RARE JOHN ARMSTRONG KENTUCKY FLINTLOCK LONG RIFLE FROM EARLY 1800s HITS THE MARK FOR $98,875 AT NOV. 17-18 SALE HELD BY PHILIP WEISS AUCTIONS

. November 28, 2007

(Oceanside, N.Y.) – A fine and rare flintlock type Kentucky long rifle, made in the early 1800s by John Armstrong of Emmitsburg, Md., sold for $98,875 at a multi-estate sale held November 17-18 by Philip Weiss Auctions.

The auction featured items from prominent area estates and included rare books, important photographs and militaria. The rifle was the top lot in a sale that grossed around $750,000. “The old adage really is true: high-end merchandise brings high-end prices,” said Philip Weiss. “People were lining up to buy everything in sight. About 1,200 lots changed hands and we probably had 200 or more people over the course of the two days, plus a ton of absentee bids and very active phone and Internet bidding.” The online component was facilitated through eBay Live / LiveAuctioneers.com.

The John Armstrong rifle was in exceptional condition, with a barrel measuring 46 inches and an overall length of 61 inches. Features included a blade-type front sight and open rear sight; a beautifully carved stock, believed to be curly maple, with floral scrolls; a cheek rest with silver plate with a Federal eagle and the word “Liberty”; and a striker plate engraved on the side with the scrolled letters “JA.”

Following are more highlights from the sale. All prices quoted include a 13% buyer’s premium.

It seems just about every Philip Weiss auction features at least one original Peanuts’ page, drawn by the late cartoonist Charles Schulz. This auction happened to have four – all dailies – and they gaveled for a combined $108,480. One was from 1952, two were from 1963 and one was from 1965; all were in super condition. “We’ll have more ‘Peanuts’ pages in our January sale,” Mr. Weiss promised.

poster.JPGFour original posters pertaining to the Pennsylvania Railroad and executed in the 1930s went for a combined $48,475. Leading the group was a travel poster by Edward M. Eggleston (1883-1941) and titled “Atlantic City ” America’s All-Year Resort. It soared to $14,500. The 25″ x 41″ illustration featured an image of a beautiful woman holding a green towel at the Atlantic City beach boardwalk.

Three of the posters were executed by Mr. Eggleston; the fourth was done by Grif Teller (1899-1993). Both men were accomplished genre artists and illustrators. The other three posters included two promoting Atlantic City and one advertising Washington, D.C. The prices ranged from $4,000-$13,500 per lot. These were original poster art creations, not giclee reproductions; the high prices reflected that.

adventure.JPGOriginal comic book cover art from Adventure #280 (Superboy, circa 1960), drawn by the noted illustrator Curt Swan and still in its original state, with all balloons and paste-ups, hammered for $35,030. This fresh-to-the-market offering, consigned by the original owner who bought it while on a visit to DC Comics in the early 60s, featured Superboy with Lana Lang and a mermaid in a lab scene.

Another work of original Superboy comic art, also drawn by Curt Swan, achieved $21,470. The outstanding piece was inked by Stan Kaye and depicted Superboy and another boy playing tennis on the moon. It was from Issue #77 (Dec. 1959). It measured 12″ x 18â” and the edges had been trimmed to accommodate its frame. All balloons and paste-ups were present, however, and the buyer was happy.

A nearly complete set of extremely rare four-page broadsides, printed by the Dun Emer / Cuala Press in Ireland from June 1908 to May 1915 (83 issues total), sold as one lot for $33,900. Only Vol. II, #10 was missing. Each broadside (and the publication was titled A Broadsideâ) included two colored and one black-and-white illustrations by Jack Yeats. Only 300 copies of each issue were printed at all.

A fan card signed by all four Beatles at Glasgow Airport in Scotland for a police officer assigned to their security detail during a tour in the early 1960s sold for $18,080. The card came with a photo of the actual signing, plus a newspaper centerfold picturing the recipient saluting the Beatles upon their arrival in Glasgow. The signatures were clear and strong, although there was a little ink smearing.

A complete set of Goudey baseball cards (96) from 1934, in varying grades and with more than one Lou Gehrig card included, was a hit at $14,690. A Sporting Life card of Honus Wagner, produced in the early 1900s but degraded after its removal from a sloppily kept scrapbook, hammered for $4,800; and a Roy Campanella #31 Bowman card from 1951, graded SGC 96 Mint, changed hands for $4,745.

dracula.JPGA rare, first-edition copy of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” (Constable, 1897), first issue, in good shape and printed on thick stock, with uncut page edges and no advertisements in the back, achieved $14,690; three documents signed by Gen. George A. Custer (The Battle of Little Big Horn) were sold as single lots for a combined $12,100; and a bicycle lapel button collection (circa 1900) reached $2,700.

A British stamp collection from a single estate and featuring British Omnibus issues fetched $11,300. The set also included Sierra Leone 153-162 mint and 163-165 used; Newfoundland C12 and C18 mint C3 on cover; Antigua 67-76 used on piece; Montserrat 75-84, two mint sets; Falkland 65-76, two mint sets; Falkland 54-64 mint; Newfoundland C18 used on piece; and Tanganyka 10-28 mint.

Philip Weiss Auctions will close out 2007 with a huge toy sale that will include 50s and 60s TV character toys and premiums (Part 2 of the Steve Rathkopf Collection); trains and train accessories; die-cast vehicles; a wonderful comic character collection (Disney, Popeye wind-ups, toy soldiers); dime store items; and a single-owner collection of Elastolin soldiers, bunkers, military vehicles and more.

The sale will also feature better cast-iron toys and banks; a large collection of vintage bisque dolls; a single-owner collection of vintage Howdy Doody collectibles and figures; and a nice collection of Steiff animals. The auction is scheduled for the weekend of December 15-16. “We had to have it over the course of two days,” Mr. Weiss said. “There was just too much material“ up to 2,000 lots total.

Then, following an estate sale in late January 2008, Philip Weiss Auctions will present the first of four sales dedicated to The Newport Collection: A Single-Owner Collection of American Philatelic Rarities, on February 9th. The sale will feature some of the most desirable stamps in the world, including 24 examples of the coveted United States Inverted Centers (Inverts). A few examples follow:

A mint example of #C3a, “The Inverted Jenny” (Position 31); #119b unused, one of only three known examples; #119b used; #120b and #121b unused; all three Pan American Inverts, all mint; Revenues, with inverted centers, including #R104a, R111a, R118a and R144a. Everything comes with Philatelic Foundation certificates. Part Two of this sale will be held May 2008, Part Three in September.

In March or April of 2008, a toy and robot collection will be sold that could bring $500,000.

Philip Weiss Auctions is a full-service auction facility, with a spacious gallery located at #1 Neil Court in Oceanside, N.Y. To learn more about the company and the upcoming auction dates, log on to www.philipweissauctions.com. The firm is always accepting quality consignments for future sales. To consign an item, estate or collection, call (516) 594-0731, or e-mail to phil@philipweissauctions.com.

Category: Auction News

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