World’s finest and most expensive doubles??

Here’s something you don’t see every day.

Two Pistols, Two Cuckoos and $2.5 million
Two Pistols, Two Cuckoos and $2.5 million

It’s a pair of automatons in the shape of flintlock pistols. Automatons are machines that run on their own mechanics, without electrical or other sources of external power.

These automatons were made in Switzerland around 1820 and Christie’s is auctioning them off next week. They’re estimated to bring  $2,500,000+.

Read more about them in this article in the Wall Street Journal. And watch this video to see how they work.

No BS –they really are fascinating and a testimony to human imagination and craftsmanship.

Article about gun prices from Time…

Time magazine ran an interesting article on Wednesday about investing in fine double barrel shotguns:

Time magazine
Time magazine

“When the final hammer came down at the end of the December auction at Holt’s Auctioneers — which specializes in the sale of classic English shotguns — total sales had hit a record $2.72 million. Among the hot sellers: a pair of Purdey shotguns had sold for $131,200, while two guns made by Holland & Holland went for $128,000. “Those are impressive and reassuring figures,” says Roland Elworthy, a valuer at Holt’s…”

Read  the whole thing here.

I have my doubts about the 3%-4% annual return quoted in the article. The info comes from an auctioneer, a person with an interest in furthering the idea that guns are sound investments. Personally, I don’t see guns as “investments.” I think they’re speculations, and a tough way to make money. It can be done, but it’s hard to do with the 15% – 20% most auctioneers tack on to the hammer price.