Firearms - 2nd page
List of 2016-2018 top results by RIAC.
See also : Historical arms
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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.
(1760) - 1780 Pair of War Pistols of Alexander Hamilton
2021 SOLD for $ 1.15M by RIAC
Entrusted in 1777 to occupy the State of New York by the campaign of Saratoga, he is court-martialed after the loss of Fort Ticonderoga. He is acquitted but leaves the army in 1779. He would then have a good political career.
Alexander Hamilton is full of bravery and talent. In 1777, aged 20, he becomes aide-de-camp and personal secretary to George Washington with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He marries a daughter of Schuyler in 1780. In 1781 he takes decisive action at the Battle of Yorktown.
Hamilton's descendants kept a pair of war pistols until 1942. According to an indisputable family tradition, they had been given by Schuyler to his son-in-law. These firearms signed by Ed Nicholson had been made around 1760 in London, which is consistent with Schuyler's only visit to England, in 1761-1762. A collector added a pair of service epaulettes worn by Hamilton during his time with Washington.
These memorabilia from one of the most prestigious Founding Fathers of the United States of America were sold together for $ 1.15M by RIAC on May 14, 2021, lot 125. Please watch the first view and full length videos shared by the auction house.
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 :
1863 Confederate Napoleon
2021 SOLD for $ 660K by RIAC
About 10 % of the 500 Confederate Napoleons were made in an arsenal at Columbus, Georgia, otherwise making carbines. The smallest Columbus was the 9-pounder. Only 5 of them were produced. It was rejected by the officers for field operation because its carriage was too light. The standard field piece was the 12-pounder, the typical Gettysburg gun also widely used by the Federal army.
An expect recorded 27 surviving Columbus Napoleons. Only one of them is a 1863 9-pounder. Still accompanied with its carriage, limber and 9 pound cannon balls, it was sold for $ 660K from a lower estimate of $ 350K by RIAC on May 14, 2021, lot 175.
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1880-1881 Whitney Shotgun stolen by Billy the Kid
2021 SOLD for $ 980K by Bonhams
The outlaw is now kept with other prisoners by two deputies of Lincoln sheriff Pat Garrett in a makeshift jail. On April 28 he is allowed to use an outhouse on the back of the building. He manages to escape from his jailer whom he kills after stealing a pistol. He then steals a loaded Whitney shotgun and waits for the other guard whom he shoots and kills from a balcony in the second floor.
The Kid then defiantly breaks the gun, steals a Winchester 1873 and two revolvers inside the building, escapes with a stolen horse and leaves the town. That had been his last known gun fight.
The broken Whitney went to Garrett's ownership. It was sold for $ 980K by Bonhams on August 27, 2021, lot 9.
The Winchester was attributed by Garrett after he killed the Kid on July 14. It was sold for $ 375K in the same sale as the Whitney, lot 10. A Winchester of the 1873 type is on the Kid's side on his only known portrait photo.
1887-1895 John Wesley Hardin's Smith and Wesson
2021 SOLD for $ 630K by Bonhams
John Selman Sr had been a gang leader in the Lincoln County war. The former outlaw went to El Paso where he worked as a constable.
The story of the Wild West is a long series of crimes followed by lawsuits in which the killers claim the self-defense. The El Paso story is as follows.
The semi-prostitute Beulah M'Roze is an acquaintance to Hardin. Her husband is killed in June 1895 in the presence of Scarborough. The ever boastful Harlin claims while drinking that he had paid Scarborough for the crime. Selman's son John Jr heavily fines the widow M'Roze on a drunk and disorderly charge. Hardin insults the Selmans.
On August 19, Hardin plays dice at the bar of the saloon. Selman Sr enters and kills Hardin by a gun shot in the back of the head. Selman testifies that he was in self-defense when he saw Hardin taking hold of a gun. Released on bond pending a retrial, Selman Sr is killed by Scarborough.
Both guns from the August 19 story were exhibited at Selman's trial and referred in the proceedings with their serial numbers. Both were auctioned together by the court and did not part one another until they were sold separately by Bonhams on August 27, 2021.
Selman's gun, a Colt revolver made in 1891, was sold for $ 860K, lot 20. Hardin's Smith and Wesson revolver was sold for $ 630K, lot 19.
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.