Firearms Auction Of The Decade Lives Up To Its Name Realizing Over 12.6 Million Dollars


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Rock Island, IL — ( — Rock Island, IL. Rock Island Auction Company made a bold statement touting their April 20, 21 & 22 auction as their finest auction ever offered, and what an incredible auction it was.

From genre to genre the auction was filled with high condition, rare and historic pieces which brought in record numbers driving RIAC’s sale prices for 2012 to over $16 Million.

Over 14,000 pre-auction sealed bids, and 41 phone lines, and three live internet auction companies, drove an impressive 97% sell through rate for the three day auction. Even with record levels of absentee bidders, the 400-seat auction hall was filled to standing room only, with each attendee making their presence known often beating out absentee bidders.

Of the 2750 plus lots that crossed the auction block, none were more anticipated than Lot 3174, serial number one exhibition engraved and cased Colt Navy cartridge revolver. This revolver is the first true cartridge revolver manufactured by Colt and is factory engraved, inscribed and presented to Colt employee Lewis Sheldon when he retired from Colt in 1871. It remained in possession of the Sheldon family for 141 years until the bidding ceased early Sunday afternoon at an incredible $368,000. This was far from the only one of the 700 Colts in high demand in the three-day sale. An original 1883 Gatling gun, which was on display at many gun shows this spring including the NRA National Convention in St. Louis, brought $241,500. The finest production Colt Cavalry Model Single Action made its debut to the world on the Discovery Channel pilot Ready, Aim, Sold this past November and brought a more than respectable sale price of $161,000. An extremely rare cased presentation Colt No. 3 Paterson revolver with accessories brought an impressive $230,000.

Over 300 Winchesters were presented to collectors, many of which exceeded their pre-auction estimates. From the very beginnings of Winchester, New Haven Arms Henry rifles and Volcanics brought impressive sales. A rare Iron frame Henry rifle sold for $138,000, and a U.S. Civil War contract Henry went well above its estimate selling for $46,000. Two Winchester “1 of 1000’s” sold in this historic auction with the 1873 model “1 of 1000” selling for $218,500. High grade Winchester sporting arms were highlighted by an “Ultra Set” of eleven boxed Winchester Model 70s reaching a sale price of $86,250.

Sporting arms made up over 700 lots in this auction with a special order Royal Grand American Model 21 six barrel set lead Winchester shotguns with a total of $86,250. Other high grade Winchesters sales include a consecutive serial number set of two pigeon grade Model 21’s selling for $20,700 and an Angelo Bee engraved and gold inlaid 20 gauge Model 12 brought $16,100. Highlights of other manufactures include an engraved Parker Brothers AAHE Grade 7 double barrel shotgun reaching a sale price of $34,500, an A.H. Fox XE grade exceeded expectations at $20,700, and an engraved gold inlaid Krieghoff Model 32 Over/Under brought an impressive $20,700.

Military arms continue to appreciate in value at RIAC with military arms collectors out in full force this April. In one of the most heated battles of the three days of auctioning, collectors did not back down when trying to take home a piece of history in a factory cased, gold plated, relief engraved presentation Walther PP to Viktor Lutze, with bidding opening at $40,000 and finally came to an end at $241,500. Over 130 of the finest Lugers to ever be offered by RIAC brought impressive sales all weekend. A historic Hitler guard “Night Pistol” with flashlight attachment exceeded expectation bringing $184,000. Both a 1904 Navy contract, and a 1902 cased Georg Luger presentation to Borchardt each brought $115,000. U.S. Military arms were also in high demand with a Colt 1907 U.S. Army test trials pistol with holster brought over double the high estimate at $103,000. Also from the 1907 Army trials, a Savage arms 45ACP test pistol brought $43,125. Of the three Singer 1911A1s in the auction an exceptional employee presentation example brought the most interest at over $80,500.

Other notable sales in the 2750 lot auction include a pair of gold banded and inscribed cased percussion pistols to Thomas Jefferson Brady selling for $74,750, a spectacular Colt model 1855 revolving carbine selling for $51,750, and an outstanding Smith & Wesson U.S. contract second model Schofield revolver reached $40,250. Visit to watch clips from the auction, as well as the complete prices realized from the auction.

If there was one disappointment in the auction, Lot 3299 the Tiffany Lamp was pulled from the auction early Sunday morning. Of the 200 plus lots of Americana featured, a magnificent Daum Nancy forest scene vase took top honors selling for $11,500. Other notable Americana sales include a bronze bust of Abraham Lincoln by John Rogers with oval plaque of Abraham Lincoln by Henry Mervin selling well above the estimate for $6,900, a Nebraska Territory three gallon J.B. Siegler Bellevue NT marked croc for $6,900 and an early Anna Pottery old bourbon hog reaching a final price of $3,250.

Rock Island Auction Company’s June 29, 30, and July 1 auction is set to be the largest firearms auction ever assembled in their two decades of firearms auctions. Over 6,000 firearms have pushed their summer Regional Auction from a two-day sale, to a full three days of firearms and military artifacts. For more information on selling at auction or consigning with Rock Island Auction Company call 800-238-8022 or visit

About Rock Island Auction Company

Rock Island Auction Company has been solely owned and operated by Patrick Hogan. This company was conceived on the idea that both the sellers and buyers should be completely informed and provided a professional venue for a true auction. After working with two other auction companies, Mr. Hogan began Rock Island Auction in 1993. Rock Island Auction Company has grown to be one of the top firearms auction houses in the nation. Under Mr. Hogan’s guidance the company has experienced growth each and every year; and he is the first to say it is his staff’s hard work and determination that have yielded such results. Visit: