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Friday, August 3, 2012

September Premiere Collectors Firearms Auction

Rock Island Auction Company is proud to continue the 2012 auction season with our September Premier Sale, a superb assembly of arms featuring the 3rd installment of the William Ashby Collection, the noted Gateway Collection which includes a number of ultra-rare Colts, and an assortment of rare and high condition Civil War arms.

Among the Civil War rifles in our upcoming sale are two New Haven Arms Henry Repeating Rifles. Revolutionary at the time, they easily loaded 15-round magazine and lever action operation provided a level of individual firepower which was unmatched on the field of battle. The first, lot 1014 was produced on a commercial basis circa 1863-1864, a time period where virtually the entire run of Henry Rifles was consumed by soldiers willing to pay the price in order to have the best of the best, and by well-to-do officers looking to equip an entire unit of men with these deadly arms. The second lot 3001 is even rarer, a military contract Henry purchased to equip the 3rd United States Veteran Volunteer Infantry circa 1864-1865, with patriotic engraving and inscription to a member of that unit, one Corporal Streibig. Every man recruited for the 3rd was already a hardened survivor of the War Between the States, having served a minimum of one enlistment period, and among other incentives were given their weapons as a discharge bonus upon completion of their tour. Streibig was no exception to this rule, originally enlisting in 1861 and mustering out in 1864, just in time for the unit’s formation. This example is extensively documented, being pictured in both Les Quick’s "THE HENRY RIFLE" and Wiley Sword’s "THE HISTORIC HENRY RIFLE", in addition to a long letter from noted authority R.L. Wilson, where he notes that “Corporal Streibig's rifle is considered among the very best of this genre”.

Civil War Carbines are also well represented in this sale, with a Lee Breechloading Carbine, lot 3104, rare in any condition, let alone with 90% of it’s original blue finish, a Massachusetts Arms Greene Carbine lot 1240, one of 200 made with a tin receiver finish and 45 caliber bore to fulfill a pre-Civil War martial contract, and a wide spectrum of high condition percussion, breechloading and repeating carbines. The handgun selection is also excellent, with a fine First Model Belgian Production Le Mat Double Barrel Revolver lot 3096, a U.S. Inspected Pettingill Patent Double Action Revolver 3097, a Lindsay Double Shot Superposed Charge Pistol lot 3144 and representative pieces from Starr, Remington, Savage, and Smith & Wesson. Of particular note among the revolvers lot 3192 a rare Presentation Inscribed Colt Model 1851 Navy, presented to William Domer, assistant to Major General Robert Anderson, Defender of Fort Sumter, and another Colt 1851 Navy lot1201 inscribed to Captain J.J. Comstock, Captain of the U.S. Steam Ship Baltic, which was tasked with evacuating then-Major Anderson, his men, and the Fort Sumter Flag after the Fort’s loss to the Confederates. Both are documented products of Gustave Young’s, with Comstock’s revolver presented by no less than the inventor himself, Samuel Colt, following over 7 full days of engraving by the masters hands.

The arms listed here represent a portion of the quality Civil War arms and items in our upcoming September Auction, which will run on the 7th, 8th and 9th. More can be seen on these and other lots in our catalog, viewable online for free at, or in hard copy available from the same site, by phone at 1-800-238-8022, fax at 1-309-797-1655, and e-mail of We look forward to any inquiries, and hope to see you in September.