Firearms - 2nd page
See also : Historical arms Birth of USA Revolution and Empire
Chronology : 1800-1809
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1695 The Head of the Mathematical Board
2012 SOLD 360 K$ including premium
Nan Huairen's original name was Ferdinand Verbiest. He was Flemish, and was the most effective of the Jesuit missionaries who managed to convince the Qing that they had everything to gain by knowing and using techniques from the West.
Outstanding inventor and engineer, Verbiest created three models of bronze cannons mounted on caissons with high wheels, and then he supervised the production. He died accidentally during the 27th year of Kangxi but production continued, to exceed 900 units at the end of the reign.
An example of Verbiest cannon is estimated $ 400K, for sale by Doyle in New York on March 19. Its remarkably precise inscriptions identify the date: the 34th year of Kangxi reign (1695AD), the place of manufacture: a suburb of Beijing, and the names of the manufacture executive and of the casting masters.
This lot is shown on the release shared by AuctionPublicity. Let us include two dimensions for characterizing the size of the piece: gun length, 1.60 m, and wheel diameter, 1 m.
POST SALE COMMENT
This interesting cannon was sold $ 300K before fees, 360K including premium, probably in the post-bidding phase (I had not caught it in the first list of sold lots).
1778 Presented by Lafayette to Washington
2002 SOLD for $ 2M including premium by Christie's
narrated in 2020
The involvement of the Marquis de La Fayette in the American Revolution is inextricably linked to his admiration for George Washington. The two men had met in August 1777, two months after Lafayette's arrival in America. The young French officer then participated in the difficult episodes of Brandywine and Valley Forge.
Lafayette knows that he has the means to help Washington. After the official alliance between France and the Americans, he returned temporarily to France in 1779 to contribute to propaganda and send reinforcements, spending at that time $ 200,000 on his personal fortune.
The steel mounted pistols inlaid with silver and gold are signed by Jacob Walster, a gunsmith operating in Saarbruck (Saarbrucken), little documented but whose competence is attested by the supply of a pair of pistols to King George III. La Fayette probably made this acquisition while he was garrisoned in Metz, between August 1775 and June 1776. The gift was probably made in 1778.
Transferred by inheritance from Washington to one of his nephews, these historic pieces are offered by the son-in-law of the nephew to Andrew Jackson in 1824 in testimony of support for his first presidential campaign, where he was overcome by John Quincy Adams. When he died, Jackson bequeathed the pistols to the son of Lafayette, who had also been a godson of George Washington. They will remain in Lafayette's family until 1958.
later Qianlong - Imperial Hunting Parties in Rehe
2016 SOLD for £ 2M including premium
Kangxi creates a nature reserve for the exclusive use of imperial hunting in the vast territory of Rehe. As anything from Kangxi, this choice is wise. Rehe is located between Manchuria from where the Qing were coming and Mongolia whose alliance was politically valuable for the consolidation of the new dynasty.
Qianlong is like his grandfather an avid hunter who often stays in Rehe where he welcomes foreign diplomats in his yurt in a less formal surrounding than in Beijing. His Mongol friends are using arrow and spear. The emperor knows easily to display his own superiority as the bullet from his musket reaches more distant animals. Qianlong is a skilled shooter.
On November 9 in London, Sotheby's sells a rare matchlock musket with the imperial mark of Qianlong, lot 100 estimated £ 1M, which is probably the only example in private hands.
This deluxe firearm was manufactured by the imperial workshops. An undeciphered inscription may be the name of the gunsmith. This piece was identified in period as the best in its class by a control mark certifying it as Supreme Grade Number 1.
It is not dated but could have been made in the last years of the reign. Same as for clocks, the imperial craftsmen were reproducing the European techniques. The Chinese musket has similarities with a British firearm presented in Rehe by Lord Macaulay to Qianlong for celebrating his 80th anniversary in 1793 of our calendar.
Please watch the video shared by Sotheby's.
1804-1806 The Pistols of Bolivar
2004 SOLD for $ 1.7 M including premium by Christie's
narrated in 2020
These arms are decorated without being presentation pieces. They bear the mark of Boutet and the Manufacture de Versailles as well as an inscription of a controller who worked for Boutet from 1804 to 1806 only. The lid of the box has a silver plaque marking the gift by Manuela Saenz to Richard Illingworth at Bogota on June 1, 1830 of "esta caja de pistolas por haver sido esta del uso del Libertador".
Bolivar arrives in Paris in 1804. Born in the upper middle class of Caracas, the 21-year-old widower wants to change his mind and find his place in society. Firearms will be useful in the event of a duel. He admires the meteoric rise of Napoléon Bonaparte. Faced with the political decline of Spain, only independence will allow South America to escape French or English domination.
Bolivar's military successes have been exceptional, but his Greater Colombia is too disparate and he is ill. His resignation, offered on January 20, 1830, is accepted on May 4. He leaves Bogota on May 8. His mistress and very active collaborator Manuela arranges his property on his instructions. Richard was the assistant who managed his debts.
It appears in the highest probability that this pair of pistols was purchased new by Bolivar in Paris between 1804 and 1806. The firearms known to have belonged to Bolivar are very rare, and the correspondence of dates is no accident. Boutet had a showroom in Paris near the hotel where Bolivar resided.
Bolivar's final desire to honor his most loyal collaborators is evidenced by another example. The pair of silver mounted pistols, also by Boutet, which had been presented to him by Lafayette in 1825, was given to a friend who was supporting him financially. This pair was sold for $ 1.8M including premium by Christie's on April 13, 2016.
1814 A Pair of Pistols for the Aiglon
2015 SOLD for £ 960K including premium
Le Page realized in January 1814 this pair of short and light pistols, 21 cm including the stock, which may be held by a young boy. Arms and case are inlaid with precious materials, with all the symbols of the Empire along with the Iron Crown which is more specifically an attribute to the King of Rome.
The Emperor desired to express his confidence in the military future of his Aiglon. In a cartouche outside the box, the Centaur Chiron teaches the young Achilles to shoot.
The Empire runs just after into a disaster, with an unforeseen consequence on the art market. Frustrated to have lost the access to Paris for ten years, the English antiquarians rush and start acquiring Napoleonic souvenirs. The pair of pistols of the King of Rome was purchased in 1816 by William Bullock, naturalist and explorer who was a very active creator of museums in London.
This pair is estimated £ 800K, for sale in its original case by Sotheby's in London on July 8, lot 35. I invite you to play the video shared by Sotheby's:
1825 The Tribute by Lafayette to Bolivar
2016 SOLD for $ 1.8M including premium
Despite a major activity during the French Revolution, he was unable to turn his passion into a viable political program. Hostile to the nobles but not to the monarchy, he changed the spelling of his name to Lafayette.
The Americans have not forgotten this foreigner who had been a hero of their independence. He finally realizes at 67 his dream to visit again the United States. He is honored like a head of state and his tour is triumphant, from July 1824 to September 1825.
Lafayette admired Simon Bolivar. In October 1825, he enthusiastically accepts a request from the Washington family to send to El Libertador some souvenirs from the former President. A gorgeous pair of flintlock pistols by Boutet in a case dated 1825 is a personal gift by Lafayette to Bolivar, probably through the same shipment.
This pair of silver mounted pistols is estimated $ 1.5M for sale by Christie's in New York on April 13, lot 36.
Another pair of pistols made by the same manufacturer was owned by Bolivar during his stay in Paris between 1804 and 1806. It was sold for $ 1.7 million including premium by Christie's on 17 November 2004.
I invite you to watch the video shared by Christie's :
1860 A Shotgun by Le Page Moutier
2014 SOLD 253 K$ including premium
On May 3 in Rock Island IL, RIAC sells a double barrel shotgun by Le Page Moutier, lot 1392 in the catalog, estimated beyond $ 275K.
This firearm is an exuberant work of art. The rear of the barrels is damascus inlaid over more than 20 cm, other steel elements are carved in low relief along with some fully three-dimensional figures of animals and the ebony stick is fully carved. The themes of hunting with many beasts mingle with patterns of foliage and vine. The hammer is linked to a dog who is threatening foxes when the weapon is in fired position.
This piece is twice dated 1860 : on the barrel signed by the best in France craftsman gunner at that time, Léopold Bernard, and by Le Page Moutier in the inlaid decoration. It had necessarily needed hundreds of working hours, but the primary reason for its realization is not known.
It was to appear only twenty years later when it was presented by Président Jules Grévy, elected in 1879, to Manuel Gonzalez who was elected president of Mexico in 1880 after being a close collaborator of Porfirio Diaz. The case is bearing the monogram MG and a portrait of Grévy was added on the forearm of the gun.
POST SALE COMMENT
The extravagant French shotgun was sold for $ 230K before fees.
The Revolver that did not fail Buffalo Bill
2012 SOLD 240 K$ including premium
Frontiersman, army scout, great hunter, helper of the railway and of the Pony Express, Buffalo Bill intensely lived all the adventures of the Far West. Still young, he became a living legend and operated his own glory in his hugely popular show, the Buffalo Bill's Wild West show.
He had survived all the dangers of the West, and was sharing his luck and his fame with his inseparable Remington revolver of which he said: "It never failed me".
It is unclear when Bill bought his Remington, a military model of the Civil War in .44 caliber. In 1906 he presented it toone of his collaborators. Bill's adventures ended in 1917, but those of his gun were not completed : it suffered some damage which necessitated rather extensive repairs.
On June 10 at Heritage in Dallas, the Remington gun is the featured piece of a lot estimated $ 200K, made up of documents and photographs coming from Bill's collaborator. Here is the link to the catalog.
POST SALE COMMENT
This nicely composed lot was sold $ 240K including premium.
1883 Annie Oakley's Parker shotgun
2013 SOLD for $ 293K including premium by Heritage
1894 Annie Oakley's Stevens rifle
2020 SOLD for $ 520K including premium by Morphy
Annie Oakley’s personal customized J. Stevens Arms & Tool Co. single-shot rifle, sold for $528,900 (est. $200,000/400,000) at @MorphyAuctions (5/27-29/20) https://t.co/9wgKEOfdsS #antiques #antique #art #artist #guns #gun #rifle #AnnieOakley #rifles #firearms #2A #auction pic.twitter.com/fkHD0W6eFT— Maine Antique Digest (@AntiqueDigest) July 22, 2020
1902 Presentation Rifles to Annie Oakley
2019 SOLD for $ 575K including premium by Rock Island
narrated in 2020
There was no wonder in her skill : to succeed, you have to train. She was a patriot, gave to charities and promoted the education of women. This 1.52 m woman was nicknamed Little Sure Shot. She had married a previously undefeated champion whom she had surpassed in their first match. This specialist helped her to choose and maintain her firearms. They never left each other.
The use of a rifle by Annie Oakley was a marketing argument for the manufacturer. Three rifles specially prepared for presentation to her were recently sold at auction.
The oldest is a gold-plated Stevens rifle, bearing a patent mark of 1894. The inscription identifies the village of Nutley, Massachusetts, where Annie had resided since 1892 and where in 1894 she had managed a charity in favor of the American Red Cross. It was sold for $ 520K including premium by Morphy on May 29, 2020 over a lower estimate of $ 200K, lot 1369.
The other two are Marlin rifles.
One of them is a deluxe gold-plated type 1897 model, made in 1902 and presented in 1903. It was engraved with hunting scenes, probably by Conrad Ulrich Jr who was working for Marlin since 1881. It was sold for $ 575K including premium by Rock Island Auction Company on December 7, 2019 over a lower estimate of $ 225K, lot 1089. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
The other piece is a Marlin type 1893 rifle inlaid in gold and platinum, made in 1917. Annie did not keep it, preferring to join it in her war effort. It was sold for $ 260K including premium in March 2018 by James D. Julia, then a division of Morphy Auctions.
1907 If you want Peace, prepare your Luger
2010 SOLD 495 K$ including premium
The Austrian inventor Georg Luger and the German company that employed him, the Deutsche Waffen-und Munitionsfabriken, tried this adventure. The slogan of this company was the Latin phrase Si vis pacem para bellum (if you want peace, prepare for war), and the product line developed by Luger was known as the Parabellum-Pistole.
In 1907, Luger brought two pistols to the U.S. Test Trials, which organized the selection. One of them underwent all tests, including destructive tests to assess its robustness.
Luger and his company quickly realized (and probably rightly) that the American army was not prepared to use a foreign arm, and they withdrew from this project. Luger pistols then equipped with success the German army, among others.
The fate of the destructive sample is not known. If it survives somewhere, it is necessarily in bad condition. The other, which served as an attrition, is very well preserved. This prestigious piece has received the Million Dollar Luger nickname since a private sale at that price in 1989.
It comes for the first time in an auction sale. It is held in Anaheim, California, March 14, by Greg Martin Auctions. This lot is being announced at $ 500K. With a high estimate of $ 1 million, as one might guess!
POST SALE COMMENT
A Google search just gave me the result, shared by OCLNN (Orange County Local News Network). The article is interesting, with much information about the sale, the opinion of the auctioneer and a photo of the lot.
It was sold at 430 K $ hammer price, 495 K $ including premium. The auction house had hoped for better, as I showed in my article. This confirms, in my opinion, that we should not rely on a private sale to predict a price at auction.
A Luger is not a Colt. Let me consider this result as excellent.
1909 Safari for the President
2010 SOLD 860 K$ including premium
In 1908, the Presidency of the United States was no longer enough to contain his energy, and he did not apply for reelection. He immediately prepared a giant safari in East and Central Africa, where he spent the most of 1909.
The animals should have been wary with this traveler, now considering himself as a naturalist, who took with him four tons of salt for preserving the specimens to be sent to the United States. 11,397 of them passed from life to death, including 512 big game animals, among them six white rhinos.
Two guns used personally by Teddy in this journey have become famous. One is a Holland & Holland Royal Double Rifle, now in a museum in Louisville, Kentucky.
The other is presented in the sale organized by James D. Julia in Fairfield, Maine, on 5 and 6 October. This is an Ansley H. Fox shotgun, inlaid with gold. In a classic exchange of congratulations, Fox did not want to get paid by the former President, who then shouted with satisfaction that this firearm was the finest he had ever seen.
POST SALE COMMENT
This firearm that was appreciated by one of the most extraordinary presidents of the United States was sold at a price worthy of its prestige: $ 860K including premium.
1917 Annie Oakley's Marlin Rifle Model 1893
2018 SOLD for $ 280K including premium by James D. Julia
Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
1942 The Garand Rifle
2018 SOLD for $ 290K including premium
A Canadian-born inventor, John C. Garand is passionate from his youth about the mechanism of firearms. He works from 1919 to 1953 in the research and development laboratories of the US armory at Springfield, in compliance with the standards required by the US Army and also the US Navy.
After several patents concerning the automatic loading, Garand designs the M1 rifle in 1931. One of the twenty test units was sold for $ 173K including premium by RIA on April 30, 2016.
The M1 is a semi-automatic rifle with two superimposed chambers. The expulsion of the bullet from the main chamber sends gas into the lower chamber, actuating the ejection of the empty shell and positioning the next cartridge and the reset lever. Just keep pulling the trigger to continue shooting.
The staff is convinced to have the best war rifle in the world, cheap to manufacture and easy to use. The M1 becomes the official service rifle of the US Army. Production in Springfield begins in 1937. It will exceed 5 million copies.
Garand did not seek honors but his engineering merits were acknowledged. When he retired in 1953 the Secretary of the Army offered him the M1 serial number 1000000 which had been kept intact at the armory since its manufacture in 1942. This rifle in perfect condition in its presentation case is estimated $ 225K for sale by RIA at Rock Island on September 8, lot 1362. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
1963 James Bond lost his Gun
2010 SOLD 280 K£ including premium by Christie's
2013 SOLD for $ 300K including premium
We love James Bond for his adventures, his gadgets and all the pretty girls. The real story of the iconic gun of his posters shows however that truth is stranger than fiction.
In 1963, they prepare From Russia With Love. The publicist summons Sean Connery to the studio of a photographer. Catastrophe: nobody had thought to bring the Walther pistol used in the film. Luckily David Hurn, the photographer, also owns a Walther.
However, the two guns are very dissimilar. The Walther of the film is an austere regulatory arm of the police, short and effective. The Walther of the poster will be a sport air pistol with a special barrel 24 cm long.
Sean Connery holds the gun with such elegance that it will become a symbol of James Bond, as famous but more modern than Charlie's cane. The images taken at the same session will be used for the posters of the three next movies.
James Bond always surprises us. The history of this item at auction fails to reveal the mysteries of the art market.
Hurn kept the gun until it was sold at Christie's on 14 February 2001 for £ 14K including premium. It created a scoop on 25 November 2010 when it was sold, also at Christie's, for £ 280K including premium over an estimate of £ 15K. Later, Sotheby's sold it for £ 120K including premium on 121212 (12 December 2012).
The gun of 007 has now reached Hollywood. It is estimated at $ 200K, for sale by Profiles in History on July 29 at Calabasas Hills.
POST SALE COMMENT
Sold $ 250K before fees, the gun used in Sean Connery's photos certainly came back to its fair price.