May 29, 2023
Rock Island Auction Company (RIAC) realized $22 million in sales during its first Premier Auction of 2023 that featured the Beaumont-Adams revolver surrendered by Confederate President Jefferson Davis at his capture and Zane Grey's Winchester Model 1895 rifle. The two earned $470,000 and $440,625, respectively. The three-day event, which took place May 19 – 21, offered more than 2,000 collector firearms, military artifacts, accessories, and artworks.
"We're extremely privileged to be entrusted with items so significant to American history," said Rock Island Auction Company President Kevin Hogan. "Results like these continue to show that the fine arms market is strong, and that people are collecting them as much for their own personal enjoyment as an investment."
Other notable results included a German FG42 paratrooper rifle that was estimated to achieve $225,000 to $325,00 but brought $411,250; the finest known Colt Model 1851 Navy was estimated to bring $95,000 to $180 but smashed its estimate to achieve $293,750; and a superb condition cased Colt 1849 pocket with a historic inscription also sold for $293,750. A silver and gold cased pair of Colt 1861 Navy revolvers, known to collectors since the 1920s and estimated to reach $140,000 to $225,000, gaveled for $258,500. Additional highlights from the May Premier Auction include a Colt Single Action Army revolver exclusively created by Colt and donated for the 1985 Metropolitan Museum of Art Benefit Auction, which was estimated to sell for $75,000 to $110,000 but sold for $105,750; as well as a wonderfully preserved, gold and silver plated Colt Model 1877 Lightning revolver inscribed to a Hartford, CT police officer, which gaveled for $176,250.
The May Premier Auction is Rock Island Auction Company's spring flagship event in collecting, featuring hundreds of the most historical firearms worldwide. This May's Premier Auction showcased its breadth with items as wide ranging as a life-size stagecoach to a 1967 Chevelle SS Coupe Convertible, weapons from the pre-Revolutionary War era through Operation Desert Storm, and even selected works from noted Western artists Frederick Remington and Charles Russell.
The success of the auction, and of the company, continues to show fine arms collecting as a field increasing in popularity and value. Seven of the last eight auctions at Rock Island Auction Company have exceeded the $20 million mark, further positioning the company as a leader in the firearms industry by a substantial margin. This year, the company takes aim at annual sales of more than $100 million for the third year in row, with its final Premier Auction to be held at its newly expanded Bedford, Texas facility that will open later this year.