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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

German Military Investments

For those not familiar, Rock Island Auction Company sent out a series of emails containing some of the highlights in our May 2014 Premiere Firearms Auction.  These messages covered a number of popular genres and gave a first look at some firearms that are bound to attract the attention of some of the world's foremost collectors and investors.  This blog, and the ones to follow, are a reprint of those emails for those who do not receive that type of communication.  As an added bonus, these blogs will also include many photos that did not appear in the original emails in order to keep them at a reasonable size. We hope you enjoy these collectible firearms and their multitude of photos!

If you like what you see below, be sure to check out our Photo Preview4-page Sneak Preview, or our full 16-page mailer.

All items contained in this series will be available in our May 2014 Premiere Firearms Auction to take place May 2-4, 2014. Today's items are those used by members of the...

The first piece we'll see today is an engraved Johann Springer bolt action rifle made for none other than Kaiser Wilhelm II, the last German Emperor and King of Prussia. Perhaps modest compared to some of the glamorous presentation pieces given to kings, sultans, or emperors, this piece maintains a stately, handsome elegance. Most striking when viewing the photos below is the wood used in the stock. Many collectors are more accustomed to seeing wood grain that wraps around the gun, but when they traverse the length of this Mannlicher stock, it has a striking effect. Add to that the cheekpiece, fine checkering on both the grip and the forearm, and a horn forend cap and you've got a setting for the mechanics of a fine rifle.

The receiver of the rifle enjoys bright case coloring as a canvas for the extensive and delicate floral scrollwork and the deep relief carved royal monogram of the former monarch. This engraving continues down the bolt handle and finishes with a checkered bolt knob. It has a double trigger and a lightly embellished trigger guard extension, adding again to the high end feel of the gun, without crying out for attention. The rifle is rich in materials and ornate enough for a king, yet does not cross the line so as to be unusable nor gaudy.

Bonus Photos

The second item we'd like to share with you is a group of engraved Walther pistols that will be appearing in the May 2014 Premiere Firearms Auction. While there are nine engraved Walthers in this auction, we only have space to show you a few of them. Please enjoy these historic works of art.

This pistol bears an expertly applied oak leaf and acorn engraving, but upon closer inspection reveals a much more impressive trait. A banner has been engraved into the slide that reads, "Dem Tapferen! Vom Reichsfuhrer - SS H. Himmler." This Walther presentation pistol was created especially for Nazi Heinrich Himmler to be given to German soldiers for significant acts of valor and bravery or perhaps even to senior SS or Nazi party members. These pistols that bear the facsimile of Himmler's signature are exceedingly rare and will easily become a focal point in any German military collection. Even the trigger guard, trigger, safety lever, and even the exterior chamber area of the barrel has been engraved with a cross hatch pattern. This is an impressively decorated pistol made for those one would not want to disappoint.

Bonus Photos

View from under the barrel.

Back strap.

Front of grip.

This pre-war Walther Model 9 pistol comes in a striking package: a handsome brown russet leather presentation case, a gold-colored border trims the inside of the box, and a blue velvet lining. The gun itself is also highly decorated with gold line borders, ivory grips that bear the blue enamel inserts and a silver "SA" emblem, as well as some heavy engraving on the rear of the slide. However, it's only when we turn the gun over do we realize its most desirable trait: the identity of its former owner.

This pistol was presented to Dr. Otto Hellmuth likely sometime in 1938/39. Hellmuth was wounded four times fighting for the Germans in World War I, but had to stop fighting due to being gassed. He joined the Nazi party in the 1920s and eventually was appointed as the Gauleiter of Lower Frankonia. He survived WWII, was tried at Dachau, sentenced to death, but had that sentence commuted to life imprisonment and was released in 1955. The history that a collector can hold in their hand and is available at this auction is astounding.

Bonus Photos

Top of the case

This presentation grade Walther PP is silver plated and shows various gold plated parts. The engraving, already adding to the guns desirability, is a seldom seen scroll and vine pattern with a punch dot background. It is Nazi proofed and while it has no specific inscriptions or markings, it certainly has all the ear marks of a special order pistol for a person important to either the Nazi party or the Walther Company.


Bonus Photos

Front of grip.

Underside of barrel.

Our third and final source of excitement comes from the Von Norden Collection. We have not yet photographed these guns, but when you see the gun room that they came from, we're sure you will share our excitement! Stay tuned to future emails and social media updates for more on this fabulous and excellent collection.

Bonus Photos
Some of these photos are the first look at this illustrious collection!  You saw it here first!

Fully Functional World War II "bnz" Code Steyr Manufacture German MP 40 Submachine Gun

Highly Desirable Fully Automatic Class III/NFA World War II Nazi MG-42 Medium Machine Gun with Anti-Aircraft Mount, Original Optical Sight Field Tools Drum Magazine and Original Field Manual

Highly Collectible Fully Automatic Class III/NFA World War II Nazi Early Production MP43/1 Assault Rifle.
One of 2 MP43 rifles appearing in our May 2014 Premiere Firearms Auction

If you're a German military collector these pictures should have your blood pumping. These are all high condition pieces from studious collections! Add to that their historic provenance in an already desirable genre and you have a significant building block in an auction that will have collectors and investors alike buzzing with anticipation before the big day. Keep watch in the days that follow for even more jaw-dropping artistry and fascinating history to appear in Rock Island Auction Company's May 2014 Premiere Firearms Auction and thank you for taking a moment of your day to view these spectacular German arms.

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