Rock Island Auction Company has shown once again the overwhelming popularity of its regional auctions by bringing nearly $3.2 million in a July 16–17 auction. This auction, combined with February’s event, brought the regional auction total for 2011 to $6.4 million, $1.7 million higher than the firm’s record set in 2010.

More than 2,100 lots featuring 5,000-plus firearms brought in collectors, dealers, hunters and sportsmen from all over the Midwest and beyond to participate in the first regional auction to be staged in the firm’s new 86,000-square-foot air-conditioned facility. Although the new facility is nearly double in size to the previous hall, an empty seat was near impossible to find when owner/auctioneer Pat Hogan and his son and auctioneer Kevin Hogan took their places on the podium Saturday morning.

There was plenty of chatter among the crowd after Pat Hogan emphasized the unique history of the first lot, a deluxe first model 1873 documented copy of the iconic Winchester One of One Thousand. After plenty of participation, the hammer finally fell on this Winchester at an impressive $40,250. This was just the first of many Winchesters in high demand this weekend. A Nimschke marked engraved Winchester Model 1866 lever-action rifle sold for $18,400.

Winchesters were not the only items to gather interest. A Fabrique Nationale Auto-5 semiautomatic shotgun, engraved and inscribed to “Big Bill” Thompson, a mayor of Chicago, sold well above the high estimate for $8,625. An antique Colt single-action Army revolver with custom cattle brand engraving, buntline-length barrel and shoulder stock, and factory letter brought $5,463. Edged weapons piqued quite a bit of interest as well, with a lot of six swords bringing $13,800 and a lot of six sabers selling for $11,500, both ten times over their estimates.

Source: Antiques and the Arts

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