CLAREMORE – About 2,400 antique firearms from the private collection of J.M. Davis – part of the largest privately held firearms collection in the world, one spanning multiple conflicts and generations – will be offered in a big three-day auction, July 26-28.
The auction will be conducted by Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC, based in Reno, Nevada. It will be held at the J. M. Davis Arms and Historical Museum in Claremore.
In addition to antique firearms, the auction will also feature swords, knives, Native Americana and other eclectic collectibles and rarities. The money raised will go to provide ongoing funding for the preservation, conservation and upkeep of the J.M. Davis Collection, presently housed at the museum that bears his name in Claremore. The museum is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
The firearms to be auctioned have not seen the light of day for 50 years. They were ensconced in the museum at its inception, in 1969, and have resided there ever since. The public can view the firearms at previews planned for Wednesday and Thursday, July 24 and 25 at the museum, located at 330 North J.M. Davis Boulevard (historic Route 66) in Claremore (zip code: 74017).
For those unable to attend the sale in person, online bidding will be facilitated by iCollector.com, LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com, AuctionMobility.com and Auctionzip.com. Telephone and absentee bids will also be accepted. For details on how to bid, please visit www.fhwac.com. All lots in the auction, including firearms, will be sold to the highest bidder, without reserves.
One of the highlight lots of the sale is a Stevens .22 caliber long rifle engraved, “From Buffalo Bill to Night-Hawk & Broncho Bill.” Accompanying the 1880s-era tip-up, heavy-barrel, black powder rifle is a published historical photo of Buffalo Bill Cody himself, pictured with the rifle in the auction and Dr. D. Frank Powell, a.k.a. “Night-Hawk.” Dr. Powell, along with two other brothers and Cody, were business partners in an entertainment syndicate worth about $9 million.
Other firearms expected to attract keen bidder interest include the following examples:
• An 1879 John Browning high-wall, single-shot rifle with serial #127 made in Browning’s gun shop in Ogden, Utah. The gun is still “in the white” (cared for since its manufacture).
• A G. Wallis 10-gauge flintlock musket, made during the American Colonial period and of French fowler design. Overall 52 inches long; one of at least six others from the era.
• An early American, Rev-War era musket with the original flint lock and influenced by the British “Brown Bess” design (later re-shaped for hunting rather than military use).
• A 1798 Federal Period U.S. contract musket that could very well have seen action in the War of 1812. Based on the French Charleville design and built by American craftsmen.
• A circa 1830s Sam Hawken Kentucky rifle, one of at least 101 rifles being offered from America’s First Gold Rush and fur trade eras. The half-stock rifle is signed “S. Hawken”.
• A Parkers-Snow & Co. (Meriden, Conn.) musket, dated 1864 on the lock just above the trigger and built under contract for Civil War use. One of over 100 Civil War-era rifles.
• An Allen & Wheelock Civil War rifle, one of fewer than 2,000 made and chambered as a rare .42 Ethan Allen (later called the .42 Forehand & Wadsworth). Barrel is 25.4” long.
• A rare, high-grade and beautiful Luete German Drilling 16-gauge, double-barrel shotgun over 8.5 mm rifle. The backlot plate and receiver both engraved with gold filigree inlay.
• A Krag Jorgeson, 1898 30-40 caliber bolt-action battle rifle from the Spanish-American War (one of more than 60 rifles from the era). The weapon is in near-original condition.
• A Springfield Model 1903 30-06 battle rifle, likely used during World War I and maybe even World War II. It’s marked with, “U.S. Springfield Armory Model 1903 – 217406”.
• A World War II M1 carbine, circa 1942-1945, made by an unknown manufacturer and in excellent condition, with initials “JHL” carved into the stock. One of 85+ from the era.
• A Gounne V Gronzabol AYA Matador side-by-side, double-barrel shotgun in .410 gauge, with the break at the top. Made in Spain and in nearly new shape, with nice checking.