Rare Prker Brothers A1 special shotgun tops Bonhams Fall Arms sale in San Francisco

Antique Arms & Armour and Modern Sporting Guns
12 Nov 2012
San Francisco

San Francisco — The 330-lot Antique Arms & Armour and Sporting Guns auction at Bonhams, November 12, brought a successful $634,280, led by the $70,200 sale of a rare Parker Brothers A1 Special shotgun two barrel set, whose pre-sale estimate was $60,000-80,000.

Leading lots of the auction continued with a fine cased Gustave Young engraved Colt Model 1851 Navy revolver, sold for $35,100 (est. $30,000-40,000). Factory engraved Colt Model percussion revolvers sold well in the sale, exampled by a cased 1860 Army revolver, sold for $12,870 (est. $10,000-15,000); an 1861 Navy revolver, sold for $9,360 (est. $3,000-5,000); an 1851 Navy revolver, sold for $7,605 (est. $4,000-6,000); and an 1860 Army revolver, sold for $5,616 (est. $3,000-5,000).

Of particular interest in the auction was an important, previously undocumented, American full stock flintlock rifle by Frederick Sell, circa 1810-1820, sold for $25,740. Frederick Sell (1781-1869) of Littlestown, Pa., is widely regarded as one of the finest and most important of Pennsylvania rifle makers.

Strong hammer prices continued for a cased pair of 12 gauge self-opening sidelock ejector guns by James Purdey & Sons, circa 1906, sold for $23,400 (est. $20,000-30,000).

Edged weapon sales of note included a rare coffin hilt bowie knife by Gravely & Wreaks, sold for $25,740 (est. $10,000-15,000); an Indian katar of the 18th century, sold for $4,446 (est. $600-1,000); a silver-mounted Ottoman shamshir of the 18th or early 19th century, sold for $3,744 (est. $1,500-2,500); a Civil War officer's presentation sabre with a very rare telescopic scabbard, sold for $3,510 (est. $3,000-5,000); a scarce Irish flank officer's lion pommel short sabre, sold for $2,574 (est. $2,000-3,000); and a fine American Eagle pommel naval officer's sword, sold for $2,340 (est. $2,000-3,000).

Armour, too, sold well in the auction, exampled by the sales of black and white three-quarter armour from the second half of the 16th century, sold for $23,400 (est. $18,000-22,000) and a fine, 19th century full suit of armour in early 16th century style, sold for $21,060 (est. $20,000-30,000).

Rounding out the sale was a US Remington Model 1865 Navy rolling block pistol, sold for $7,605 (est. $2,000-3,000); a Model 1842 Palmetto Armoury percussion musket with Confederate linen sling, sold for $5,850 (est. $2,000-4,000); and a a 16 gauge DHE Grade Parker Brothers boxlock ejector shotgun, sold for $5,616 (est. $3,000-5,000).


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com

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