Featured: Class 3 weapons, historical Colts including No. 5 Texas Paterson and 1876 Centennial Exposition SAA; Confederate Tallassee percussion carbine, circa-1835 Armstrong Kentucky rifle
DENVER, Pa., April 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — At every level of the antique firearms hobby, savvy collectors are guided by three non-negotiables when considering a purchase: impeccable provenance, genuine rarity and unimpeachable condition. They will find all three qualities in abundance at Morphy’s April 11-13 Firearms & Militaria Auction.
From a documented Springfield M1903 recovered from the USS California at Pearl Harbor to the only known privately held Tallassee Carbine to a five-star license plate from General Douglas MacArthur’s Korean War command vehicle, the 1,238-lot auction delivers some of the rarest and finest firearms and military relics ever to reach the marketplace.
Featured sections include unique and highly sought-after Class 3 weapons, including an MK4AS Silenced Sten machine gun; premier sporting arms, highlighted by a George Hoenig rotary rifle; and a spectacular array of investment-grade Colts.
The collector market for Class 3 weapons has continued to heat up as the supply of these strictly controlled firearms has dwindled. Morphy’s will offer several very rare and desirable Class 3 guns, each requiring BATF approval prior to transfer. A top entry is an early and exceptionally rare Soviet DHSK-38 .50-caliber heavy machine gun accompanied by its carriage and an extensive complement of accessories. Its 1939 marking dates it to the first year of the model’s production. This highly coveted weapon, formerly in a museum collection, is likely one of four that were used by the Finnish military during WWII. Estimate: $100,000–$150,000.
The parade of illustrious Colt handguns is led by a .45-caliber Single Action Army Revolver, one of 18 of its type that were displayed at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. It was part of Colt’s legendary “Wheel of Colts” display and is documented as such in the 1877 (Henry) Folsom List, which details some of the arms Colt exhibited at the exposition. This newly discovered connoisseur’s firearm has an ivory grip and nickel and gold finish, with exquisite factory engraving. Estimate: $60,000–$120,000
A stunning survivor, a .40-caliber percussion Kentucky long rifle made circa 1835 by master gunsmith John Armstrong of Emmitsburg, Maryland, is one of only four known original Armstrong percussion rifles. Its stock is superbly carved, and it boasts a brass inlaid plate on the barrel signed JOHN ARMSTRONG and a handmade percussion lock script-signed J A. This impeccable Golden Age rifle was formerly in the Joseph Kindig collection. Estimate: $70,000–$100,000
Strong competition is expected when an extraordinarily rare Confederate Tallassee percussion carbine crosses the auction block. It is one of only 500 that were manufactured, all between June 1864 and April 1865. Few extant examples are known, with most residing in important museum collections. The carbine is marked CS / Tallassee / Ala. and is dated 1864. It is the first and only firearm of its particular type ever to be offered at auction. Estimate: $80,000–$120,000.
Truly fit for a king, a circa-1988 Armi Fabbri bespoke over/under shotgun with demi-bloc 27-inch nitro proof blued steel barrels and Italian proof marks was expertly decorated by Master Engraver Claudio Tomasoni. The motif includes game scenes, floral bouquets and tight scrolls. A flawless example in a fitted Fabbri leather case, it is estimated at $70,000–$110,000.
Morphy’s April 11-13, 2023 Firearms & Militaria Auction will be held live at the company’s Denver, Pennsylvania gallery. Bid absentee, by phone or live online through Morphy Live. Questions: call 877-968-8880, email
. Online: www.morphyauctions.com.
SOURCE Morphy Auctions