Quality and condition are watchwords for Milestone's June 27 Premier Antique & Modern Firearms Auction

  • /
  • June 18, 2020

  • Email
Mid-19th-century Forsyth & Co., London, .65-caliber self-priming double hammer over/under pistol with 9-inch Damascus twist-rifled full octagon barrels. Beautiful condition with fine English engraving. Estimate $4,500-$6,500
Milestone Auctions

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio – Gun collectors who place particular importance on condition are already setting their sights on the 739 lots chosen for Milestone’s June 27 Premier Antiques & Modern Firearms Auction. Milestone co-owner Miles King describes the auction inventory as “one of our best selections to date of rare and high-condition military and sporting firearms…an excellent accumulation of prized pieces from approximately two dozen private consignors.” The sale will be conducted live at Milestone’s auction gallery with all remote forms of bidding also available, including absentee, phone, and live via the Internet.



To be able to offer bidders even one gun engraved by the renowned William H. Gough, Colt’s master engraver active from 1912 to 1940, would be quite a coup. Milestone takes pleasure in offering two such guns in its June 27 sale. The first is a gold-inlaid Colt 1911 .45 ACP-caliber gun that was shipped in 1931 to Scruggs, Vendervoort & Barney, St. Louis. The gun is factory blue and does not appear to have been fired. There is virtually no visible high-edge wear, slide wear or spotting. “Engraving on a 1911 is scarce, but to find an example in gold? It’s next to impossible,” noted Milestone’s firearms expert Dave Bushing. The auction estimate is $25,000-$35,000.

Gold-inlaid Colt 1911 .45 ACP-caliber gun, factory-engraved by Colt master engraver William H. Gough (active 1912-1940). Shipped in 1931 to Scruggs, Vendervoort & Barney, St. Louis. Estimate $25,000-$35,000
Milestone Auctions


The second gun engraved by Gough is a 1930 Colt .38 Special Official Police Revolver. Colt has verified that the gun was engraved per a work order and is currently searching through files for the purchaser’s original letter. A solid, as new, almost 100% original-finish gun with Class B scroll engraving, it is estimated at $10,000-$15,000.


A rare .44-.40-caliber Colt Lightning SRC made in 1891 gained its name because it had “no trigger disconnect and could fire as fast as lightning,” Bushing said. “It was the first mass-produced slide-action (pump-action) rifle and was twice as fast as any lever-action rifle, which was the norm at the time. There weren’t any semiautomatics.” The gun originally shipped to Schoverling, Daly & Gales in New York and was extensively engraved by the shop of Cuno Helfricht, who also did engraving work for the Colt factory. Estimate $8,000-$12,000

Mint/boxed Winchester Model 61 .22 magnum caliber rifle, made in 1959, appears never to have been assembled. Matching serial numbers on gun and box label. Estimate $6,500-$7,500
Milestone Auctions


A witness to the westward expansion following the Civil War, a rare 4-inch .31-caliber Wells Fargo Colt percussion revolver was made in 1857 and is not often seen in the marketplace. With all matching numbers, it has strong rifling and an engraved stagecoach scene on its cylinder. Together with a holster, it is expected to make $3,000-$4,500.


Easily identified by its long 8-inch barrel, adjustable long-range rear sight (to 800 meters) and cut for shoulder stock, a 9mm Artillery Luger is from the 1914 series, which was made until 1918. With excellent grips and 90% of its original blue, this sharp Artillery model could land in the $3,500-$4,500 range on auction day. Another stellar gun from the World War I era is a 1911 .45 ACP caliber US Marine Corps pistol with all correct parts. It is one of 2,400 guns of its type that were shipped to the Corps in 1917 after America’s entry into the war. It comes with a 1912-style USMC holster and a copy of the 1919 book “With The Help Of God And A Few Marines” by Brigadier General A.W. Catlin. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000


Many outstanding mid-20th-century guns will be offered, including an incredible mint/boxed Winchester Model 61 .22-magnum-caliber rifle made in 1959. “This rifle appears never to have been assembled,” Bushing observed. “It has a full factory-blue finish, sporting sights, and matching serial numbers on the gun and box label, but if its fantastic condition were not enough, this rare and desirable rifle is also chambered for the .22 magnum rimfire round.” The rifle comes to auction with a $6,500-$7,500 estimate.


Made in 1966, a high-quality Heckler & Koch HK41 semiautomatic 7.62-caliber NATO civilian rifle in the sale is one of fewer than 1,300 made. Of those, only about 400 were imported to the United States by Golden State Arms Corporation of Pasadena, California. “The HK41 was intended to be a legal-to-own semiautomatic rifle for use by West German military reservists of the Bundeswehr [unified armed forces of Germany], hence its German designation as a paramilitary rifle,” Bushing said. The extremely rare, very high-quality rifle carries an $8,000-$10,000 estimate.


The Antique Firearms section of the sale is led by a historically important 1750-1770 American Revolutionary War Dutch flintlock musket, 69 bore with a 40¾-inch barrel. Several thousand arms of this type were shipped to Massachusetts with the help of Benjamin Franklin, who was the colonies’ agent in London at the time. It comes with a period leather and tin cartridge box with waist belt and is estimated at $5,500-$7,500.


An exceptional example of mid-19th-century gunsmithing from one of Britain’s foremost gun companies, Forsyth & Co., London, is a .65-caliber self-priming double hammer over/under pistol with a 9-inch Damascus twist-rifled full octagon barrels. In absolutely beautiful condition with fine English engraving and stamped “FORSYTH & CO PATENT GUN MAKERS LONDON,” it is estimated at $4,500-$6,500.


Milestone’s Saturday, June 27, 2020 Premier Antiques & Modern Firearms Auction will be held live at the company’s gallery located at 38198 Willoughby Parkway, Willoughby (suburban Cleveland), OH 44094. All additional forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through Milestone Auctions’ bidding platform, LiveAuctioneers, Proxibid, or Invaluable. Start time: 10 a.m. For additional information, call 440-527-8060 or email info@milestoneauctions.com. Online: www.milestoneauctions.com



Memo to Editors – Click to view the catalogs for both sessions online: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/catalog/169956_premier-antique-and-modern-firearms-auction/

Miles King
Milestone Auctions

Milestone Auctions
38198 Willoughby Parkway
Willoughby, Ohio
About Milestone Auctions

Milestone Auctions, located in Willoughby, Ohio strives to offer successful auctions for both buyers and sellers. When selling we will give your collection the time and dedication it deserves to maximize your return. Experts will take the time to catalog and photograph your items. Then your items will be offered at our live auction and on internet bidding platforms for the world to bid on. For buyers we strive to offer several bidding options to make bidding an easy and pleasant experience. Our dedicated staff is available any time to discuss any items in further detail you may have interest in.

  • Email
Schwenke Auctioneers - December 12

ARTFIXdaily Artwire