Australian Arms Auctions prepares for million-dollar sale

Australian Arms Auctions P/L (AAA) will be running its 49th auction in Melbourne on Sunday, October 8. Now solely owned and directed by Roland and Cheryl Martin, AAA will once again offer a broad range of antique and collectable firearms for sale. Roland has described this auction as “world class” with the sales on the day predicted to exceed $1 million.

On offer will be a number of items from the Ian Cummins collection, some of which are incredibly rare and valuable. The stand-out item is a rare Elisha Collier hand-turned, revolving flintlock pistol carbine in .50 calibre. Dating from around 1820, its provenance can be traced back through the same family for three generations and it is possibly the only known example of the marque world-wide.

Other flintlock arms on offer include a 15-bore over-and-under Officer’s pistol made by J Prosser, of London, from around 1810 and a London-made Twigg double-barrelled travelling pistol from around 1795.

Another scarce item to be auctioned is a 38-bore Deane, Adams & Deane percussion revolver with a detachable shoulder stock, presented in a baize-lined mahogany case with a full range of accessories that includes an oil bottle, Hawksley bag flask, Joyce cap tin, a Webley-type brass bullet mould, turn screw and nipple wrench.

Also on offer will be a cased and deluxe engraved Merwin & Hulbert 2nd Model Open Top Frontier Army revolver in .44 Merwin & Hulbert calibre, dating from around 1883. It has a nickel finish with deluxe factory engraving of the Mexican eagle and snake, is fitted with mother of pearl grips and has a lanyard ring.

Of particular interest to Winchester collectors is a gold-washed, factory-engraved Henry lever-action rifle in .44 rimfire, marked as manufactured by the New Haven Arms Company, New Haven, Connecticut, in 1864. In exceptional condition for its age, the rifle is expected to attract a lot of bidding interest.

While these firearms are special in terms of their rarity and collectability, they represent the best of what the auction has to offer and lots of other collectable and less expensive arms will also be offered for sale.

Firearms such as these are extremely important to the Australian collecting community. In an age when the firearms trade generally is being placed under increasing levels of governmental scrutiny, very few antique and collectable arms are being imported into the country. Collectors are aware of the situation and the impact that it is having in the Australian marketplace, where prices being paid for some of the more desirable items continue to increase at an astonishing rate – a reality that is reflected at all levels of the trade. Keeping better quality collectable arms in Australia has never been more important, a situation that is unlikely to change any time soon.

AAA’s Auction #49 will be held at the Hungarian Community Centre, 760 Boronia Road, Wantirna, Melbourne, Victoria, on October 8, 2017. For more information, phone 03 9848 7951.

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