May 26, 2022
Rock Island Auction Company (RIAC) concluded its first Premier Auction event of 2022 with a volume of more than $28.2 million, further positioning the company as the No. 1 firearms auction house in the world. The May Premier Auction ran from Friday, May 13 through Sunday, May 15 and was headlined by a significant and rare pair of revolvers presented to Civil War general and 18th U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant. The Remington New Model Army revolvers sold on Friday at Rock Island Auction Company for a record $5.17 million on the opening day of the three-day May Premier Auction.
“We are seeing remarkable prices in the collectible firearms market, and this is a tremendous example,” said Kevin Hogan President of Rock Island Auction Company. “The growth has been extraordinary year after year, but recently there has been an explosion in the fine arms marketplace. More and more collectors are recognizing the value and importance these objects can carry.”
The Remington revolvers only came to light at the 2018 Las Vegas Antique Arms Show and are being called an American treasure, drawing comparisons to President Abraham Lincoln's gilt and engraved Henry rifle or President George Washington's flintlock pistols. The revolvers were believed to have been presented to Grant after he captured Vicksburg on the Fourth of July in 1863 and thus secured the length of the Mississippi River for the Union.
Grant's Remington revolvers, numbered 1 and 2, are arguably the most significant firearms discovered from the Civil War. The set is covered with the artistry of L. D. Nimschke, one of the most renowned master engravers of the 19th century, and features grips carved with Grant's portrait. The set comes nestled in the original rosewood case with the full complement of accessories.
With more than 2,000 lots, the three-day auction surpassed Rock Island Auction Company's December 2021 Premier Auction's record of $25.2 million. Additional highlights from the May Premier Auction include the Winchester "One of One Hundred" Model 1873 lever-action rifle ($763,750); Wilbur Glahn engraved and gold inlaid Colt Single Action Army ($411,250); Confederate Dance and Brothers Revolver ($199,750); and lastly, the Ken Hunt engraved J. Purdey & Sons 28 Bore Sidelock shotgun ($235,000).
RIAC's May Premier Auction also included arms from well-known figures such as Wild Bill Hickok, Frank Sinatra, J. Edgar Hoover, and a Colt Single Action Army revolver documented as a battlefield pickup at the Little Bighorn. This May Premier Auction is the second largest in the company's history.
For more information, visit Rock Island Auction Company's Premier Firearms Auction.