Collectors can start 2011 with a bang at James D Julia's next firearms sale

James D Julia has announced that it is taking consignments for its upcoming Spring 2011 Firearms Auction and will continue to do so until mid-January. The company has taken the opportunity to release some figures on the market and reflect on its own performance in recent times.

The lagging economic climate for the past two years has affected nearly everyone in every country, and almost everything bought or sold. Real estate, the value of businesses, the stock market, and so many other things have declined in value, and in some cases, significantly.

The great news however to collectors of high-end items, notably firearms, is the remarkable strength, and resilience, that the collectibles market has sustained through all of this. One recurring truth, is the strength of the collectibles market, particularly, high-end firearms whenever a country is subjected to a recession.

Theodore Roosevelt's 'F' grade shotgun

James D Julia's Firearms Division is currently the leader in the world today for high-end, valuable firearms. Over the past six years, their average auction gross has been just under $10m per auction.

In these last couple of years, despite the economic downturn, sales results for firearms have been most heartening. In October of 2008, as the world was on what appeared to be on the brink of disaster, the company conducted its annual firearms auction, which resulted in a resounding $12m.

While the media implied the possibility of the world banking order collapsing, the auctioneer sold a rare Colt Walker for just under $1m, establishing a new World Record for the most expensive single firearm ever sold at auction. Many other lots showed strong results including a cased fluted Colt model 1860 with stock, estimated at $350,000 to $450,000, which sold for $454,000.

The spring auction of 2009 once again, showed great strength for important firearms. Session 1 of the Doc Murphy collection included an engraved Gold inlaid, Single Action Colt, listed at $450,000 to $800,000, which realised $747,500.

An extraordinary Colt, panel scene SAA, valued at $350,000 to $600,000, brought $701, 500. That sale grossed $11.5m, and their Fall sale of 2009, grossed $11m with another panel scene Colt SA from the Murphy collection.

This had been expected to bring $250,000 to $450,000, but it realised $345,000. Two gold inlaid, and engraved Winchester rifles, formerly belonging to Theodore Roosevelt's friend, Col. Archibald Rogers, a Model 73, and a Model 76, together carried a pre-sale estimate of $100,000 to $250,000, but realised $316,250.

Map of the Battle of Yorktown, Virginia
James D Julia's $1.15m map of the Yorktown siege
(Click to enlarge)

In James D Julia's March auction of 2010, a cased set of Nicholas Noel Boutet, Flintlock pistols, were listed at $250,000 to $500,000, but sold for $437,000. The iconic Fox Shotgun known as "Bo Whoop" and formerly having belonged to the renowned sportsman, and author, Nash Buckingham, carried a pre-sale est. of $100,000 to $200,000, and sold for $201,250.

Their October 2010 auction grossed over $10m and featured a Fox "F" Grade Shotgun presented to President Theodore Roosevelt. Valued at $750,000 to $1,000,000, it sold for $862,500.

In the same sale, a recently discovered Winchester, Model 73, One of One Hundred, believed to be the finest of its type in existence, was listed at $225,000 to $325,000, and finally sold for $373,500.

Collectibles in all other divisions showed greater strength in 2010 too. James D Julia notes that its Antiques and Fine Arts division conducted an auction in the spring of 2010 which included a small map of the siege of Yorktown.

Reportedly owned by George Washington, it brought a phenomenal $1.15m.

Away from military collectibles altogether, in June, the auctioneer's Rare Toy and Doll Division set the new World Record for a single toy at auction when a small tin Santa in sleigh pulled by goats listed at $100,000 to $200,000, brought $161,000.

Likewise their Glass and Lamp Division's Fall Auction grossed nearly $2m dollars. A beautiful floor model, Tiffany Lamp, estimated at $125,000 to $175,000, realised $172,500.

James D Julia's Spring Firearms Auction takes place in March. Watch this space for more news of the sale, which promises to be a humdinger for militaria collectors.


Join our readers in over 200 countries around the world - sign up for your free weekly Collectibles Newsletter today

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock