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Firearm aficionados should set their sights on the Denver-based Morphy Auctions Extraordinary Firearms Auction on Nov. 17 and 18.
“The November auction is one of the best offerings of high-end firearms we’ve had in quite a while and includes a fantastic selection of single-action Colt revolvers, the sidearms that became known as the guns that won the West,” Dan Morphy, president of Morphy Auctions, said in a press release. “They were favorites of the military, lawmen, and criminals alike.”
The auction, which is loaded with historically significant firearms, features a renowned Colt “Buntline Special” single-action Army Revolver previously owned by dedicated collector Mel Guy with an estimate of $400,000-$800,000.
The “Buntline Special,” with its distinctive 16-inch barrel, is steeped in Old West lore. According to a press release from Morphy Auctions, author Stuart Lake wrote in his 1931 biography “Wyatt Earp – Frontier Marshall,” that 19th-century pulp writer Edward Judson (whose pen name was Ned Buntline) once commissioned Colt to produce five revolvers known as “Buntline Specials” to present to Dodge City lawmen including Wyatt Earp. Guy spent decades attempting to track down one of the five rare revolvers.
Eventually, Guy acquired a “Buntline Special” and, through extensive research, was able to have his revolver definitively identified as one of Colt’s first generation of “Buntlines.” It is unknown whether any of these revolvers were actually given to Earp.
“That has never been proven or, for that matter, disproven,” said Morphy in a press release. “However, Stuart Lake wrote in the Wyatt Earp biography that, of the five who received Buntlines from Judson, only Earp kept his pistol at its original length. The other four men supposedly cut the barrels of their guns down to the standard 7½ inches or shorter.”
Other lots with notable historical significance are personal and military effects, including a pair of pistols, owned by Revolutionary War Union Brigadier General Moses Porter. The lot is estimated at $100,000-$150,000.
A particularly interesting item available during the Nov. 17 and 18 auction is the a silver pocket watch owned by president of the Confederate States Jefferson Davis. According to the Morphy Auctions press release, Davis traded the watch to a Canadian cobbler for a pair of boots, and the watch remained in the cobbler’s family for more than a century. The watch, with documentation, has an estimate of $50,000-$100,000.
The auction also features more than 100 National Firearms Act lots including a high-original-condition Colt 1921A Thompson machine gun. The gun, a symbol of the Prohibition gangster-era, marks its 100th anniversary and has an estimate of $50,000-$100,000.
The auction will take place live on Nov. 17 and 18 beginning at 9 a.m. at Morphy’s gallery, located at 2000 N. Reading Road in Denver. And online at morphyauctions.com. The illustrated catalog is available to view on morphyauctions.com. For more information, call 877-968-8880 or visit morphyauctions.com.
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