Leonard Reedy rifle shoots to the top of antique firearms auction



2015-06-26 12:46:11

Leonard Reedy rifle shoots to the top of antique firearms auction

Alongside classic Colt handguns and an 18th century powder horn, a Leonard Reedy rifle hit $76,800

As we've reported, Morphy Auctions was relieved and pleased at the results of the medieval arms and armour section of their auction, as it's a type of collecting more associated with Europe than America.

They had fewer concerns about the firearms, for which the reverse is obviously true and there were some spectacular highlights on offer which had the auction car park overflowing when they were offered.

The oldest and most unusual item offered from the section was a 14-inch-long powder horn dated "1758" with engravings of a fish and the name Zephaniah Butler. Morphy's firearms expert Stephen Hench credits the work to a celebrated carver named John Bush.

Colt Lightning Model 1877 gun The Colt Lightning Model 1877 gun

It proved to be the most spectacular success of the sale: Listed at a lowly $400-$800, it was fought over furiously, resulting in a final bid of $21,600.

There were some more striking successes from classic 19th century handguns: a Colt Lightning Model 1877 with its original factory letter shot past its listing of $7,500-$15,000 to hit $24,000, whilst an ivory-handled Derringer made a mockery of its $3,500-$5,000 listing to achieve $31,200.

Leonard Reedy Kentucky rifle The Leonard Reedy Kentucky rifle

The lot which really provoked excitement, however, was from a little earlier. This was a Leonard Reedy rifle, and the piece by the Pennsylvania gunsmith (active during the first half of the 19th century) was so impressive that the auctioneer circulated a special brochure about it. This was widely read.

All the phonelines were taken up as bids flowed thick and fast for the antique weapon and it nearly doubled its $20,000-40,000 estimate to hit $76,800.

Leonard Reedy Kentucky rifle close-up The Leonard Reedy rifle in close-up

Collectors interested in 19th century militaria will be excited to know that we have an autograph of General Custer - the Civil War leader who was killed in the dramatic Indian victory at the Battle of Little Bighorn - available right now.

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