10 Most Expensive Firearms Sold in December 2017 Rock Island Premiere Auction

    Continuing our series of articles telling about the most expensive firearms sold in the major US auction houses, today we’ll take a look at the ten most expensive firearms sold in December 2017 Rock Island Premiere Auction. This time there are also two world records set.

    As in our previous installments, the prices shown are the “prices realized” which include the hammer price plus 15% buyer’s premium which is the auction house’s fee. The list goes in price ascendancy order with the least expensive being the number 10 and shown first and the most expensive being the number one and shown at the end. The firearm names also link to the corresponding RIAC page, where you can read more detailed descriptions and see more and higher resolution images of the guns. In case if several firearms are sold at the same price, you’ll see them combined in a single position. Let’s take a look at the list.

    #10 – $69,000

    Winchester Model 1873 Saddle Ring Carbine

    All images are courtesy of Rock Island Auction Company

    Made in 1889, this Winchester Model 1873 rifle is a special order one. It is accompanied by a Cody Firearms Museum letter and has a number of special features described in the RIA’s corresponding page. The carbine is chambered in .44 WCF and has a 20″ barrel.

    #9 – $74,750

    This position is shared by four lots each separately sold at $74,750.

    New Orleans Arms Co., Inc. Exhibition Master Engraved Cased Set 

    This cased set consists of two Colt Single Action Army revolvers chambered in .45 LC, a No. 3 Colt derringer chambered in .41 RF, a Bowie knife and several accessories. All the items in this set are engraved and gold inlaid in a similar fashion.

    Factory Engraved Winchester Model 42 Shotgun

    This shotgun was consigned with a second set of barrel/magazine assembly. It is chambered in .410 bore and has 28″ barrels. One of the barrels is chambered for 2 1/2″ .410 shells and the second one – for 3″ shells.

    Colt Pocket Model Paterson No. 1

    This revolver is also known as “Baby Paterson” or “Fourth Model Ehlers”. It is manufactured by John Ehlers in early 1840s. Ehlers used Colt manufactured components to make these pocket revolvers. This .28 caliber revolver is the smallest Colt percussion revolver. Barrel length of this firearm is 2 9/16″.

    Thompson Model 1921/1928 Submachine Gun 

    This is one of approximately 15,000 Tommy guns manufactured by Colt. It was originally made as a Model 1921, then converted to Model 1928. This is a fully automatic transferable firearm.

    #8 – $92,000

    The eighth position is shared by two firearms.

    DWM – 1900 Baby Luger Prototype Pistol

    This is a very rare version of the Luger pistol. This particular one has a serial number 10,075 which is 2 serial numbers away from Georg Luger’s personal Baby Luger pistol (S/N 10,077). This pistol has a “B” suffix in the serial number indicating that it is a prototype one.

    The pistol also has a GL monogram stamped on the rear portion of the toggle indicating that it was made under the supervision of Georg Luger himself. This “Baby Luger” is chambered in 9x19mm Luger and has a 3 1/2″ barrel.

    New Haven Arms Company First Model Henry Lever Action Rifle

    This factory engraved and silver plated deluxe rifle is an early production First Model Henry rifle. It was manufactured in 1863 by New Haven Arms Company. The rifle is chambered in .44 Henry Rimfire.

    #7 – $115,000

    A Pair of Holland & Holland Royal Deluxe Side by Side Shotguns

    This pair of Holland & Holand side by side shotguns is engraved by master engraver Philippe Grifnee with Diana, goddess of the hunt theme of engraving. These shotguns are chambered in 12 gauge. They were sold with the case and a number of accessories.

    #6 – $172,500

    Holland & Holland Royal Deluxe Over and Under Shotgun

    Another Philippe Grifnee engraved Holland & Holland shotgun, except this time it is an over and under and it is chambered in 410 bore. This one is also cased and was consigned along with some accessories. This shotgun was made for American publisher Robert E. Petersen.

    #5 – $207,000

    Winchester Deluxe Model 1894 Lever Action Rifle

    This rifle is engraved by master engraver John Ulrich. This was a Winchester factory display rifle for about 15 years (from February 1904 to December 1918) and has been taken to numerous exhibition across the USA. Here is a closeup look at the receiver.

    #4 – $299,000

    A Pair of Holland & Holland Royal Deluxe Over and Under Shotguns

    Yet another pair of Holland & Holland shotguns engraved by Philippe Grifnee and owned by Robert E. Petersen. These are 28 gauge Royal Deluxe model shotguns.

    #3 – $414,000

    Singer Manufacturing Co. Model 1911A1 Semi-Automatic Pistol

    This is the firearm that has set a world record! It is the most expensive Singer 1911 ever sold in a firearms auction. This very pistol was the previous similar record holder when it was sold in Rock Island Auction for $166,000 back in 2010. Moreover, it is not yet confirmed, but this pistol might be the most expensive 1911 pistol sold in an auction in general! There is also a possibility that this pistol could be the world’s most expensive WW2 firearm sold in an auction.

    There were only 500 of 1911 pistols ever made by Singer Manufacturing Company. This particular one is also in exceptionally good condition. Here is a video telling about this pistol.

    #2 – $448,500

    Winchester 1873 “One of One Thousand” 1st Model

    This is an extremely rare example of Winchester “One of One Thousand” rifles. Features like the half octagon half round barrel and 4X grade walnut furniture are highly valued by collectors. This rifle is one of two identified and documented “One of One Thousand” rifles in such configuration. Rock Island Auction has a video describing the rifle.

    #1 – $460,000

    Samuel Colt Presentation Colt Model 1862 Police Percussion Revolver

    This revolver was made in 1861 and it was presented to Major Charles Traintor Baker by none other than Samuel Colt himself! It is one of the specially made, engraved and inscribed revolvers that Samuel Colt presented to government and military officials, business associates and friends. This revolver must be one of the last if not the last such revolver presented by Samuel Colt.


    The first record that was set during the December 2017 Rock Island Premiere Auction was the Singer manufactured 1911 pistol in #3 position of our list. The second record set is the annual sales record not only for Rock Island Auction Company but among world’s gun auction companies in general. In 2017, RIAC sold firearms with a total sum of prices realized exceeding $63 million.

    The total price of all the 3,918 lots sold during December 2017 Premiere Auction is $15.7 M. Our top ten list includes 14 lots with a combined price of $2,668,000 which is about the 17% of all the lots sold.

    About a month ago, we’ve posted about a Rock Island Auction video, where they were shooting some of the largest caliber rifles chambered in 700 Nitro Express, 4 bore and .950 JDJ. I think our readers might be curious if these firearms were sold and if yes at what price. So, the SSK Industries .950 JDJ and Ken Owen 4 bore rifles were not sold during this auction. The Searcy B. & Company double rifle chambered in .700 Nitro Express was sold at $23,000.

    Another interesting lot that didn’t make into the list is a Smith & Wesson Model 19 revolver presented to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover by firearms collector William Sweet. The revolver is engraved by Alvin White. Its serial number is K333333. This revolver was sold at $46,000.


    Which one of these firearms do you like the most? Let us know in the comments section.

    Hrachya H

    Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying design, technology and history of guns and ammunition. His knowledge of Russian allows him to translate and make Russian/Soviet/Combloc small arms related information available for the English speaking audience. Hrachya also writes for SilahReport.com
    Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at [email protected]


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