Browning shotguns, Pennsylvania family's Civil War archive dominate prices realized at Morphy's sale

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Friday, March 1, 2024

Browning shotguns, Pennsylvania family's Civil War archive dominate prices realized at Morphy's sale
Closeup of engraving on frame shows game birds in marshy setting. Morphy Auctions image

DENVER, PA.- An exquisite, high-grade Belgian Browning Superposed 10-gauge over/under shotgun with Germanic styling was the star of Morphy’s $1.44 million auction of antique and vintage firearms held July 24-25. The gun’s heavily engraved frame – with a coin silver finish adorned by four gold repousse game birds in flight – was “a thing of beauty to behold,” said Dave Bushing, head of Morphy Auctions Firearms division. Signed by revered engraver Angelo Bee and accompanied by its original Browning shipping box, the shotgun sold well above estimate at $27,600. All prices quoted in this report are inclusive of 20% buyer’s premium.

Several other boxed over/under Belgian Brownings finished in the top 10, including a Superposed 28-gauge shotgun built in 1967, $13,200; and a 12-gauge model crafted at the Browning Custom Shop in Herstal, $10,800. A 12-gauge “Diana grade” Browning Superposed shotgun with hard leather case was bid to an above-estimate price of $7,200.

One of the finest Winchester Pope custom high-wall single-shot rifle with a 30-inch round barrel chambered for the .22mm long-rifle cartridge displayed desirable factory alterations to its frame, hammer, coil mainspring and fitting scope blocks. These types of alterations, which were the work of Winchester gunsmith H.M. Pope, are listed in an original Winchester archives invoice dated April 2, 1927. Morphy’s example sold at the midpoint of its estimate for $14,200.

The centerpiece of the sale was a family collection of Civil War guns, apparel and battlefield implements that had been passed down over many generations by descendants of brothers George and Charles Roberts of East Goshen Township, Pennsylvania. In 1862, the brothers heeded the call to arms and joined the Union Army. George, then an up-and-coming Chicago lawyer with a degree from Yale, enlisted in the 42nd Illinois Volunteers. He was commissioned to the rank of major and later promoted to brigadier general. Charles, who joined the 124th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, eventually rose to the rank of captain.

Of the Roberts archival items offered in the auction, top highlights included a high-grade Civil War officer’s sword presented to Charles W. Roberts on Feb. 22, 1863 by members of company A, 124th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. Against an estimate of $6,000-$8,000, it sold for $11,400. His brother’s Civil War double-breasted frock coat with the words “Col. [George] Roberts February 11th, 1862” inside its collar was acquired at the auction for $10,800 against expectations of $4,000-$5,000. The coat was followed in the catalog by a Civil War officer’s pork pie slouch that belonged to Col. Roberts while acting as brigadier general of the 42nd Illinois Regiment. It sold for $8,400.

An additional selection of edged weapons offered by Morphy’s included a Tiffany high-grade presentation sword given to Captain George Van Beak (d. 1877) by Company A, 33rd Missouri Volunteers. An exceptionally fine, silver-hilt sword with leather scabbard, it reached its high estimate at $12,000.

After the auction, Morphy’s founder and president, Dan Morphy, remarked that Internet bidding had been very strong throughout the sale – attributable in no small measure to the lure of the Roberts collection. “To firearms and militaria collectors, the Civil War era is still one of the most fascinating periods in history. I doubt that will ever change.”

Morphy said he felt particularly gratified that members of the Roberts family had contacted him after the sale. “They were very pleased, both with the results and the way our team had handled and marketed their important historical heirlooms,” Morphy said.

Today's News

August 12, 2015

Picasso painting seized on yacht escorted to the Reina Sofia Museum by Spanish police

Tate announces first exhibition to survey an unexplored yet significant element of Francis Bacon's work

Staff at London's National Gallery go on indefinite strike to protest at the outsourcing of some services

Gagosian Gallery now represents founder of video art Nam June Paik Estate

Critic and scholar Annette Michelsen donates her papers to the Getty Research Institute

The Whitney Museum of American Art to debut 'Frank Stella: A Retrospective' this October

Earliest known photograph of Smithsonian Castle goes on display to celebrate institution's 169th birthday

Tate invites online visitors to identify unknown locations in John Piper's photographs of Britain

Gabriel Garcia Marquez's ashes to be returned to his native Colombia in December

Browning shotguns, Pennsylvania family's Civil War archive dominate prices realized at Morphy's sale

Cook up an Edible Masterpiece and help raise money for UK museums and galleries

Unique cultural project housed on a remote beach in the Norwegian Arctic Circle

'World of Toy Soldiers' awaits collectors in 3-day online-only auction, Aug. 28-30

The Other Art Fair returns to Old Truman Brewery for its tenth anniversary edition

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image to present 'Textures of Conflict: Frontline Reportage'

'Behind the Lens' live with legendary rock 'n' roll photographers Henry Diltz and Pattie Boyd

'Raw and Delirious' on view at Kunsthalle Bern

Zurich Asia to offer rare philatelic treasures of imperial and modern China

Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates to auction country store, glass, and advertising memorabilia

Tabanlıoğlu Architects to debut installation at Somerset House - London Design Festival 2015

Exhibition at Casa dell'Arte features works by contemporary Turkish artists

Long taboo, Kurdish culture sees renaissance in Syria

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful