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Friday, April 4, 2014

Superior Sporting Arms

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 auction highlights in the Photo Preview, 4-page Sneak Preview, or our full 16-page mailer. To search our entire auction listing please visit

Why waste time? Let's get things started right and show you this amazing trio of original, cased Holland & Holland engraved Royal Express Double Rifles known as "The Holland Triplets."
Lot 304: Magnificent Set of Three Consecutively Serial Numbered Cased Holland & Holland Engraved Royal Double Barreled Express Rifles Complete with all H&H Accessories and Factory Documentation

These rifles will be sold separately and the winning bids totaled together. If someone bids more than the sum of the separate bids, then the trio will remain together.

A set of the spares.

Bonus Photos

Copy from Holland & Holland of original sales ledger.

The second item of these lavish sporting arms is a jaw-dropping engraved and gold inlaid John Dickson & Son double barrel Damascus flintlock shotgun. This gun exudes craftsmanship and an true artisan's touch. The hammers, locks, frizzens, trigger guard, forearm escutcheon, and rear ramrod pipe are all engraved with a delicate English scroll. Two gold inlaid bands grace the breech plug and another is placed on the tang. The flash hole plugs and insides of the flash pans are gold plated, which provide another hue and texture contrast to the swirling brown Damascus barrels, the brindled rib, the prismatic case hardening, walnut stock, and bright, high polished blue trigger guard and buttplate.

Third in this impressive list is a spectacular, cased, engraved Wesley Richards double barrel rifle chambered for the powerful 500/465 cartridge. It is simply a beautiful rifle. Again, there are too many opulent materials to list all those of the gun, its case, and accessories. In brief, this big game, African style Wesley Richards double rifle has all the benefits behooving another of the world renowned English Master rifle and shotgun manufacturers: impeccable hand cut English scroll engraving on numerous parts, vibrant gold wire accents and lettering, stunning case hardening, handsome wood, exceptional checkering, a sturdy lined case made of rich materials, and numerous accessories clad in ebony and silver. Somewhere a safari hunter's prayers have been answered.

Last, but certainly not least is a gun that commands attention where ever we bring it. Both the curious and experienced take a shine to this gun immediately, not only for its superlative craftsmanship, but also its unique characteristic and rarity. We are referring to the outstanding, engraved, and extremely rare John Dickson & Son three barrel side by side hammerless 16 gauge shotgun with its custom case and accessories.

The materials and artistry are on par with the other firearms on this list: Damascus barrels (all of them), fine checkering, beautiful walnut stock and forearm, subtle case hardening, fine engraving, luxurious case and accessories, and even some gold inlay. This gun also has the benefit of an interesting provenance as it was formerly been the property of British heir, banker, politician, and zoologist 2nd Baron Walther Rothschild.

The overall selection of high grade sporting arms in this auction is nothing short of sensational. With renowned gunsmiths such as Holland & Holland, Purdey, Browning, Dickson & Son, Le Page, Charles Lancaster, Perrin's & Son, Barella, Perazzi, Parker Bros, Krieghoff, J.P. Sauer, and more, our May Premiere Firearms Auction will have the manufacturers, aesthetics, gauges, calibers, and investment quality arms to satisfy any taste. Thank you again for taking the time to view these impressive sporting arms. We hope that you're excited as we are for the auction dates to arrive.


  1. I think this is sort of akin to having a "secret reserve" on all three guns, is it not?

    1. How so? Guns at auction sell for the most money, so whichever method brings the most money for our consignor wins. In fact, selling in this fashion goes AGAINST reserves. If no one would be willing to pay the large price tag (or if there were a large reserve) for the set, the guns can still be sold to three happy bidders at smaller individual prices and maybe even bring more than they would have as a set.