Rock Island Auction Company‘s most recent event continued the Illinois-based auction house’s impressive run of jaw-dropping sales in 2014.
RIA finished its Sept. 12-14 firearms auction with $11.6 million in sales. In part, the sky-high numbers were driven by some top-notch innovatory crossing the block, including the Gene Smith Military Collection, the Donald Kotecki Collection, and Part II of the Von Norden Collection. Through it all, there was one area that drew the a majority of the bidders’ attention — historical military firearms.
A German Krieghoff FG42 light machine gun with numerous accessories was one of the belles of the ball. The rare select-fire weapon drew attention from around the globe and was finally won with a bid of $299,000.
A couple other lots also proved the desirability of German military firearms as collectables.
An impressive MKb-42(H) — grandfather of the legendary StG-44 — moved at $149,500. Besides its historical importance, the fact the firearm was the only remaining example in private hands also drove its price.
Smashing its high estimate of $95,000, was what was touted as the “finest prototype” of a Baby Luger to roll through the Illinois auction house. The pistol drew a breathtaking final bid of $161,000, more than 40-percent over what was expected.
While some of the top bids came on German firearms, American guns were far from left out in the cold.
A splendid “C Company” Colt Walker drew a winning bid of $161,000, but had plenty to lure bidders to breakout their wallets. The revolver had a rich history, originally from Walker’s own company and had extensive use by other military units.
Another anticipated twosome of Colts were the elaborate matched pair of Cole Agee cattle brand engraved SAA revolvers. Boasting Navajo silver and turquoise grips they smashed their $25,000 high estimate en route to a price of $37,375. It was all topped off with a first year production M1911, with serial number 147, that sold for $51,750.
Winchester fans also appeared to be out in full force, snatching up models from nearly every era. A Third Model 66 sold for $92,000 and a U.S. Property marked, Vietnam Era USMC Model 70 bested its high estimate by an additional 36-percent.
Wrapping up the final day of the auction were some top-notch Thompson sub-machine guns. A “Chicago Typewriter”, complete with its original FBI case and numerous accessories rattled off a sale of $57,500. While the other Tommy Gun, with a Navy overstamp, sold for $43,125.
The opening day of the auction saw a number of smaller, personal protections arms from the 1830s fly off the block, each well over the expected selling price.
Two unmarked cane guns each went for 246- and 184-percent over their high estimates, respectively. And a Remington Dog Head cane gun sold for $6,900 –138-percent over its high estimate.
Also popular from the era were the Marston derringers and palm gun – each sold for 149- and 138-percent over their high estimates. Curiosa arms from that age of developing firearms design also achieved high prices, such as the harmonica pistols each of which sold over their high estimates. The Gyrojet pistol more than doubled its high estimate at $6,325, and the prototype Krnka pistol crossed the block for $13,800.
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