DENVER, Pa. – Top-notch guns from premier collections comprise the high-powered lineup slated for Morphy’s February 17-19 Field & Range Firearms Auction. The selection includes both antique and modern rifles, shotguns and handguns; and the types of elusive ammunition and accessories most desired by today’s collectors.
Two witnesses to America’s turbulent Civil War era lead the Antique Handguns category, the first being a Colt 1860 fluted .44 caliber Army percussion revolver with matching serial numbers and a single-line Hartford (Conn.) address on the barrel. The gun has a detachable shoulder stock and comes in a Colt case containing many accessories, such as a bullet mold and powder flask (both Colt-marked) and an Eley-marked 250-count cap tin. The auction estimate is $17,000-$25,000. The second mid-19th-century handgun of note is a cased Colt 1849 pocket percussion revolver manufactured in 1860. It displays classic Gustave Young-style engraving with Germanic scrolls and a punch-dot background. Like the aforementioned Colt, it has matching serial numbers, is marked with a Colt address, and is presented in a fitted case with accessories. Estimate: $7,500-$10,000
Lot 2232 is an early 20th-century handgun of historical importance, as it is the last of Colt’s .45-caliber Bisley Sheriff’s Model single-action revolvers. Its story is documented in The Book of Colt Firearms by R.L. Wilson. As the author recounts, the gun was originally shipped as a .38-.40 caliber with a 4¾-inch barrel. However, it returned to the factory in the mid-1920s and was rebuilt as a .45-caliber Sheriff’s Model with a 3-inch barrel as a special-commission job for early firearms collector J.C. Harvey. “The gun is in stunning condition, functions like new, and has a near-mint to mint bore. It’s one of the great rarities of Colt collecting,” said Dan Morphy, president of Morphy Auctions. The well-documented revolver is expected to sell for $8,000-$10,000.
An impressive array of Brownings is led by a special-order Vrancken-engraved .410-gauge Browning Superposed shotgun manufactured in 1974. Special-ordered with non-standard features including two sets of barrels – one of them 28 inches; the other, 26½ inches – the gun shows very little evidence of having been fired. It comes with its paperwork in a handsome Browning Airways case made expressly for two-barrel sets. Estimate: $8,000-$13,000
A rare Rare Browning Superposed Grade 4, .20-gauge two-barrel shotgun with American straight-grained walnut buttstock was manufactured in 1959 and retains its beautiful Tolex two-barrel-set case. The coin-finished action, masterfully engraved by Felix Funken on both sides, is adorned with images of a mother fox, flanked by her two cubs, bringing a pheasant to her den, with additional engravings of two quail and two sporting dogs. Estimate $7,500-$10,000
The third Browning highlight is a very rare and early Superposed Grade 5, .20-gauge shotgun made in 1954 and signed by “V. Doyen,” who engraved the images of pheasants, doves and ducks onto the firearm. A superior example, its barrels retain nearly all of a factory-quality restored finish, and the action retains nearly all of its original finish. The stocks are excellent, the bores are bright and shiny, and the mechanics are crisp. Its pre-auction estimate is $6,000-$10,000.
There are many stellar entries among the 192 antique rifles to be auctioned, including a factory special-order engraved Winchester First Model 1873 rifle with extra-length barrel. Bearing Serial No. 6092, its 1875 ship date is documented by Winchester with a Buffalo Bill Historical Center letter dated March 14, 2000. The gun was expertly restored to factory-new condition by Turnbull Restorations in 2004. “This is an unbelievable rare rifle and would easily be the centerpiece of any Winchester collection,” Dan Morphy observed. Estimate $8,500-$12,500
A Tryon (Philadelphia) flintlock militia rifle to be auctioned with a $2,000-$3,000 estimate was crafted in the style of an 1814 rifle but is of much higher quality. Morphy Auctions’ firearms experts believe it may have been manufactured in an attempt to secure a Tryon contract prior to the release of the 1814 model. The gun comes with ‘US’-marked socket bayonet and LOA.
Morphy’s is renowned for achieving industry-leading prices on rare and collectible automatic weapons of war. Two exceptional pre-1986 dealer’s-sample machine guns will be offered at the February 17-19 auction, starting with a highly sought-after Cranston Arms Johnson Automatics Model 1941, a type used by the US Marines during World War II. The .30-06 Springfield-caliber gun, with one magazine, will likely finish in the $25,000-$45,000 range. An Austen (Australian Sten) MK I 9mm Para machine gun, manufactured by W.T. Carmichael & Sons Ltd., also comes equipped with one (Sten) magazine and is estimated at $10,000-$20,000.
Morphy’s February 17-19, 2020 Field & Range Firearms Auction will be held at the company’s Denver, Pennsylvania gallery, starting each day at 10 a.m. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through Morphy Live. Questions: call 877-968-8880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Online: www.morphyauctions.com.
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About Morphy Auctions
Morphy Auctions is a full-service auction company based in Denver, Pa.