Antique and Military Firearms Spark Bidders' Interest at Cordier's Winter Militaria Auction

December 10, 2017

The top lot of the sale was a Winchester model 1866 action rifle manufactured in 1870, with provenance connecting it to Civil War officer Robert Bruce Ricketts, for whom state park Ricketts Glenn is named. Despite no physical records existing to formally connect the firearm to the famed Union soldier and Pennsylvania businessman, the consignor’s familial connection and provenance was enough to drive the price up to $7,000.

WWII items were among the other high performing lots, including a 1942 Enfield No. 4 MKI .303 sniper rifle, which hammered down for $2,800. A WWII leather bomber jacket with authentic patches for the 90th bomb group The Jolly Rogers inspired fierce competition, finally selling to an online bidder for $1,500.

A factory engraved special order Marlin Model 1889 brought $3,400, helped no doubt by the Marlin factory letter documenting that the firearm was ordered with the engraving, which was included in the sale. Other unusual vintage firearms included a Mauser broomhandle pistol with wood stock, manufactured between 1911 and 1915 ($1,800), a US Underwood M1 Carbine ($1,500), and an Ithaca Model M 1911 AI US Army semi-automatic pistol ($1,300).

It was the first auction for Cordier’s new director of firearms and militaria, Matthew Chilton, who said he was pleased with the prices achieved. “This really was a wonderful auction to start with, and collectors really seemed to respond to both the antique and modern items.”

Colts also continued to be popular among bidders, with one Colt Python .357 magnum selling to an internet bidder for $2,100, while a second brought $1,900. A Python hunter double action revolver with scope in fair condition sold for $1,500, as did a Diamondback.

Other modern firearms also brought strong results, including a Remington Game Master model 760 which sold for several times its pre-sale estimate, finally hammering down at $2,100. Chilton reported the sale price was a pleasant surprise for Cordier, adding “Sometimes two bidders will just get locked in a battle over a lot, and neither one wants to let go. We think that’s what happened here.”

A Grulla engraved shotgun in 12 gauge with a checkered walnut stock sold for $2,600, also several increments above its estimated sale price.  

In edged weapons, the stand out lot was a circa 17th century Japanese Katana sword with a tang signed “Kanesada”. The sword, housed in a WWII formal parade type scabbard with ray skin and wire covered grip, sold for $2,100 after lengthy competition between internet and floor bidders.

The sale was the final of three Firearms and Militaria Auctions Cordier held in 2017. The popular sales draw bidders both locally and internationally, with participation both live and online.

 Broomhandle MauserJolly Rogers Bomber Jacket1866 Winchester