James D. Julia Auctions
has made tiny
, a destination for gun fanciers. Julia's spring and fall auctions offer pieces that are among the highest works of the gun maker's art, are steeped in history, are exceedingly rare, and sometimes all three combined. Guns from Kentucky rifles to M16s, owned by the famous and the infamous alike sell at Julia's. Says Julia's Wes Dillon: "You never know what gun is going to come through the door." Voumes 1 & 2 of the fall auction catalog contain an overwhelming 700 pages of guns and related items, such as Douglas MacArthur's gun case. Here is a preview of the fall 2011 auction that runs October 4-5 as well as a look back at some guns from past Julia auctions.
Pair of engraved pre-World War II Colt Woodsman pistols.
One of these guns was made in 1917 and engraved with the initials "EM" by Colt master William Gough. Six years later the same customer ordered a second gun and had it engraved with "AM," probably for his son. Pre-War Woodsman pistols are very rare and these two show little to no use at all.
Estimate: $60-90,000 for the pair.
Matched pair of Boss 20 gauge sidelock ejector game guns
These 20 gauges have 2 ½-inch chambers and single triggers. They were made in 1959-1960 during the time Boss was moving from one location in London to another, so one gun’s barrels are marked “Cork Street” while the others are marked “Albemarle Street.” The guns come from the collection of noted firearms authority Ned Schwing.
Estimate: $65,000 to $85,000.
Heinrich Himmler’s Merkel 201E.
One of history’s notorious monsters received this O/U with three sets of barrels as a 41st birthday gift from members of the Nazi SS high command. It has 8x57JR barrels, 16 gauge barrels and a combination 8x57JR/16 gauge barrel. It comes with two scopes and a hard case. The gun’s provenance is verified by original Merkel factory orders.
Joe DiMaggio’s Winchester Model 21
Police captain Joseph Cocozza had this Model 21 engraved by a Newark jeweler and presented it to the famous Yankee player at dinner at one of DiMaggio’s favorite Italian restaurants to commemorate his record hitting streak. Says Julia’s Wes Dillon: “A gun like this, which belonged to a beloved figure, will probably sell for more than the Himmler or Hoover guns.”
Winchester Model 21
Made in 1947 for Paul Helms of Los Angeles (Helms bakery was the “official baker for the 1932 Olympics”) this handsome 20 gauge two-barrel set was engraved by John Ulrich in Winchester’s No. 6 style. It comes in a fitted luggage case.
Parker A-1 Special trap gun
According to the book “The Parker Story,” only four A-1 special trap guns were ever made. This gun is a later Ilion, NY-made Parker from 1941 after Remington bought the company.
28 Gauge Browning Superposed Grade IV Superlite
This is a very rare configuration of the Superposed (around 20 made) and it has gold-inlaid engraving signed by C. Baerten. The Belgian-made gun has highly figured walnut and a Browning leatherette case.
Holland and Holland Royal hammerless sidelock ejector
Made on the eve of the Great War in 1913, this classic sidelock .375 double made by Holland and Holland was refurbished and rebarreled at the factory in 1934. It comes with a case and all records.
Estimate: $37,500 – 47,500
Winchester Model 1886
This gold inlaid takedown model 1886 Winchester has been on loan to the Cody Firearms Museum for 26 years and is now on the market. Chambered for .33 WCF, it was engraved with moose and deer by John Ulrich and has acorns and oak leaves carved in the stock.
S&W Model 19 Combat Magnum
Engraved by master Alvin White, this S&W revolver was presented to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover by gun collector Bill Sweet in 1958. Engraving includes a gold inlay of Hoover on one side with red, white and blue ruby, diamond and safire bar underneath. The FBI seal is inlaid in gold and silver on other side. Copies of the original factory invoice and a photo of Sweet presenting the revolver to Hoover accompany the piece.
Model 1893 Marlin
This takedown .30-30 has beautiful engravings of a stag and a grizzly. It also has a bird’s eye maple stock, which was available as an option but was rarely chosen. It’s a very unusual example and a striking gun.
Frederick Sell Flintlock
Frederick Sell was one of Pennsylvania’s great long rifle makers and this is a fine example of his work. The full-curly-maple stocked flintlock has several silver inlays as well as an ornate patchbox and a silver oval cheekpiece. _
Adam Ernst Flintlock Rifle
This rifle, made by Adam Ernst of York County, Pennsylvania, also bears the initials “F.S.” indicating master Frederick Sell also worked on it. The curly maple stock has many inlays, including a “man in the moon” typical of Ernst’s work.
Lot 1139 **
Ernest Hemingway’s Westley Richards Double Rifle**
Hemingway took this massive single-trigger Westley Richards .577 Nitro side by side on at least two safaris, where he shot a lion, a rhino and possibly a buffalo with it. He also planned to hunt U-Boats with it during WWII.
SOLD – March, 2011: $339,250
Rigby sidelock ejector double rifle
Engraved by Ken Hunt, this rifle came from the collection of Guns and Ammo founder Robert E. Petersen.
SOLD – March 2011: $80,500
Pair of Purdey 28 gauges
This pair of light shotguns have game scenes engraved on them and comes with a fitted case.
SOLD – March 2011: $115,000
Model 1873 Winchester
This rifle has a mounted buffalo hunter engraved on one side, a hunter doubling on elk on the other, and is signed on both sides by engraver John Ulrich. The rifle was made in the 1880s for Robert H. Coleman, one of the richest men in Gilded Age America.
SOLD – March 2011: $391,000
John Small flintlock
This beautiful 18th century long rifle is considered the best example of a Kentucky rifle made west of the Appalachians. It was built by John Small of Vincennes, Indiana. Decoration includes a silver-inlaid urn which, in freemason iconography, symbolizes the gunmaker’s heart inside the stock.
SOLD – March 2011: $184,000
Theodore Roosevelt’s F-grade Fox
T.R. took this gun on his famous year-long African safari of 1909. In his account of the trip, “African Game Trails” Roosevelt wrote: “I have a Fox number 12 Shotgun; no better gun was ever made.” It was an endorsement Fox used to advertise its guns for years.
SOLD – October 2010: $862,500
A gold-encrusted Daniel Fraser sidelock ejector complete with a waterhole scene and drinking giraffes engraved on the barrels, with case.
SOLD – October 2010: $132,250
Sharps Model 1874
This single shot .40-90 Sharps was customized by Freund Brothers of Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory around 1877.
SOLD – October 2010: $103,500
Nash Buckingham’s Bo-Whoop
Writer Nash Buckingham’s lost A.H. Fox is probably the most famous shotgun in American sporting history. It has 32-inch Full choke barrels bored especially to shoot 3-inch loads of 4 shot. Buckingham hunted with it for 20 years before losing it in December, 1948. Missing for over 60 years, the gun resurfaced and is now at Ducks Unlimited headquarters.
SOLD – March 2010: $201,250
F. Lli. Rizzini R-1 E
Master engraver Mario Terzi decorated this Rizzini with gold and a gorgeous ruffed grouse scene on the sideplates.
SOLD – March 2010: $89,125
Boss 20 Bore
A classic single trigger London O/U with a hard case. _
SOLD, March 2010: $92,000_
Purdey self-opening sidelock
A beautiful modern (1997) Purdey, engraved by noted master Cecile Flohimont with gamebird scenes.
SOLD – October: $110,000
Hartmann & Weiss rifle
This takedown rifle by contemporary Hamburg makers Hartman and Weiss comes with a scope and case.
SOLD – October 2009: $74,175
Winchester Model 21
This is a special order smallbore set in the high “Grand American” grade.
Winchester Model 1876
This rifle was engraved by John Ulrich and belonged to famed sportsman Col. Archibald Rogers.
SOLD – October 2009: $189,750
Colt Single Action Army
This gun was specially engraved for the 1876 Centennial Exhibition and is the earliest known factory engraved SAA revolver.
SOLD, October 2009: $345,000
Colt No. 5 Holster Model Texas Paterson Revolver
Made in Paterson, N.J. from 1836-1847, this was the first Colt revolver and the chosen sidearm of the Texas Rangers.
A typically spectacular Fabbri Over/Under Shotgun.
SOLD, March 2009: $89,125
Colt Single Action Army
The Cow Boy Special .45 was ordered by Sears and Roebuck and offered for sale in its catalog as a publicity gimmick. The revolver never sold through the catalog and it eventually wound up in the collection of singer Mel Torme, who paid $750 for it in 1954.
SOLD, March 2009: $747,500
Winchester Model 1876
A rare 1 of 1000 Winchester lever action.
SOLD – March 2009: $89,125
James D. Julia, auctioneer, and Dudley Browne, assistant auctioneer, during the March 2011 firearms auction. James Julia began in the antique business 40 years ago, buying pieces for his father’s shop. James D. Julia is now the nation’s premier firearms auction house and also deals in dolls, toys and antique glassware.
J&D Auctioning in Fairfield, Maine is built around an 1850-era barn remodeled to host James D. Julia’s twice-a-year firearms auctions. The auctions average $10 million apiece in sales. Although absentee bidders make up 75%-85% of the clientle, many make the trip to Fairfield to buy in person.
Jim Julia and firearms consultant J.R. LaRue in the Julia library. James D. Julia makes use of nationally known experts to verify the provenance of guns offered for sale and also to write the copy for the lavish 400-page auction catalogs. Julia says the catalogs have been crucial in attracting upscale buyers to rural Maine, an idea he says was inspired by neighboring L.L. Bean.
James D. Julia Auctions has made tiny Fairfield, Maine, a destination for gun fanciers. Julia’s spring and fall auctions offer pieces that are among the highest works of the gun makers art; are steeped in history; are exceedingly rare, and sometimes all three combined. Guns from Kentucky rifles to M16s, owned by the famous and the infamous alike sell at Julia’s.
Voumes 1 & 2 of the
fall auction catalog contain an overwhelming 700 pages of guns and related items, such as Douglas MacArthur’s gun case. Here is a preview of the the fall 2011 auction that runs October 4-5 as well as a look back at some guns from past Julia auctions._