Julia Auction Nets $18M, Bighorn carbine alone $126k

Julia-auction-Trapdoor_BigHorn_0Now that’s a big firearms auction. We showed you guys an authenticated Battle of the Little Bighorn Springfield trapdoor carbine before the auction (and note, we may have said it was in .45-70, we think it was actually in .45-55 caliber). And it sold at the auction for $126,500. That was right in the middle of the range Julia estimated. While auction estimates are often lowballs, intended to encourage bidding, the best pieces in this auction came in within, or very close to, the estimated range — either James D. Julia’s estimates are better than average, or the market is a bit soft.

If you call a market where many exotic collector pieces find new collections at five- and six-figure prices soft.

The entire 3 days of the auction was predominantly high valued items. In fact, this auction is believed to have had the greatest number of high valued firearms; over 523 items generated $10,000 or more. 167 items generated $25,000 or more and approximately 50 items generated $50,000 or more and 9 items generated over $100,000 or more.

The overall sum achieved on the auction is staggering, but not a record… Julia set that, they tell us, with a prior auction that also sold over $18 million. But some of the unsold lots are still being bought, and yesterday the company was saying they’d grossed $17 million, so this one may yet go over the top. In addition to the Julia sales, there was a prior sale of some lots which billed an additional $3 million, so the total for this sale, which included much of Dr. Geoffrey Sturgess’s incomparable Luger collection, is over $21 million.

If you’d like to push it a tad higher, the unsold lots on which you can still make an offer are here. These are all advanced collector pieces: lever action rifles, factory engraved classics, antiques including Civil War and Federal Period muskets, and some of the Sturgess Lugers, Broomhandles and other exotica.

3 thoughts on “Julia Auction Nets $18M, Bighorn carbine alone $126k

  1. Gary L Griffiths

    Technically, the 1873 Trapdoor Springfields were all chambered for the .45-70-405 cartridge, but the Army soon came out with a lighter loaded cartridge (.45-55) for the carbines because of the rather vicious recoil of the light carbine with the full-powered rifle load. The carbines could safely fire the full-powered cartridges but the cavalry troops who carried them were issued the lighter .45-55.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Thanks, Griff. I have more enthusiasm than knowledge about some of these old guns! We called it .45-70 in the initial story, but from reading the archaeology of the LBH book that Ian at Forgotten Weapons recommended,the casngs they found were described as .45-55. From your description, I take it that’s the same casing, the only difference is the powder load… and they didn’t make special short cases for the horse soldiers.

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