News-Antique.com - Sep 17,2010 - This past weekend rare and high quality firearms from the famous A.I. McCroskie collection were sold at Rock Island Auction Company. Clearly the two highlights of this collection and the auction were the catalog cover guns, a "One of One Thousand" Winchester first Model 1876 lever action rifle which after spirited bidding achieved $402,500 followed closely behind by the Magnificent Winchester, Deluxe, J Ulrich Signed Factory Engraved, First Model 1873 "One of One Thousand" Centennial Rifle used as a display piece for the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, commanding $276,000.
A headline collection of the auction was the stunning William Ashby military collection that drew bids from across the globe. This collection included over 85 sniper rifles in every variation, experimental rifles, rare handguns and a German Africa Corps BMW motorcycle. A rare WWII K98 Mauser double claw SS sniper rifle fetched $19,550, a rare late WWII Nazi VG1.5 Volkssturmgewehr semi-automatic rifle brought $57,500 and an exceptional experimental Nazi Steyr serial number 2 G42 ST bolt action sheet metal carbine realized $51,750. The fascinating German Africa Corps BMW motorcycle sold within the estimate at $37,375. The German WWII collection had held the audiences attention when a rare and historic Nazi diplomatic sword of war criminal Dr. Artur Syess-Inquart achieved $43,125, well above the $6,500 – 12,000 estimate.
When the hammer fell and the auctioneer said “sold” to the new owner of the mint Singer Model 1911A1 Pistol so did tears of joy fall from the consignor. This lot, estimated at $37,500 – 55,000, caused an exciting bidding battle until it finally sold for $166,750 setting a new world record (replacing a previous record for a Singer set by Rock Island Auction of $80,500). This pistol was owned by 1st Lt. Charles H. Clark, a pilot in the U.S. Air Corps during WWII. He recovered the pistol from a crash site of a B24 on May 11, 1943 and it has been in the family ever since.
U.S. and European Military always a strong genre at Rock Island Auction brought out the collectors as an exceptional Borchardt Model 1893 semi-automatic pistol with case and accessories photographed in “Luger The Multi National Pistol” sold at $54,625. A rare DWM Model 1902 Cartridge Counter American Eagle Test Luger brought $40,250. A very rare and exceptional WWII Inland "T3" Carbine and a scarce Remington Model M40A1 Marine Corps sniper rifle, both selling above estimate at $25,875 and $19,550 respectively. An extremely rare un-modified Colt Army Contract of 1907 semi-automatic pistol brought $34,500. Class III rounded out this selection headlined by a fully automatic Colt Model 1921 Thompson submachine gun with FBI carrying case, drum and stick magazines and accessories selling at $57,500.
There were over 500 sporting arms in this auction spanning the spectrum of extremely high quality to the high conditioned everyday field guns. Some highlights included a Cased Exhibition Quality Special Order Factory Engraved Gold Inlaid Connecticut Shotgun Manufacturing A.H. Fox double .22 rifle coming in at $46,000 and a Cased Engraved Gold Inlaid