Morphy’s Gun Auction November 17-18 will be crowned by Mel Guy’s Army Colt ‘Buntline Special’ …
On November 17-18, Morphy’s will proudly present its Extraordinary Fall Firearms Auction 2021, the latest in a series known for its premier shipments from long-standing private collections. As always, a historically significant firearm will serve as the centerpiece, following in the footsteps of icons such as the flintlock musket that fired the first shot at the Battle of Bunker Hill (sold by Morphy’s for $ 492,000 on October 23, 2019). The iconic firearm from the November sale is one of the most renowned and coveted of all known Colt single-action revolvers: Mel Guy’s “Buntline Special”.
A devoted collector of over 300 ancient Colt six-shotguns, the late Mel Guy has spent decades trying to track down an elusive Buntline, visually distinctive for its 16-inch barrel and linked to a legend involving famous lawmen from the Far West. As the story goes, in 1931 author Stuart Lake published a widely fictionalized biography titled Wyatt Earp – Frontier Marshall. According to Lake, 19th-century novelist Edward Judson (pen name: Ned Buntline) once commissioned Colt to produce five single-action army revolvers – known as Buntline Specials – to present to the lawyers. of Dodge City as a thank you for sharing their border sons with him. . One of those recipients, Judson said, was Wyatt Earp.
Guy became obsessed with the possibility that one of these five Buntlines could actually exist. He spent decades searching until he finally found what he believed to be the genuine item, and this is the very weapon that will be auctioned off by Morphy’s later this month. At the time of Guy’s acquisition of the Buntline, some wondered why a serial number did not appear on his cylinder. This was resolved by further research and old Colt factory records which confirmed that some Buntlines were, indeed, manufactured without serial numbers on their cylinders. In addition, Mel Guy’s revolver has been definitively identified as the last of the first generation of Buntlines shipped by Colt. Have any original Buntline specials been offered to Wyatt Earp? “This has never been proven or, for that matter, disproved,” said Dan Morphy, president of Morphy Auctions. However, Stuart Lake wrote in the biography of Wyatt Earp that, of the five who received buntlines from Judson, only Earp kept his pistol at its original length. The other four men are said to have cut the barrels of their guns. at 7 and a half inches or less.
The Buntline Special has become inextricably linked to the enduring myth of Wyatt Earp. In the 1955-’61 television series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, the lawyer and gunman of the Wild West is rarely seen without the studio version of his long-barreled gun. This media exposure led to renewed interest in buntlines and inspired Colt to introduce a limited number of large caliber single action armies with 12 inch guns, which they named “Buntline Specials”.
Accompanied by extensive provenance and numerous letters from well-known Colt collectors and experts attesting to the authenticity and originality of the revolver, Mel Guy’s Buntline Special is up for auction with an estimate of $ 400,000 to $ 800,000.
“The November auction is one of the best high-end gun deals we’ve had in quite some time and includes a fantastic selection of single-action Colt revolvers, the handguns that have become the staple guns. guns that have won the West, ”Morphy mentioned. “They were the favorites of the military, lawyers and criminals. A prime example of the auction’s treasure is a historic, factory-engraved, luxury, single-action Colt revolver from 1906 and a gun rig owned by Sheriff CA Farnsworth of Silver City, New Mexico, but later lost in a game of poker. Accompanied by the Colt Archives letter of 1963, this very well documented weapon is estimated between 150,000 and 250,000 dollars.
An extraordinary War of Independence archive consisting of the personal and military effects of Union Brigadier General Moses Porter (1756-1822), includes a pair of US 1805 (Harper’s Ferry) pistols with a lockdown date of 1807. Porter saw action in some of the most pivotal battles of his time, including Saratoga, Bunker Hill, Brandywine, Germantown, and Valley Forge. This lot is a time capsule of Porter’s career and is valued between $ 100,000 and $ 150,000.
The auction features a stellar group of “Henry” caliber lever action rifles. . In the group is an 1860 Henry Rimfire model made in 1865 by The New Haven Arms Co., New Haven, Connecticut. Distinctive with its octagonal Henry barrel and stamped with the serial number 8359, it could reach $ 30,000 to $ 40,000 on auction day.
Also steeped in American history, Lot 1140 is the personal silver pocket watch of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Stripped of his possessions after the Civil War and sentenced to death for treason, Davis was released from prison on $ 100,000 bail paid by several advocates of slavery. He fled to Canada knowing he had to return at a later date. In the small town of Lennoxville, Quebec, Davis traded in his watch to a shoemaker for a pair of boots. The watch remained in the shoemaker’s family for over 100 years, and from 2006 to 2010 was on display at the First White House of Confederation in Alabama. With extensive documentation, the Jefferson Davis pocket watch is estimated at between $ 50,000 and $ 100,000.
All types of top-notch rifles and shotguns imaginable, both modern and vintage, can be found in Morphy’s sale. One of many beautiful and very high quality examples, a set of two 1970s Fabbri (Italy) 12 gauge side-by-side cannons with case and papers is estimated to be between $ 35,000 and $ 45,000.
Additionally, there are over 100 National Firearms Act (NFA) bundles to choose from. Conjuring images of Al Capone’s nemesis Eliot Ness and his “Untouchables,” a spectacular 1921A Thompson 1921 Colt machine gun in high original condition, described by Morphy’s cataloguer as “the best [he] has never seen, ”was originally shipped in 1929 to the Chief of Police in Bowling Green, Ohio. Now up for auction in the year of the 100th anniversary of the model’s introduction, this preeminent Prohibition / Gangster Era weapon is transferable upon BATF approval as a Curiosity / Relic and carries an estimate. from $ 50,000 to $ 100,000.
Morphy’s Extraordinary Firearms Auction Wednesday, November 17-18, 2021 will take place live at the Morphy’s Gallery in Denver (Lancaster County), Pa., Starting daily at 9 a.m. ET. All forms of remote auctions will also be available, including live via the Internet through Morphy Live. View the fully illustrated online auction catalog, with detailed descriptions and multiple images per lot, at www.morphyauctions.com. Questions: call 877-968-8880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.