Greg Martin Auctions Offers Unique, Rare and Historic Arms & Militaria

Greg Martin Auctions’ sale on June 26 & 27 features an exceptional range of antique arms and militaria, including items from noted collections – many coming to auction for the very first time. The two-day live event will be held for the first time at Greg Martin Auctions’ offices in Irvine, California. Because of the offerings’ diversity, the auction will be grouped in four sessions: Fine Antique & Collectible Arms; Collectible Colts & Winchesters and Native American Artifacts; Modern Military and Commercial Firearms; and Sporting Arms and Fine Japanese Swords & Fittings.

Perhaps the biggest item in the sale – literally and figuratively – is the 1876 Gatling Gun, estimated to bring $175,000 – 250,000. On a wheeled carriage, the weapon is nearly 14 feet long and over four feet high and wide. The 19th-century rapid-fire machine gun was believed by its inventor Dr. Richard Gatling to have such horrific effects that it would prevent wars. This example has not come to auction for over three decades. Also rare and historic are two Confederate naval signal pennants captured from the gunboat C.S.S. Tennessee during the Civil War. The signal flags date from the deadly, ferocious Battle of Mobile Bay on August 5, 1864, renowned for U.S. Rear Admiral David Farragut’s impassioned charge, “Damn the torpedoes – full speed ahead!”

Also among the more than 1270 lots to come up for bid in June are a number of noteworthy collections:

– One grouping features over 50 prestigious, highly collectible pistols and rifles from the collection of the late Joe Buffer and his son Brian Buffer. The elder Mr. Buffer was known by collectors nationwide for his assemblage of the finest conditioned and collectible German, American and Japanese pistols, rifles and artifacts, which were amassed over 40 years. He was a highly decorated ex-Marine serving in both World War II and Korea who retired at the rank of Master Sergeant. Brian Buffer retired as a police officer from Redondo Beach, California, after 22 years of service. The Joe and Brian Buffer Collection includes Lot 3217, a 1940 Krieghoff Luger Semi-Automatic Pistol, with Complete Krieghoff Rig, estimated at $7,000 – 9,000.

– In addition, over 800 items from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will be offered at Greg Martin Auctions over various sales. Located in Oklahoma City, OK, the museum is America’s premier institution of Western history, art and culture, with annual attendance of over 250,000. According to Richard Rattenbury, Curator of History, the items to be deaccessioned at Greg Martin Auctions are duplicates of others in the museum, of lesser condition, or outside of its interpretive scope. All funds raised at auction will go into the Acquisition Fund to add to or maintain the museum’s collections.

Items to be sold by the museum include firearms and militaria such as clothing, cartridge cases and insignia. One noteworthy item in the June sale is Lot 4026 – a Fine Custom-Built and Scroll-Engraved Double Barrel L.C. Smith A2 Grade Sidelock Shotgun, Presented to W.F. “Doc” Carver by L.C. Smith Co. (Estimate: $10,000 – 20,000) One of the most remarkable sporting shots of the late 19th century, Doc Carver was a friend of Buffalo Bill Cody, Wild Bill Hickok and Gen. Phil Sheridan. With some of his $80,000 in prize winnings from 1882, Doc Carver originated the Wild West Show with Buffalo Bill Cody.

– The June auction also features an exceptional assemblage of fine Japanese edged weapons and fittings, from a Southern collector. Over 50 lots are presented for sale, including diverse swords, tantos, tsubas, kodzukas and fuchi kashiri sets.

According to Greg Martin, principal of the firm bearing his name, the June auction offers a tremendous range of product. “This auction’s offerings transcend quite a few strata within the arms collecting world,” said Mr. Martin. “In addition, many items are from acclaimed private collections that have never before come to market at auction. Buyers seeking quality and diversity will be delighted.”

Both the sale on Saturday and Sunday, June 26 & 27, and previews prior to the event will be held at Greg Martin Auctions’ Irvine offices – a new venue for the live auction. The two-day sale will be held in four sessions: beginning at noon on Saturday, June 26, Session I presents Fine Antique & Collectible Arms; Session II follows immediately with Collectible Colts & Winchesters, and Native American Artifacts. Starting at noon on Sunday, June 27, Session III offers Modern Military and Commercial Firearms; Session IV follows immediately with Sporting Arms and Fine Japanese Swords & Fittings. Greg Martin Auctions’ offices are located at 2152 Alton Parkway, Suite K, Irvine, California. Auction Previews are held from 10 am – 5 pm at the same location through June 25.

Highlights of the June auction include:

Lot 1267 – Rare Model 1876 Gatling Gun, on Wheeled Carriage, Extensively Marked Including “S. Colt” and “N.J.” and U.S. Ordnance Inspector Stamps, with Limber, and Magazine / Ammunition Chest. Designed by Dr. Richard Gatling and patented in 1862, the Gatling Gun was an early rapid-fire weapon and the first machine gun with reliable loading. The Model 1876 Gatling Gun was built at a significant period of U.S. Government campaigns against hostiles in the West, and was a featured display at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition. Held in Philadelphia, the Exhibition was officially opened by President Ulysses S. Grant. Dr. Gatling received the only medal given for a machine gun at the Centennial Exhibition. These coveted, bronze medals – four inches in diameter – were the largest ever struck at the Philadelphia Mint. This is the first time ever that this Gatling Gun has come to auction. (Estimate: $175,000 – 250,000).

Lot 2156 – Winchester Transition Fourth Model 1866 Lever Action Rifle Attributed to Indian Scout Luther S. “Yellowstone” Kelly together with Factory Letter and Arnold M. Chernoff Letter. (Estimate: $75,000 – 100,000)

Lot 2157 – Exceptional L.D. Nimschke Signed and Engraved Winchester Model 1866 Lever Action Saddlering Carbine. (Estimate: $50,000 – 75,000)

Lot 1178 – Exceptional and Historic Deluxe Providence Tool Co. Peabody-Martini Rifle, Exquisitely Engraved by C.F. Ulrich, with Traces of Gold Finish. (Estimate: $50,000 – 60,000)

Lot 2315 – Rare Cheyenne War Shirt, with 40 Horsehair Drops and U.S. Cavalry Buttons. (Estimate: $40,000 – 60,000)

Lot 3101 – Rare Walther PP H. Himmler Presentation Engraved Semi-Automatic Pistol. Exceedingly rare and one of only a handful known, this rare early wartime PP was evidently a presentation piece from RF-SS Heinrich Himmler. (Estimate: $20,000 – 40,000)

Lot 1234 – U.S. Springfield First Model 1873 Trapdoor Carbine, with Forensic Evidence Placing It with the U.S. 7th Cavalry, Troop C, at the Battle of Little Big Horn. (Estimate: $20,000 – 40,000)

Lot 2035 – Magnificent Abercrombie & Fitch Engraved and Gold Banded Colt Single Action Army Revolver, with Extra Cylinder. (Estimate: $20,000 – 30,000)

Lot 2210 – Rare Deluxe Winchester Model 1886 Lever Action Rifle, in .50 Express. (Estimate: $20,000 – 30,000)

Lot 1261 – Lot of Two Historic Confederate Civil War Naval Signal Pennants Captured from the Gunboat C.S.S. Tennessee During the Battle of Mobile Bay. (Estimate: $15,000 – 25,000)

Lot 1108 – Scarce and Ornate German Flintlock Jaeger Rifle, by Johan Zimmer, Cronach, Franconia ca. 1686. (Estimate: $15,000 – 25,000)

Lot 1097- Rare American Clip-Point Bowie Knife, by H. Huber. (Estimate: $15,000 – 20,000)

All items in the June auction are illustrated in the catalog, available by mail from Greg Martin Auctions or at the sale. The complete catalog – including full descriptions, estimates and photographs by individual lot – is available online.

Bidders can participate in various ways: onsite at Greg Martin Auctions’ offices in Irvine, via phone bidding and absentee bids. In addition, real-time, Internet bidding through Proxibid allows potential buyers online to view a photo of each item as it goes up for sale and to place a bid as selling is underway.

Greg Martin Auctions’ next live sale is scheduled for September 2010 in Anaheim, California.

Based in Orange County with an office in San Francisco, Greg Martin Auctions (GMA) provides collectors, institutions, dealers and enthusiasts with unsurpassed expertise and a complete range of services to appraise, value, market and sell fine antique, collectible and sporting arms, armor and historical memorabilia. A leading auction house for antique arms and historic memorabilia, Greg Martin Auctions has achieved the sale of some of the most important arms ever sold and numerous world records.

Greg Martin Auctions
2152 Alton Parkway, Suite K, Irvine, CA 92606
Tel: 1-949-748-4848 • 1-800-509-1988 (US/CAN)
Fax: 1-949-955-9205
[email protected]

Founded in 1988, Rodin & Shelley Associates provides marketing, communications and public relations services. For further information, please contact Jill M. Turner at 415-346-7300 or [email protected]