Rare Knives Lead Heritage Auctions’ Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Auction Beyond $1.4 Million

A collection of exceptional knives and an ornate double barrel shotgun led the final total for Heritage Auctions’ Dec. 9 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Auction to $1,486,262. The auction included the sale of more than 130 lots to benefit the J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum based in Claremore, Oklahoma.

“You could see and feel the bidding pick up when the J.M. Davis Museum lots took the podium,” Heritage Auctions Arms & Armor Consignment Director David Carde said. “Buyers know when items are fresh to the market and have not been offered in the past. The prices realized are a reflection of our clients’ knowledge and understanding of the historical significance of many of these lots.”

Michael Price Abalone Mosaic California Knife became the focus of four competitive bidders, who drove its price to $45,000 – nearly double its pre-auction estimate. The circa 1856-89 work of art, by San Francisco’s premier 19th-century cutler, Michael Price. It features an elaborate mosaic handle of native California abalone shell and silver, with the top piece of abalone on each side in the form of a keystone. The handle’s wrapped edges and the guard are silver and engraved with beautiful scrollwork.

Cased & Engraved James Purdey & Sons Sidelock Ejector Double Barrel Shotgun tempted 10 collectors into making bids before it crossed the block at $28,750, nearly 50 percent above its pre-auction estimate. The 20-gauge shotgun features 26-inch barrels with concave rib and a front bead sight, and a single trigger. The right barrel is marked “J. PURDEY & SONS, AUDLEY HOUSE, SOUTH AUDLEY STREET. LONDON. ENGLAND.” The barrels, lever and trigger guard have a blued finish, and the case-hardened receiver is marked “J. PURDEY & SONS” on each side.

It took just two competitive bidders to drive the sale price for a Clip Point Bowie by J.D. Chevalier, New York to $27,500, nearly doubling its high pre-auction estimate. The heavy 9-1/8-inch clip point blade is marked “J.D. CHEVALIER, NEW YORK,” and the case brass handle frame houses dark wood inserts. Although his main business was the production of dental instruments, Chevalier was one of the best known American knife makers, and made a large number of knives for those headed in 1849 to the California Gold Rush.

An extremely rare Hunting Knife by Schively, Philadelphia, circa 1830s-1840s, also raced past pre-auction estimates before finishing at $23,750. The knife was made either by Philadelphia-based Henry Schively, or his sons, George and/or Charles, who worked with their father and independently. The 6-1/2-inch blade features a sharpened false edge ground only from the obverse side. The 11-inch knife, with finely checkered horn slab handles attached with iron pins, is arguably the best of fewer than 10 known examples of this style.

Also in high demand was a CSA Confederate General Richard Gano: Half-Plate Ambrotype and More, which reached more than four times its pre-auction estimate when it closed at $21,250. The 4-by-5-1/2-inch image, in half of an embossed paper photographic case with embossed copper mat and preserver, shows a half-length, partially-tinted picture of General Gano – a physician, Protestant minister and brigadier general in the Confederate Army during the Civil War – with one hand tucked inside his jacket in a style reminiscent of Napoleon.

Other top firearms in the sale included:

The auction included a collection of 132 lots to benefit the J.M. Davis Collection at the J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum. The top lots from the collection, which sold for a combined $267,700 included:

Other lots that exceeded pre-auction estimates included the 68 lots in the Schützenfest Collection, including:

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:

Heritage Auctions’ next Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria auction will be June 9.


Featured Auctions

(*) Indicates Auction in Progress
(*) PWCC: June 1 - June 20
(*) RR Auction: June 13 - June 20
(*) Sirius Sports: June 10 - June 20
(*) Sterling Sports Auction: June 6 - June 20
(*) NHL Auctions - Blues: June 1 - June 21
(*) Iconic Auctions: June 13 - June 22
(*) SCP Auctions: June 5 - June 22
(*) Heritage Historical: June 3 - June 22-23
(*) PWCC: June 1 - June 23-27
(*) NHL Auctions: June 12 - June 24
(*) University Archives: June 5 - June 26
(*) NHL Auctions - Blues: June 1 - June 26-28
(*) Small Traditions: June 16 - June 29
(*) Pristine - Elite: June 1 - June 30
(*) PWCC: June 1 - June 30
(*) Sirius Coins: June 17 - June 30
Sirius Sports: June 23 - July 4
MEARS Auctions: June 28 - July 6
PWCC: July 1 - July 8-11
(*) CertifiedLink.com: June 12 - July 9
(*) MeiGray Auctions: June 16 - July 9
(*) Clean Sweep Auctions: June 6 - July 10
RR Auction: June 21 - July 10
Mile High Card Co: June 24 - July 11
Sirius Coins: July 1 - July 14
PWCC: July 1 - July 14-18
Grey Flannel: June 26 - July 17
Collect Auctions: July 1 - July 18
RR Auction: July 11 - July 18
Sirius Sports: July 6 - July 18
Heritage Historical: June 27 - July 16-18
Heritage Sports: June 26 - July 18-19
Iconic Auctions: July 10 - July 20
PWCC: July 1 - July 21-25
Pristine - Elite: July 1 - July 28
Sirius Coins: July 15 - July 28
PWCC: July 1 - July 28-31
Goldin Auctions: July 8 - Aug. 1
Sirius Sports: July 20 - Aug. 1
Iconic Auctions: July 24 - Aug. 3
MEARS Auctions: July 26 - Aug. 3
NSCC - Charity: July 1 - Aug. 3
2019 Full Auction Schedule