As we promised in our article about some of the most interesting and rare lots seen in the online catalog of October 2019 Morphy Extraordinary, Sporting & Collector Firearms Auction, after the auction ended and the results were published, we put together the list of five most expensive firearms sold during the auction.
As in the case of our previous installments, the list of firearms goes in the price ascendancy order with the least expensive lot being the number five and shown first and the most expensive being the number one and shown at the end of the article. The firearm names also link to corresponding Morphy Auctions pages where you can read more detailed descriptions and find more and higher resolution images of the guns.
#5 – $102,000
The MP-40/I is a really rare and unusual example of this WW2 German submachine gun. What makes it interesting is its distinctive enlarged magazine housing that takes two standard MP-40 magazines and allows switching between those in a matter of pressing a latch in front of the magazine well and sliding the two side by side oriented magazines left or right. The idea was to have an ability to faster resume firing when the magazine was empty compared to changing the magazine in a standard MP-40. This sample is one of the three MP-40/I SMGs registered in the USA.
#4 – $116,850
An original Colt Model 1883 Gatling gun in a near-perfect condition – that’s probably enough description to have an idea why this is such a desirable item. Even the gray paint on the wooden wheels of this time traveler is original. This Gatling gun was consigned with its original wheel mount, sights, and an Accles drum magazine. This 10-barrel monster is chambered in .43 Spanish also known as 11mm Spanish or 11.15×58mmR Spanish Remington.
#3 – $153,750
If there is a Colt Walker consigned to an auction, then there is no doubt that it will be one of the most expensive lots sold in that particular auction. And there are several reasons for that. This .44 caliber percussion revolver was one of the most iconic firearms of American small arms and Colt’s history. If not the order of 1,000 Colt Model 1847 Walker revolvers placed by Captain Samuel Hamilton Walker for Texas Rangers, Colt would most likely go bankrupt. This revolver literally saved Colt and allowed it to grow and become one of the most recognizable American firearm brands. Not only these revolvers are historically significant but they are also very rare. In addition to the 1,000 revolvers ordered by Captain Walker, there were 100 more civilian ones made and that’s it – 1,100 Walkers ever made. Moreover, most of these revolvers saw combat use during the Mexican-American War and very few of them survived to our days.
#2 – $276,750
This muzzleloading percussion shotgun is made somewhere in the middle of the 19th century by gunmakers Koezi and Jachimek of Polish towns Warsaw and Krakow. This European firearm has a set of Damascus steel barrels and it’s richly engraved, gold inlaid and carved. Gold inlaid elements include animal figures, hunting scenes, floral motifs as well as markings. The gun has an ebony stock and ramrod. It was consigned with quite a large set of original accessories that include a silver top powder flask, leather shot pouch, ebony handled nipple wrench and lead dipper, cleaning rod, wad punch, mainspring vise, powder measure, oil bottle, and bullet mold. The shotgun and its accessories are stored in a Brazilian rosewood case that also has elaborate engravings and inlaid ivory, silver, and turquoise
#1 – $480,000
If there was a list of the top ten most significant firearms of American history, this musket would probably be included there. This is the gun of Private John Simpson who fired the first shot in one of the first and most important battles of the American Revolution – the Battle of Bunker Hill. Well, for Private Simpson, that was not a too fortunate turn of events because he faced a court-martial for firing that shot. The reason is it was an unauthorized shot because he fired it prematurely thus technically disobeying the famous order of Colonel William Prescott that stated: “Don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes!“. Luckily, he got off with just a reprimand and continued his service throughout the war reaching the rank of Major.
This is a Dutch Type III .79 caliber smoothbore musket thousands of which were supplied to the colonies before and during the Revolutionary War. It was one of the common firearms throughout this war for independence. This musket along with its bayonet and John Simpson’s commission from the state of New Hampshire (dated March 13th, 1778) remained in the Simpson family until they were consigned to the October 2019 Morphy auction.
And that was the list of five most expensive firearms sold during October 2019 Morphy Extraordinary, Sporting & Collector Firearms Auction. The total sum of all the lots sold during this auction was over $10 Million. The combined value of the lots in our list is $1,129,350 – about the tenth of all the money generated at this auction.
Images courtesy of Morphy Auctions, www.morphyauctions.com