Just announced: Big change in world of gun auctions…

In a Stunning Move, Morphy Auctions Merges with James D. Julia, Inc.
In a Stunning Move, Morphy Auctions Merges with James D. Julia, Inc.

An era has ended. This just in from Julia’s:

Morphy Auctions has Merged with James D. Julia to be International Leader in Multiple Collecting Categories

Effective December 14th, 2017, Dan Morphy of Morphy Auctions, proudly announced that he has successfully merged with the renowned international auction company of James D. Julia, Inc., which will become a division of Morphy Auctions.

Morphy Auctions and James D. Julia Inc. share a common purpose of delighting collectors worldwide with aligned missions and unparalleled customer service standards. Joining forces creates a synergistic team of passionate staff members to better serve our customers and strengthen the antiques and collectibles industry.

Both companies take pride in having the most talented and knowledgeable experts in the industry. One of the biggest advantages to this merger is blending both teams of leading experts to enhance processes, descriptions and valuations. Morphy Auctions realized annual sales of $35 million dollars within the last year. Within this same time, Julia’s generated $43 million dollars in annual sales; for a combined gross of $78 million dollars. With this combined total of annual sales, Morphy Auctions is the one of the largest antique auction houses in North America.

Morphy Auctions has experienced tremendous growth over the years. The combination of the highly experienced and much acclaimed Julia team together with the outstanding auction team that Morphy has already formed, will make Morphy Auctions the ultimate place to go for rare firearms and important lamp & glass; as well as, toys, dolls, advertising, coin-op, automobilia and petroliana, and all forms of decorative arts.

Dan Morphy, Founder and President of Morphy Auction Company stated, “I have literally spent all my life watching and learning from Jim. With nearly 50 years in the industry, Jim has an undisputed reputation and I admire and will emulate his business approach towards his clients and employees. It is an honor and privilege to have this new association with someone I have considered to be a mentor and leader in the industry.

Over the years, Jim Julia crafted an extraordinary team and unique auction company as a result of his philosophy, business acumen and direct, honest approach with his clients whether they be buyers or sellers. I have always tried to incorporate the same approach. In merging with Julia’s extraordinary team, I intend to make the transition as seamless as possible. The bottom-line is that I not only want to merge Jim Julia’s company and his people but I want to expand the philosophy of our business to include much of what created extraordinary success for Jim.”

Jim Julia, Founder and President of James D. Julia Inc., shared, “I had never considered not being in the auction business and I have, for many years, contended that I, like my father (who passed away at nearly 90 years old this past year), would continue to auction well into my 80’s, provided my health allowed it. The limitation in my mind had always been my personal health. But in November of 2016, my wife received a devastating diagnosis of incurable brain cancer. I immediately realized that as much as I loved the people, the antiques, and the excitement of the auction; there was nothing more important in this world to me than my wife, and I elected to devote my time to my wife, Sandy. From November of 2016 until today, my auction company never skipped a beat and has been extremely successful under the leadership of my good friend and CEO, Mark Ford, who continued to lead, improve and expand our company.

A short while ago, Dan Morphy called to speak with me and asked if I would consider selling the company or doing some sort of joint venture. I explained to him that there were 3 things that were incredibly important to me; first, of course, was what was in the best interest of me and my wife, secondly, my obligation to my incredibly loyal and dedicated team of employees, and thirdly, wanting to do what would best serve all of the wonderful consignors and buyers that the company had developed over the years. The ensuing conversations with Dan, and ultimately the deal we were able to put together, allowed me to cover all three of these factors.

I have always admired Dan, his youth, his energy, his tremendous drive and his success. I knew and did business with Dan before he became an auctioneer and watched him as he entered the auction business and the subsequent dramatic growth he experienced. Dan is a superb leader and this was very clear and obvious during our negotiations about the melding of the two companies.”

Julia’s currently has scheduled a Fine Art, Asian & Antiques auction in February of 2018 and our spring Extraordinary Firearms Auction which will take place in March. To facilitate a seamless transition, the Julia team will manage and conduct both sales in Fairfield, Maine, as we have in the past. Morphy’s will hold all future auctions and accept consignments in their Pennsylvania and Nevada locations.

Other great Foxes at Julia’s next week…

 

VERY RARE (54 PRODUCED) HIGH ORIGINAL CONDITION SPECIAL ORDER FOX 20 GAUGE “DE” SHOTGUN WITH SINGLE TRIGGER.
VERY RARE (54 PRODUCED) HIGH ORIGINAL CONDITION SPECIAL ORDER FOX 20 GAUGE “DE” SHOTGUN WITH SINGLE TRIGGER.

As I mentioned on MondayJames D. Julia Auctioneers has an insane collection of A.H. Fox double-barrel shotguns coming up in their Fall 2017 sale, which starts this Monday, 10/30.

While this sale features a number of super rare, super big money Foxes like this incredible 20 bore FE (estimate $150,000-$225,000) and this fantastic special order 20 bore DE with a single trigger (estimate $27,500-$42,500), it also features some lower-grade models with lower reserves and still a ton of original condition.

RARE, AS FOUND, HIGH ORIGINAL CONDITION SMALL BORE PHILADELPHIA FOX “XE” SHOTGUN WITH FACTORY LETTER. ESTIMATE $9,000-$14,000

RARE, AS FOUND, HIGH ORIGINAL CONDITION SMALL BORE PHILADELPHIA FOX “XE” SHOTGUN WITH FACTORY LETTER.
RARE, AS FOUND, HIGH ORIGINAL CONDITION SMALL BORE PHILADELPHIA FOX “XE” SHOTGUN WITH FACTORY LETTER.

INCREDIBLE VERY NEAR TO NEW 16 GAUGE “CE” PHILADELPHIA FOX SHOTGUN. ESTIMATE $12,500-$17,500

INCREDIBLE VERY NEAR TO NEW 16 GAUGE “CE” PHILADELPHIA FOX SHOTGUN. ESTIMATE $12,500-$17,500
INCREDIBLE VERY NEAR TO NEW 16 GAUGE “CE” PHILADELPHIA FOX SHOTGUN. ESTIMATE $12,500-$17,500

NEAR NEW ORIGINAL CONDITION FOX “A” GRADE SHOTGUN. ESTIMATE $3,500-$5,500

NEAR NEW ORIGINAL CONDITION FOX “A” GRADE SHOTGUN. ESTIMATE $3,500-$5,500
NEAR NEW ORIGINAL CONDITION FOX “A” GRADE SHOTGUN. ESTIMATE $3,500-$5,500

Worth a closer look: More nice shotguns coming up at Julia’s…

THEATE FRERES 28 GA. DOUBLE BARREL HAMMER SHOTGUN
THEATE FRERES 28 GA. DOUBLE BARREL HAMMER SHOTGUN

Nice hammerguns are to find. So when I saw these three on Saturday at the preview for James D. Julia’s 3/12 auction, I stopped and gave each one a closer look. They’re nice shotguns, and all three –a 28 gauge, a 20 gauge, and a lightweight 20 gauge — are very hard to find.

LOT: 2202. THEATE FRERES 28 GA. HAMMER GUN. SN 2135. Cal. 28 ga. 2-3/4″ Chambers. 29-1/2″ Dovetailed steel bbls are gold inlaid “Acier Extra” (Extra steel) and “Para Polvora Sem Fumaca” (For smokeless powder) on tops, which are also stamped “Theate Freres” and “Liege”. Raised, matted game rib is gold inlaid “Casa Laport”, breech end “28”. Bbl flats are stamped with Belgian nitro proofs for 28 ga 2-3/4″ chambers. Coin finished back sidelock hammer action features square crossbolt third fastener, side clips, and double triggers. Locks have rebounding hammers. Action is engraved with rudimentary scroll, and dog pointing flushing duck on each side. Nicely figured European walnut straight grip buttstock measures 14-7/8″ over red open sided pad. Matching forend has Anson release. Bore diameter: left-.555, right -.550. Bore restrictions: left -.030 (extra full), right -.020 (full). Wall thickness: left -.024, right -.026. Drop at heel: 2-3/8″, drop at comb: 1-1/4″. Weight: 5 lbs. 4 oz. LOP: 14-7/8″.

CONDITION: Excellent, retaining nearly all of its orig finish on wood and metal, bottom of action browned somewhat. Pad is petrified. Wood has some minor marks. Sling eyes have been removed from bbl and butt (replaced by Phillips screw). Bores are excellent, bright and shiny. Action is tight. Bbls are on face. Locks are crisp. Hammers are a bit loose on tumblers. Twenty-eight gauge hammer guns in this kind of condition are hard to find, especially with long bbls and stock. This sleek little gun should be a lot of fun to shoot.

Estimate: $1,500-$2,500

WILLIAM POWELL BAR IN WOOD 20 Gauge Double Barrel Hammer Shotgun
WILLIAM POWELL BAR IN WOOD 20 Gauge Double Barrel Hammer Shotgun

LOT: 2183. WILLIAM POWELL BAR IN WOOD 20 BORE HAMMER GUN. SN 6920. Cal. 20 ga. 2-1/2″ Chambers. 29″ Blued Damascus bbls are engraved “William Powell & Son, 13, Carrs Lane, Birmingham” on broad, concave game rib. Bottoms of bbls are stamped with Birmingham black powder proofs for 20 bore and 22 muzzle, and “Not for Ball”. Bar in wood action is stamped “Powell’s Patent” on water table, referring to locking system, which in this case uses a pivoting top lever and mid mounted crossbolt instead of the usual Powell push-up lever. Rebounding sidelocks have high spurred, round bodied, serpentine hammers. Action and locks are engraved with nicely cut medium scroll. “William Powell & Son” is on each lockplate. Trigger plate has double ball finial with SN on tang. Trigger guard is scroll engraved on bow. Nicely marbled European walnut straight grip buttstock measures 14-1/16″ over leather faced Silver type pad with white line spacer. Flat top point pattern checkering is at grip and a vacant silver oval is on toe line. Matching, but fully checkered, splinter forend has Anson release with Anson patent marking on iron. Bore diameter: left-.622, right -.623. Bore restrictions: left -.015 (mod), right -.014 (mod). Wall thickness: left -.033, right -.035. Drop at heel: 2-7/16″, drop at comb: 1-1/2″. Weight: 5 lbs. 13 oz. LOP: 14-1/16″.

CONDITION: Good. Bbls retain most of an old matte re-black, no Damascus pattern showing. Action and lockplates mostly cleaned to pewter gray, with scant traces of orig color hardening visible where protected by hammers. Stock retains most of an old oil finish over visible sanding marks. Checkering re-run long ago on buttstock. Forend checkering is considerably worn. Action is slightly loose even though punch marks, from “blacksmith” tightening, are visible at hook and locking lug. Locks are crisp. Left hammer screw is a modern replacement. Bores are bright and shiny with some scattered pits. A rare, high grade small bore hammer gun that’s certainly worth restoring to its former glory.

Estimate: $1,500-$2,500

12 gauge W. & C. Scott Zephyr Lightweight Double Barrel Hammer Shotgun
12 gauge W. & C. Scott Zephyr Lightweight Double Barrel Hammer Shotgun

LOT: 2181. W. & C. SCOTT “THE ZEPHYR” HAMMER GUN. SN 46949. (ca 1893) Cal. 12 ga. 2-3/4″ Chambers. This unusual lightweight gun has 28-3/16″ two stripe Damascus bbls with concave, matted game rib engraved “W & C Scott & Son Makers & Patentees London.” on unmatted portion. Top of left bbl is engraved “The Zephyr”. Bbl flats are stamped with Birmingham black powder proofs, “Choke”, and “England”. Special lightweight action with tiny bar mounting rebounding hammer back action sidelocks derives extra strength from dolls head extension. Action is engraved with about 50% coverage medium scroll. Sidelocks are engraved with semi-relief shaded oak leaves. Locks are engraved “W & C Scott & Son”. Scroll engraved trigger guard has SN at grip. Broadly striped and nicely figured European walnut Prince of Wales grip buttstock measures 13-7/8″ over Silver pad, and features flat top point pattern checkering with mullered borders, and a vacant silver oval on toe line. Fully checkered splinter forend has engraved metal tip and pluck-off tension spring release. Bore diameter: left-.734, right -.734. Bore restrictions: left -.030 (full), right -.010 (IC). Wall thickness: left -.029, right -.032. Drop at heel: 3-1/4″, drop at comb: 1-7/8″. Weight: 5 lbs. 9 oz. LOP: 13-7/8″.

CONDITION: Fine. Bbls retain nearly all of a very fine re-brown with good definition to pattern, over some scattered pitting. Action retains approx 30% orig case hardening color where protected, but is mostly pewter gray. Stocks retain most of an old rubbed oil finish with a few subsequent minor marks, checkering competently re-cut. All restoration work appears to have been done quite a long while ago. Action is tight. Bbls are somewhat off face. Dolls head shows some peaning. Locks are crisp. Left hammer is an unengraved replacement, but is of the correct style. Bores are very fine, shiny throughout, with some light frosting. Overall, a very unique and classic shotgun.

Estimate $1,000-$1,500

 

Another good gun at Julia’s: 24g Charles Daly Regent Diamond grade

Charles Daly was a businessman, not a gunmaker. Born in 1839, he partnered with August Shoverling around 1875 to import shotguns into the United States. These side-by-sides were marketed under Charles Daly’s name, and up to about WW2, they were some of the finest double-barrel shotguns for sale in the US.

A Charles Daly Regent Diamond Grade 24 gauge
A Charles Daly Regent Diamond Grade 24 gauge

This little 24 gauge at Julia’s March 2012 auctions shows just how nice a Charles Daly can be.  This is a Diamond Regent, and while this was the highest grade gun Charles Daly offered, some Diamond Regents were fancier than others, like this 16 gauge from the NRA’s Robert Peterson collection.

As for the gauge – 24 – I’ve seen a handful of shotguns made for it. All these guns have been european, and I think most of them were Italian. I’ve heard that 24 gauges are popular in South America for doves and in Europe for smaller upland game. If you buy this Daly, this  Fiocchi 24 gauge ammo is out there and available.

Prussian-made Charles Daly side-by-side shotguns were very expensive back in their day.  Schoverling, Daly & Gales listed the Diamond Regent for $500 in their 1907 catalog. Parker was asking the same price for their just introduced A-1 Special.

Today, Parker A-1 Specials brings much more on the collector’s market. But I don’t think they’re better shotgun. Dalys have always been fantastic doubles, and many people think they’re among the finest boxlocks ever made. I agree with them.

Here’s the complete listing of this gun from Julia’s website:

Lot #1190A: RARE AND DAINTY CHAS DALY REGENT DIAMOND 24 GA SHOTGUN.

SN 1736. Cal. 24 Ga. Wonderful, Prussian, Linder made Daly with factory 24” bbls, 2-3/4″ chambers with tapered, concave, matted ribs and sgl metal bead.“CHARLES DALY REGENT DIAMOND QUALITY” is inlaid in gold with scroll engraving extending about 6-1/2” up the rib. It has a rib extension with dbl bites, selective ejectors & checkered dbl triggers. Dovetail bbls are made of Excelsior steel by Witten and bear the maker’s brand along with the crossed pistols and “HAL” markings indicative of Linder made guns.

Scalloped receiver is stamped “PRUSSIA” on the water table is wonderfully engraved with full coverage flowing deep-relief scrollwork having a small oval vignette of four partridge on left side, two pheasant on right side, the indicative large gold crown is on bottom with two intricate snipe in an oval on trigger bow. Fences are deep relief engraved in flowing acanthus patterns with sculpted rib across radius with side clips.

Receiver also has cocking indicators & maker’s name along the base of the bbl bosses with “SAFE” in gold on top tang. Mounted with superb,honey & chocolate Circassian walnut with ebony tipped Prince of Wales grip with checkered side panels and drop points. Bottom of stock has a small gold oval engraved “H.M.A.”. Matching splinter forend has ebony tip with appended metal engraved to match gun.

Bore diameter: left -.587, right -.589. Bore restrictions: left -.020, right -.003 Wall thickness: left -.025, right -.023. Drop at heel: 2-7/8″, drop at comb: 1-3/4″. Weight: 4lbs. 12oz, LOP 13 3/4” over a 1/2″ well-matched stock extension and solid red pad. PROVENANCE: Ex- William Keith Neal Collection (Consignor’s grandfather and noted British antique arms collector).

CONDITION: Very good plus. Bbls retain most of their orig finish with areas of light to moderate pitting towards the muzzles and one or two light handling marks. Action retains most of its vibrant case colors underneath sharp engraving. Wood is sound and retains about all of its orig hand rubbed finish with scattered light dents & dings from normal handling. Recoil pad is slightly flattened and separating from its base at toe. Bore is bright and shiny. Mechanics are crisp, ejectors in time. A diminutive and rare beauty! Schoverling ,Daly & Gales offered this grade(No. 500)at $500 in their 1907 catalog. 4-45629 JWD24 (15,000-20,000)

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