in 1776. The legislative council replaced the New Jersey Provincial Council, which had been the Upper house under colonial rule. The council consisted of 12 members appointed by and serving under the British crown. This pistol sold for an incredible $230,000.

Rock Island also sold an incredible relief engraved Walther with gold plating. Victor Lutze owned this pistol, which along with Goring, Himmler, and Heydrich drew up the lists of those to liquidate in preparation of the Purge of Rohm in 1934, which is also known as the Night of The Long Knives. Lutze joined the German Army in 1912 where he fought in a few infantry regiments during WWI. He became a company commander and joined the police force after the war. He joined the Nazi Party in 1922. Lutze worked with Albert Leo Schlageter in the resistance and sabotage of the Belgian and French occupation of the Ruhr in 1923. His organization of the Ruhr for the SA became the model for other regions after 1926. In 1933, officials appointed him Police President of Hanover and later its provincial governor and state counselor. He rose through the ranks and by 1933, was a SA-Obergruppenfuher. He was the Chief of Staff of the Sturmabteilung from 1934 to 1943. On May 1, 1943, he was involved in an automobile accident and died the next day during surgery in the hospital. Documents that accompany the pistol indicate the owner of an estate near Minden, Germany surrendered the gun to U.S. Army Lieutenant Winchester Kelso in the spring of 1945. The pistol sold for $241,500.

Rock Island Auction Company’s June 29, 30, and July 1 auction is set to be the largest firearms auction ever assembled in their two decades of firearms auctions. Over 6,000 firearms have pushed their summer regional auction from a two-day sale, to a full three days of firearms and military artifacts. For more information on selling at auction or consigning with Rock Island Auction Company call 800-238-8022 or visit

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