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antiques & Collectibles

Antiques & Collectibles

Used by the Union Navy during the Civil War, this heavy Dahlgren 12-pounder boat howitzer on its original carriage is from the Springfield Arsenal artillery collection and expected to bring $60,000-$90,000 at James D. Julia’s firearms auction this week. The Winchester “Grand Royal” (above) embellished with raised gold inlays (estimate $60,000-$90,000) is one of 34 Winchester Custom Shop special order Model 21s in the Bill Phifer Collection being sold. First lady Eleanor Roosevelt is shown in this 1934 photo with the Smith & Wesson revolver ($45,000-$65,000 estimate) given to her the previous year on her 49th birthday by her bodyguard, Earl Miller.

Used by the Union Navy during the Civil War, this heavy Dahlgren 12-pounder boat howitzer on its original carriage is from the Springfield Arsenal artillery collection and expected to bring $60,000-$90,000 at James D. Julia’s firearms auction this week. The Winchester “Grand Royal” (above) embellished with raised gold inlays (estimate $60,000-$90,000) is one of 34 Winchester Custom Shop special order Model 21s in the Bill Phifer Collection being sold. First lady Eleanor Roosevelt is shown in this 1934 photo with the Smith & Wesson revolver ($45,000-$65,000 estimate) given to her the previous year on her 49th birthday by her bodyguard, Earl Miller.

With its three-day 1,436-lot auction of exceptional collections estimated to bring $19 million-$22 million, James D. Julia’s firearms auction Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 10 a.m. in Fairfield, Maine, could set another world auction record for firearms.

The current record was set last spring at a Julia auction that grossed over $19 million.

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Tuesday’s auction includes the Springfield Arsenal collection of rare artillery and cannons formed by the Boston-born United States Naval Academy graduate John Morris, the world’s leading authority in this field. One of the most extensive collections of its type, it is being sold in two parts, the second at Julia’s spring 2015 auction.

Among the highlights of Tuesday’s auction is a Spanish siege mortar dated 1750, and used to guard Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine in Spanish Colonial America, and later used in the Civil War by the Confederates in their unsuccessful attempt in 1862 to defend Fernandina, Fla. The cannon, captured by US Navy Rear Admiral S. F. Du Pont, has a $90,000-$125,000 estimate.

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The Evergreen Ventures Collection, formed by the late Captain Michael K. Smith of McMinnville, Ore., and believed to be the largest and the most significant collection of Class III weapons ever come to auction, is also being sold in two parts, the second part also next spring. Highlighting this auction is an extremely rare Vickers Maxim model 1904, only 90 of which were made by Vickers, Sons & Maxim Ltd. in England. Formerly used by Fox Movie Studios, the machine gun has a $75,000-
$125,000 estimate.

The collection of Class III weapons of the late Brigadier General Theodore Mataxis (1917-2011) includes German, British, French, Czech, Russian, and Chinese machine guns, captured from battlefields while he served in World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars. Estimates range from $20,000-
$25,000 for the Chinese copy of a Soviet RPD machine gun to $3,000-$5,000 for a French MAS 38 submachine gun captured from German forces at Selz, France, in the winter of 1944-45.

The collection of Dr. Geoffrey Sturgess of Zurich, the finest and most comprehensive collection of autoloading weapons in private hands, is highlighted by a cased model 1902 Luger carbine presented by Kaiser Wilhelm II to Mexican President Porforio Díaz in a gesture of friendship. The estimate is $90,000-
$150,000.

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Wednesday’s session features an array of sporting guns including the Bill Phifer Collection of 133 Winchester Custom Shop Model 21s, highlighted by the “Grand Royal” ($60,000-$90,000 estimate). Another made-to-order firearm is the L. C. Smith Deluxe Grade single barrel trap gun ($80,000-$150,000) with “Wm B. Rohde,” the name of the original owner, engraved on the trigger guard bow. English sporting guns include two exceptional Boss .410 gauge shotguns each with a $100,000-
$200,000 estimate and a Holland and Holland Royal Deluxe double rifle ($150,000-$225,000).

Highlighting the Dr. Edmund Lewis Collection of volcanic arms is a rare engraved New Haven volcanic 25-inch lever action carbine ($100,000-
$150,000).

Among the revolvers being sold at Thursday’s session is the Smith & Wesson 22-caliber Outdoorsman given to Eleanor Roosevelt on her 49th birthday in 1933 by the first lady’s bodyguard, Earl Miller (1897-1973). The World War I Navy boxing champion and former New York State Police trooper not only taught Roosevelt how to shoot a handgun but also gave her riding lessons and coached her in tennis and swimming.

The revolver, which Roosevelt is said to have carried in the glove compartment of her car when traveling alone around the country, has a $45,000$65,000 estimate. After her death in 1962, the gun was given by John Roosevelt, her youngest son who inherited her estate, to Charles Curnan, the longtime superintendent of Val-Kill, the Roosevelt property in Hyde Park, N.Y.

Not a firearm but an offering of interest is the gold-encrusted pocket watch engraved with the letters “AC,” initials of the infamous Chicago gangster Al Capone (1899-1947). The watch, which has a $35,000-$55,000 estimate, has been consigned by Eric Griesa, who in a notarized affidavit states that he is the great-grandson of Capone.

www.jamesdjulia.com/division/gun/

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A West Coast collection of yachting trophies is among the offerings at Skinner’s European Furniture & Decorative Arts auction Saturday at 10 a.m. in its Boston gallery.

The 114 trophies, which have estimates ranging from $1,200-$1,800 to $400-$600, include trophies awarded to the Eastern and Corinthian yacht clubs in Marblehead. The earliest trophy is a circa 1853 S. Kirk & Son .917 silver pitcher awarded to the New York Yacht Club. The estimate is $1,000-
$1,500.

On Thursday Kurt Hasselbalch, curator of the Hart Nautical Collection at the MIT Museum, will give a lecture on the legacy of the premier yacht designer and mechanical engineer Nathanael Greene Herreshoff, who designed and built every America’s Cup winner from 1893 to 1920. A number of Herreshoff’s prize-winning craft are represented by trophies in this auction. The lecture, which is open to the public, is at 6 p.m. at the gallery at 63 Park Plaza.

Another collection of note features nearly 100 lots of French signed furniture, British and continental silver, bronzes, and decorative arts collected over a half-century by Dr. Jesse Greenberg and his partner, the late William Faraminian, for their New York apartment.

Highlights include a pair of circa 1770 Louis XVI upholstered armchairs signed by Jean-Baptiste Boulard, the French cabinetmaker whose work is represented in the Louvre Museum ($8,000-$12,000); a 25- inch bronze “The Rape of Hippodamia” ($6,000-
$8,000) after the French sculptor Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belluse (1824-87); and a George IV Irish sterling silver tray ($4,000-$6,000).

Among the ceramics offerings is a pair of 19th-century 29¾-inch Aesthetic-style yellow ground porcelain palace vases with coastal and wooded landscapes. From a Texas collection, the vases have a $10,000-$15,000 estimate.

A 17th-century Flemish mythological tapestry depicting Zeus and his eagle, one of six Flemish and French Aubusson tapestries in the sale, is expected to bring $20,000-$25,000, the auction’s highest estimate.

www.skinnerinc.com/auctions/2754B

Virginia Bohlin can be reached at vbohlin@comcast.net.
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