Firearms auctions like the one that will be held at Rock Island Auction Company in Rock Island, Ill., on Dec. 6, 7 and 8 don't come along very often. Featuring more than 900 items – many of them incredibly rare – over the course of the three sessions, this is a can't-miss event for any gun collector or appreciator.
iCollector.com will be hosting the online auction portion all three days, and it is the only place to go to get an early look at the inventory or, for those who can't make it to the Midwest, to bid on these lots.
Many of the guns that will be available at Rock Island are true antiques, providing a window into the early days of firearms manufacturing, when the process was more of an art than an industry.
A nickel-plated Smith & Wesson Model 320 "Buntline Special" Revolving Rifle with shoulder stock, scope and factory letter attesting to its authenticity (lot #98) is among the most rare items up for bid. Manufactured in the late 1890s, this pistol was one of fewer than 1,000 ever produced, and one of approximately 90 that featured the distinctive nickel plating.
The gold-inlaid, black powder-colored Colt Single Action Army Revolver, which was copied after a similar model that was designed by famous gunsmith L. D. Nimschke (lot #126), is one of the most striking examples of gunsmithing in the world. And its interesting history – it was owned by Mexican President General Manuel Gonzales, who was in office from 1880 to 1884 – lends it even more cache.
Rifles for sale
Since guns have played such an important role in human history, it stands to reason that many of the classic weapons on the block in December will have significant value based solely on their role in America's evolution. And the New Haven Arms Co.'s Henry Lever Action Rifle from 1864 (lot #80), which was a popular model during the Civil War, is a perfect example.
Winchester is one of the most renowned gun manufacturing companies of all time, and many of its models have been cherished by collectors for more than 100 years. A Model 1873 Short Rifle with Factory Letter made by the company (lot #1002) is one of those desirable items, as is a Model 1866 Lever Action Rifle with Octagon Barrel and Deluxe Grade Stock (lot #1000).
Firearms aficionados won't want to miss their chance to log on to iCollector and check out the impressive inventory that will be available in December.