RIA Blog October Sporting & Collector Auction “All-Stars”


Rock Island Auction Company is no stranger to the rare, the historic, and the downright extraordinary and our October Sporting & Collector Auction is certainly no exception. With thousands of lots available, this magnificent event brings an overwhelming selection to the table.https://www.youtube.com/embed/kCadnYrdbCg?feature=oembed

That being said, here is a quick list of “All-Star” items, ranked from highest to lowest estimate prices, in the October 8th-10thSporting & Collector Auction. These items are beautiful, unique, and encapsulate hundreds of years of engineering, development, and innovation. Without further ado, here are the “All-Stars!”

#1 Lot 2367: Colt D Company Walker Percussion Revolver

Estimate Price: $20,000-$30,000

A Walker revolver is the ultimate centerpiece to any advanced Colt collection as it is among the most difficult to obtain of all Colt firearms. This revolver is one of 1,000 military contract Walker revolvers manufactured by Samuel Colt at Eli Whitney’s factory in Whitneyville, Connecticut. First issued to the U.S. Mounted Rifles in 1847, Walker revolvers saw action in the Mexican War and in subsequent campaigns against the Indian tribes in the Southwest and Pacific Northwest. As a result of this extensive frontier service, the survival rate of Colt Walker revolvers is extremely low and only about 100 examples have been identified in collections. The Walker revolver established Colt as a viable firm and set the stage for subsequent revolver designs that would cement the company as an industry leader. The Colt Walker revolver, probably more than any other Colt firearm, symbolizes the early frontier as it was used frequently throughout the settlement of the American West. Military contract Walker revolvers were serial-numbered sequentially with Company A-E with between 120 and 220 revolvers marked for each company and this particular model, No. 73, is one of an estimated 220 revolvers manufactured with “D COMPANY” markings, further adding to its value. To own one is to own a small, but important, piece of history.

#2 Lot 4014: Engraved Winchester Model 1892 Trapper Carbine

Estimated Price: $5,000-$8,000

Winchester rifles were crucial in the settlement of the American frontier. The Model 1892, despite coming in near the end of the 19thcentury, is no exception. It remains one of the six lever action rifles that established the Winchester company and embedded it in American history. A rare configuration of Winchester rifle is the “trapper carbine.” Given a much shorter barrel than their rifle and standard carbine counterparts, trapper carbines were working guns. Often seeing use on a trap line as their name would indicate, the convenience and practicality of their shorter barrels was likely appreciated in a wide number of occupations. Trapper carbines were often tools and treated as such, combined with lower production numbers, it results in fewer examples surviving today making them desirable pieces for collectors today.

This example, however, is in a league of its own as it is one of only TWO known Model 1892 trappers that feature factory engraving. The other is sequentially serial numbered to this one, but its location is unknown. That means, not only could you get a rare version of an already desirable Winchester – you could possibly own the only one in existence.

#3 Lot 2456: Colt Bisley Flattop Target Revolver

Estimated Price: $4,500-$6,500

By the end of the 19th century, the Buffalo population on the American frontier had been reduced to near extinction marking an effective end to the Wild West. As a result, many people began reexamining the different uses of revolvers outside of combat, such as target shooting and sport. The Colt Bisley Flattop was designed for this increased demand in target shooters. The included factory letter lists this specific Colt revolver as a Bisley Flattop target revolver in .44 caliber, 7 1/2″ barrel, blue finish, and rubber grips, as well as shipment to Colt’s San Francisco Agency in on October 25, 1897, in a two gun shipment. Only 78 were reportedly produced in .44-40 caliber, making this particular model featured in the October Sporting & Collector Auction incredibly rare. It’s status as an antique to collectors is the icing on the cake.

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