Warmed by an industrial heater, aggressive bidding and tasty burgers from a new vendor, the bidders at Garth’s Auctions braved a blustery day, which had been preceded by copious snow throughout the week, for the February 8th sale of Firearms & Accoutrement. Competition for the 420+ lots of firearms, bladed weapons, ammunition, and more was active despite the weather with nearly 200 bidders participating either in-house or online live during the sale. However, most lots sold to those dedicated attendees forced to fend off bidders who had left almost 1000 absentee bids prior to the auction start.
The top lot was one of thirty-four in the sale bearing the Winchester name. One of two model 1873 rifles offered, lot 63 was a Third Model lever action, 38 W.C.F. caliber rifle with a 24" octagonal barrel, folding front hooded sight, and oiled walnut stock. This very nice example dating from 1888 bore a serial number of 270873B and sold for more than double the high estimate at $4,440. The other example dated to 1889 with a serial number 319309B and it sold just above estimate at $1,560. A Winchester Model 94 carbine realized $600, a group of three full boxes of Winchester 44 Smith & Wesson Russian, 246 grain smokeless cartridges realized $450, and a lot with ten boxes of Western brand 38-40 caliber center-fire Winchester cartridges in a metal ammunition tin made $420.
Of the 75 Colt lots offered, two revolvers tied for the next highest lot price at $3,600. A classic 19th century Colt "Peacemaker" single action 32 W.C.F. caliber, six shot revolver was estimated at $900-1,500, but sold for well above that thanks to elements such as a 7.5" barrel and hard rubber grips displaying both Rampant Colt and Shield Eagle, as well as a serial number 140588. The 20th century Colt Python 357 Magnum estimated at $800-$1,200 was a double action, six shot revolver with 6" vent rib barrel, faux horn grips and a wood presentation case. Twenty-four other Colt lots sold in the lot four-figure range including a 1849 percussion pocket revolver ($2,280), a Colt "Commander Super 38" automatic pistol with two extra clips ($2,160), a John Wayne commemorative Colt 45 single action revolver model P 1840 with 4.5" barrel, white grips, and a very nice presentation lock box with key and factory letter ($1,968), and a Colt New Service double action, six shot, 44 caliber revolver, serial number 14746 ($1,169),
A double barrel, 8 gauge percussion shotgun made by Alexander McComas of Baltimore, Maryland was a highlight selling for $2,583. With 35" Damascus steel barrels, a crotch walnut stock and extensive inlays including a dog retrieving ducks on the trigger guard, the shotgun had a strong provenance as well. According to family tradition this was known as the "Goose Gun" and originally belonged to Edward Tilghman Paca of Maryland (1812-1852) who was a grandson of Governor William Paca, signer of the Declaration of Independence. A Remington stamped New Army, single-action 44 caliber percussion revolver with 8" octagonal barrel and walnut grips sold for $2,640 against an estimate of $500-1,000. Despite loss to Nickel plating, one of three revolvers by Merwin, Hulbert & Co, a pocket Army double action, six shot, 44-40 caliber revolver sold for $1,200. A Model 29 Smith & Wesson 44 magnum revolver with 4" barrel, six shot cylinder and checked wood grips, in a wood box held special appeal to several bidders who drove it from the $350-650 estimate to a sale price of $2,040.
An assortment of weapons and accoutrement from Europe and beyond also crossed the block. Two German items, a 14.6” long "SS" dagger with eagle and swastika on hardwood grips, in sheath and an early 20th century police-type helmet with dual decals and intact leather liner and chin strap sold for $1,680 and $960, respectively. A lot comprised of a set of French-style horse pistol holders made from leather, brass, and fabric, 16"h. 6"w., and an old canteen made $3,240. A very heavy continental brass hilted sword with broad- fuller and extreme saw back, which measured 19.4" at the blade and 26" overall, garnered a hammer price of $960. A decorated Persian spiked helmet with chainmail skirt, adjustable nose guard and a red cloth liner was sold together with a shield decorated with various men on horseback hunting sold for $1,230. Of the six English revolvers by Webley sold, a Mark VI R.A.F. top break, six shot revolver in 455 caliber with 6" ribbed barrel commanded the top price at $1,560.
For the full prices realized, please visit www.garths.com. Garth's 2014 auction schedule includes the October 4th Firearms & Accoutrement auction and the November 7th Gentleman’s Auction which will feature Sporting Firearms. For further information about consignments, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 740-362-4771. Garth's is located at 2690 Stratford Road, Delaware, Ohio 43015.