James D. Julia auction is one of those places where most rare, unique and uncommon firearms appear. Their annual spring auction took place from April 11 to 13, during which they sold firearms worth of $16 million! So in this post, we’ll see what were the 10 most expensive lots sold during the auction. The guns are listed in the order of ascendancy of their price so that the least expensive is #10 and shown first.
#10 – $80,500
In this position, there is a 1911A1 Singer model pistol. What makes this gun desirable for the collectors is that it is one of few 1911s (little over 500 made) manufactured by Singer Manufacturing Company.
#9 – $92,000
This position is shared by two guns each sold at $92,000. Both are lever action rifles. One of them is a Henry model 1860 iron frame rifle chambered in .44 Henry rimfire. You can see that gun in the picture below:
And the second one is a Winchester model 1894 deluxe special order takedown rifle. The fact that it was engraved by a gentleman named John Ulrich possibly makes it even more valuable.
#8 – $103,500
This position is also shared by two guns. Each of these guns was sold at that price. One of them is a Winchester model 1873. It is also Ulrich engraved and one of two ever made. The gun is chambered in .44WCF. The metal parts of the gun are gold and nickel plated.
The second gun is an Italian 28 gauge over and under shotgun. It is made by Ivo Fabbri and engraved by Giacomo Fausti.
#7 – $115,000
Another rare Winchester lever action rifle. It is a model 1876.
#6 – $126,500
There were two rifles each separately sold at the price of $126,500. These are both Winchester model 1866 rifles and interestingly enough they are consecutive lots.
#5 – $149,500
This is where things start getting interesting (at least for me). #5 is an FG-42 rifle! It is the second model most easily distinguished by almost vertical pistol grip. From the standpoint of US legislation, it is a transferable machine gun. The gun is manufactured by Krieghoff in Suhl. This particular gun was once deactivated by cutting the receiver inside the stock. Later, it was restored to its original condition.
#4 – $195,500
So you thought the previous second model FG-42 was expensive? Behold the first model FG-42 at #4 of the most expensive guns sold in James D. Julia auction. You can see the distinctive angled pistol grip of the first model FG-42. This particular gun is also valuable because it has a very low serial number – 190. It is, however, a deactivated gun. It has a plugged chamber. If the chamber plug is carefully removed and if it appears that the chamber is still intact, then this gun can possibly be converted back to a fully functional firearm.
#3 – $253,000
Parker “A1 Special” 20 gauge side by side shotgun occupies number 3 position in our list.
#2 – $299,000
Sold at little less than $300K is a pair of Ivo Fabbri over and under 20 gauge shotguns. Technically, these are two guns, but they are one of those twin bespoke shotguns and they are sold as a single lot.
What is really impressive about these guns is the fine engraving on the metal parts. It is so detailed as if a photo was embedded into the metal.
#1 – $460,000
And finally, number one is a Colt SAA revolver. At first glance, it seems unbelievable how a beaten up Colt can be sold at whopping $460,000 price. However, if you read the history behind this gun, things start to get more understandable. This revolver is proven to have been used by one of George Armstrong Custer’s men during the battle of Little Bighorn. It is also the only documented Colt SAA revolver known today which was used during that battle. Now that makes it a true treasure of American history.
And that’s the list of 10 most expensive firearms sold in James D. Julia April 2017 auction. Since the list was about firearms, I didn’t include edged weapons. However, one of them worth mentioning. It is a sword sold at $270,250! It was given to Captain William George Rutherford (1764-1818), who was a hero of Battle of Trafalgar.
As you can see this was a list with a short description of each gun. If you want to learn more about each gun and know things like the history and unique features that collectors value (shape of different parts, the engraving details, serial numbers etc.) visit James D. Julia’s website.
Interesting to note that the value of these guns is mostly formed by the fact of who made them, whom they belonged to and in what historical event they took part. The significance of the gun in terms of its role in the history of firearms development is not that valued, which is strange to me. You can’t see none of those unique experimental or prototype mechanical gems making into the list. Instead of that, the list is dominated by fine shotguns and lever action rifles.
Besides those most expensive guns, there a number of interesting ones many of which are covered in videos made by Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons.
Here is a bonus one for you guys. This Colt M16A1 was used in the 1983 “Scarface” movie with Al Pacino. The grenade launcher is a DIY functional 37mm one. It is obviously made to resemble the M203 launcher. This gun was sold at $51,750.