James D. Julia auction house’s Spring 2018 Extraordinary Firearms Auction was held from March 21 to 23. The results with prices realized were published shortly after the auction was over. Just like in case of our previous installments, we pulled out the list of top most expensive firearms sold during the auction and will present it to our readers in this article.
As always, our list goes in price ascendancy order with the least expensive being the number five and shown first and the most expensive being the number one and shown at the end. The firearm names also link to corresponding James D. Julia website pages, 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. Without further ado, let’s see what we have!
#5 – $178,250
John Ulrich engraved firearms are always highly valued by the collectors. This particular rifle has a 26″ barrel which starts with an octagonal profile then becomes round at about the middle portion. It was proven that this rifle belonged to Colonel Archibald Rogers.
Open the images in new tabs of your browser or visit the James D. Julia website for higher resolution images of the engraved receiver.
#4 – $230,000
Number 4 position is shared by two firearms each separately sold at this price point.
This particular Gatling gun was made in 1884. What makes it even more valuable is that it is in quite a good condition. The gun is chambered in .45-70 Government. Each of the ten barrels is 24″ long. The gun was consigned with one feed drum of 104 round capacity.
The second firearm sold at $230,000 is a Winchester Model 1873 lever action rifle from “One of One Thousand” series. The rifle has a full octagonal 30″ barrel, full-length magazine tube and color case hardened receiver. It is chambered in .44-40 Winchester.
#3 – $258,750
There are many price forming factors for auctioned firearms. Old and beautifully engraved lever action rifles in good condition are normally expensive just by themselves. But what often makes them a real treasure for the collectors is the person to whom the particular firearm belonged to. In this case, this 1893 Marlin rifle was presented by the company to the famous exhibition shooter Annie Oakley.
The rifle was made in 1917. It is chambered in .38-55 WCF. It has a round 24″ barrel with a half-length magazine. The deluxe engraving is also inlaid with platinum and gold.
#2 – $299,000
Another original Gatling gun made by Colt except this one is an 1875 model. This gun is even more expensive and was sold at almost $300K. The gun has ten 32″ barrels chambered in .45-70 Government. The gun was consigned with the original carriage and two ammunition boxes which are mounted on the carriage from either side of the gun.
This is one of the 44 of model 1875 Gatling guns purchased by the US Army. Perhaps one of the reasons that make this gun so expensive is its history. It is the Gatling gun that General Custer left behind at Fort Abraham Lincoln right before the massacre at Little Bighorn.
#1 – $598,000
The most expensive firearm sold during this auction is precisely twice as expensive as the firearm on the second position of our list. This rifle is said to be the finest engraved Winchester Model 1866 ever. It is made in 1870 and is chambered in .44 Henry rimfire cartridge. The rifle has a blued and engraved 24″ octagonal barrel, blued loading gate and uncheckered high-grade polished walnut stock. The receiver, buttplate, and forearm tip are gold washed. The hammer and trigger are color case hardened.
This is one of the best works of Winchester’s master engraver Conrad F. Ulrich. The engraving theme consists of game scenes and two nude figures on either side of the receiver. The figures are based on the 19th-century sculpture called “The Greek Slave” created by famous American sculptor Hiram Powers. The rifle is also in remarkably good conditions with 98% of the original blue and gold washed finish retained.
The combination of an exceptional condition early model rifle with a lot of special order features, the use of gold and the unique engraving done by a true master is what makes this rifle such a rare item and one of a kind highly desirable treasure for the collectors.
And that was the list of top 5 most expensive firearms sold at James D. Julia Spring 2018 Extraordinary Firearms Auction. Note that the list completely consists of Gatling guns and lever action rifles.
In total, the James D. Julia Spring 2018 Extraordinary Firearms Auction generated $14,900,000 in sales. The sum of 6 firearms in our top 5 list is $1,794,000 which is the 12% of all sales. You can browse the entire list of lots (including the prices realized) by clicking here.
All images from www.jamesdjulia.com