Boasting a genuinely beautiful range of antique and vintage firearms, Rock Island Auctions' latest sale (last weekend December 2-4) was one which intrigued us from the start. The results have now been posted, and there are two pieces in particular which caught our eye.
Teddy Roosevelt is one of America's most celebrated Presidents. Just this week President Barack Obama has been trying to draw similarities between his program and that of the Mount Rushmore President whose second term ended more than a century ago.
Roosevelt was famous for his manly pursuits, especially hunting, and so it was exciting to see a gun owned by the President offered in the sale: A Factory Presentation Colt Model 1902 with his initials in gold on the side, given to Roosevelt personally whilst he was serving, by Frank Julian Price esquire, President of Colt Firearms .
The Military Semi-Automatic Pistol was described by the auctioneer as the "Pièce De Resistance for any advanced Colt pistol, martial arms collector or collector of Presidential memorabilia in the world", and you can understand their excitement.
The piece sold for $207,000 - towards the top end of its estimate range. We saw another great weapon associated with Roosevelt sell at James D Julia last year.
Auctioneer Kevin Hogan put it in context for us:
“It was a remarkable experience and opportunity to sell such a historical pistol. To think that this pistol was presented to Teddy Roosevelt while he was in office and to have the personal correspondents between the President of the United States and the President of Colt Firearms is remarkable.
"The most intriguing aspect is the fact that President Roosevelt asked what kind of cartridges to use. I think it’s safe to say that President Roosevelt put this presentation pistol to use. Who knows he could have followed in President Lincoln's footsteps and had target practice on the front lawn of the White House?”
Collectibles associated with those commonly recognised as great Presidents such as Roosevelt are always going to be valuable, which is why we are currently offering some exceptional Presidential items with our 120% guarantee.
There is a lottery ticket signed by Roosevelt's fellow Rushmore resident George Washington, signed whilst he was serving, and a photograph signed by John F Kennedy (and his whole family) for their nanny Maud Shaw. JFK's autograph has increased in value by 305% since 2000 according to the PFC40 Autograph Index.
The Roosevelt gun was the second to top lot in Rock Island's Auction. This was the handgun described by the company as the "Finest B Company Marked U.S. Walker Model 1847 Colt Revolver Known".
Marked as being serial number 8, it sold for $345,000. You can read more about it here.