Morphy’s Collectible Guns and Militaria Auction from July 12-14 features rare and important weapons…
DENVER, Pa. — From July 12-14, Morphy’s Collectible Guns and Militaria Auction serves as a grand showcase for 1,471 lots of carefully selected antique and vintage weapons and relics, many of which have a remarkable provenance. The top-notch selection follows a four-century timeline, beginning with 17th-century arms and traversing history through European wars, the American colonial and revolutionary period, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the modern era. In addition, there are many specialized categories, including sporting weapons and ammunition; (55) swords, (25) cannons, Nuremberg caskets, weapons and Native American art; and the Doug Everhart Collection from Derringers. The militaria section features six very special bundles containing War Hero Purple Hearts.
From the days when knights were daring – and sometimes very young – comes an exceptional hand-forged three-quarter length German armor circa 1620 in the appropriate scale for a page (boy). Lined in canvas and brocade, the brass-studded metal costume has a frontal visor, articulated cheeks and finger gauntlets, and displays a lovely blackened patina. Its provenance is impeccable, having previously been part of both the Selden collection and the Bashford Dean collection. In 1931, while owned by Mr. Dean, the suit was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was auctioned in 1943 to Parke Bernet as part of the collection of the estate of Harriet M. Dean, who inherited the late Renaissance treasure from her brother, Bashford. Morphy’s now offers the armor with an estimate of $30,000 to $60,000.
A fascinating weapon from the late 17th century has a noble heritage. Known as a partisan or partisan, it is a long-handled spear with protrusions on the sides to help parry thrusts. The auctioned example features decorations for the guard of Friedrich August I, whose titles included Elector of Saxony, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. It is engraved with Friedrich August’s crest and also bears the number CFA which was only used from 1694 to 1697. From the William E. Simon collection, it is estimated between $6,000 and $10,000.
America’s first Commander-in-Chief, George Washington, is nicely depicted in his Continental general’s uniform in an unsigned portrait circa the 19th century, after Rembrandt Peale (1778-1860). At 18, Peale painted Washington from life and went on to copy the famous original portrait 79 times during his life, completing the last in 1859. A paper label on the back of the auction portrait indicates that It was relined and restored in 1931 by Hannah Horner Field of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. With a framed size of 25 by 29 inches, this majestic piece of art will cross the auction block with an estimate of $70,000 to $100,000.
Antique American rifles are popular with collectors, especially those associated with historic gunsmiths. A .54 caliber Kentucky Long Rifle attributed to Leonard Reedy (active 1810-1837) of Berks and later Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, is made of flamed maple with brass furniture that includes Reedy’s signature floral finial , a Berks-style rear sight, hand-forged lock plate and beveled side plate. This weapon of good provenance is estimated between $5,000 and $10,000.
As the timeline progresses, Morphy’s will carry a fine line of Civil War swords, muskets, bayonets, pistols, and carbines from the Confederate and Union armies. Of particular note is a Tiffany & Co. Cutlass Style Presentation Sword, Model 1860, listed as Lt. Col. Horace A. Manchester of the 1st Marine Artillery. Its auction estimate is $5,000 to $10,000.
Colt fans will be well served with over 200 entries reflecting the Connecticut company’s illustrious history of weapon production. A vintage 1875 Colt Single Action Army revolver with serial number 19920 is a .45 caliber pistol with matching numbers and comes with a factory letter confirming its configuration and certifying shipment of the pistol to H&D Folsom Arms Co., New York, NY, July 24, 1875. Auction estimate $3,000-$4,000.
One of 25 guns for sale, an impressive 33-inch bronze breech-loading signal gun made by the Strong Fire Arms Co., bears the retailer’s name “CHAS. C. HUTCHINSON / 152 STATE STREET / BOSTON above an image of the Federal Eagle. Dating to the late 19th or early 20th century, this gun is chambered for 2-gauge blank shells. Estimate: $8,000-$12,000
A huge selection of WW1 and WW2 guns, swords, uniforms, medals and memorabilia includes German, American, British and Japanese items. Morphy’s is honored to have been awarded six military Purple Hearts, those of John E Olson (US Navy, WWII, killed in a kamikaze attack on the SS John Burke); Donald S Batchelor (USMC, WWII, MIA and presumed killed following a bombing mission); Joseph C Luiz (US Navy, WWII, killed in a kamikaze attack on the USS Louisville); Roland J Bender (WWII, 303rd Bomb Group, POW); People W Wing (WWI, Medical Corps); and Grafton S. Stidger (WWII, USMC, killed in action). Captain Stidger’s Purple Heart is part of an archive (lot 2208) related to his service as a Marine Corps pilot and member of “The Fighting Corsairs”. Estimated between $3,000 and $5,000, the band also includes a bar, the WWII Victory Medal, photos, a signed letter from US Navy Admiral WF Halsey, and Stidger’s logbook. , the final entry of which states that he was killed in action on January 14, 1944.
There are many excellent pistols from the WWII era, including a Swedish Mauser Banner contract test Luger, one of only 30 chambered in 7.65x25mm Parabellum and fitted with 4 barrels. inches. It has matching numbers and is marked 1939 above the bedroom. This exact pistol is pictured in the reference The Borchardt & Luger Automatic Pistols by Dr Geoffrey Sturgess and Joachim Gortz, and comes directly from Sturgess’ own collection. Estimate: $5,000 to $8,000
Another top prize is a Union Switch & Signal M1911A1 .45 ACP semi-automatic pistol, manufactured in 1943 with RCD proof for Downie and serial number 1091337. It is stamped PROPERTY IN THE UNITED STATES on the right side of its frame. Estimate: $3,000 to $6,000
An exceptional and highly sought after semi-automatic rifle, the Swiss SIG PE57 was manufactured for commercial sale and imported into the United States in extremely limited numbers in the 1980s. The matching numbered rifle, serial number PE 3305, displays all appropriate markings and Swiss proofs. It comes with a sling, manuals and a target. Formerly in the collection of esteemed NFA firearms enthusiast JR Moody, its estimate is $10,000 to $15,000.
Donated as part of the NRA Firearms for Freedom program, a set of two side-by-side Merkel Model 280/360 28-caliber .410 barrels comes in an Italian leather-covered case fitted with a maker’s tag. In like new condition, this beautiful set is estimated between $8,000 and $12,000.
Morphy’s Collectible Guns and Militaria Auction from May 12-14, 2022 will be held at the Society’s Gallery in Denver, PA, beginning all three days at 9 a.m. EDT. All forms of bidding will be available, including live over the internet via Morphy Live. Questions: Call 877-968-8880 or email [email protected] Online: www.morphyauctions.com.