Enthusiasts should draw bead on Colt gun auction

Posted March 13, 2009, at 11:48 p.m.

FAIRFIELD, Maine — Gun enthusiasts may want to stop by the Fairfield home of James D. Julia Inc. over the coming days, as the company is preparing for a landmark gun auction that will take place on Monday and Tuesday.

Headlining this auction is a collection of Colt firearms that belong to collector Dr. Joseph A. Murphy, which is billed as the finest offering of its kind in history. According to pre-auction estimates, the Murphy collection of more than 100 guns is worth $26 million.

There will be two catalogs available for the sale. Session I for Monday’s session of high-grade shotguns, sporting rifles and 20th century military, together with Class III; and Session II, Tuesday, to include the Dr. J.A. Murphy Collection of Colts together with other fine Colts from other collections, rare Winchesters, Civil War material and historical guns.

Each session starts at 10 a.m.

A preview began Friday and runs 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Sunday.

In addition, the Poulin Auction Co., which is located adjacent to Julia’s facility, will have a gun and military auction Saturday and Sunday.

The Dr. Murphy Collection has been divided into three sessions: first in Julia’s March 2009 auction, the second in an October 2009 sale and the final in March, 2010.

Included is a Cased Engraved Patterson Belt Model With Eight Silver Bands. This is in nearly new condition and carries a presale estimate of $275,000-$500,000. One of the most famous of all Colt single actions is what’s known as the Sears & Roebuck Gold Inlaid, Engraved And Cased SAA. In about new condition, this fa-bled gun is an extraordinary example of Colt craftsmanship and carries a presale estimate of $450,000-$800,000. A Cased, 1st Model Colt Dragoon in outstanding condition carries a tremendous pedigree; at one time presented from the governor of Connecticut to Franklin Pierce (later 14th president of the United States). The piece is estimated at $250,000-$450,000.

A Deluxe Factory-Engraved Colt 1860 Army Revolver in extraordinary condition with spectacular engraving is inscribed “Union and Liberty.” According to the auction house that originally acquired the gun, it was acquired from a descendant of Ulysses S. Grant and purportedly was, at one time, presented to Grant himself. The Union & Liberty 1860 Army revolver stands alone as one of the most sought after (with ebony grips) firearms manufactured during the Civil War and is offered together with an autographed CDV of Gen. Grant, carrying a presale estimate of $350,000-$650,000.

One of the most touted lots is the Gen. Robert Anderson Cased Colts. These 1861 Navy revolvers, in brilliant new condition and complete in their original casing were presented to Anderson from the Colt Manufacturing Co. They’ve never been used and are offered together with Anderson’s sword and a great plethora of other information relating to Anderson. Anderson was the famed commander of Fort Sumter at the outbreak of the Civil War. Because he was recognized as a heroic patriot by much of the northern United States after his courageous stand at Sumter, Colt decided to present him with a pair of truly extraordinary Colts.

These Colts, in fact, represent some of the finest artistry of the Colt Manufacturing firm at that point in history. Presented in 1863 to Anderson, the entire lot carries a presale estimate of $1,250,000 to $2,250,000.

Free detailed and illustrated brochures for the Julia auction may be had approximately four weeks prior to the sale by contacting Julia’s or check out their Web site at www.jamesdjulia.com.

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