Sotheby's Americana Week auction sets $1.14m firearms world record

An 1849 Colt pocket revolver set a new $1.14m world record for a single firearm at auction, at Sotheby's Americana Week in New York on January 20.

The gold-inlaid and deep relief revolver, produced by Samuel Colt in Connecticut circa 1853, beat the $977,500 achieved for an 1836 Colt at a US auction in September 2011.

It features Colt's classic animal designs, which are so popular with Colt collectors.

Furniture sales were also strong. An 18th century chest of drawers, made by renowned US cabinet maker John Townsend, comfortably surpassed its $3m high end estimate.

The mahogany chest, signed and dated in 1756, sold for a world auction record for a high chest of drawers of $3.55m.

Colt revolver
An 1849 Colt set a new $1.14m auction world record

The previously undocumented item, made when the cabinet maker was just 23 years old, is thought to be Townsend's "masterwork", produced to show he had completed his apprenticeship.

It is Townsend's earliest surviving high chest, as well as one of the earliest known works by his hand.

A circa 1770 Chippendale games table, attributed to Marinus Willett and Jonathan Pearsee, almost quadrupled its $120,000 high-end estimate, selling for $398,500.

A silk American flag, carried into the 1862 battle of Shiloh in the American civil war by William Shallenberger of the 55th Illinois Company, sold for $56,250, far above its $40,000 high end estimate.

We currently have a Cuban flag inscribed by its recent leader Fidel Castro, and revolutionary Che Guevara.

Signed prior to the Cuban revolution, it is a superb piece of history, and is currently available for £100,000.

Sotheby's Americana Week achieved $17.9m, its highest total since 2007.

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