James D. Julia's October Firearms Auction to Feature Rare Kentucky Rifles, Historically Important Pistols, and Magnificently Ornate 16th and 17th Century European Guns

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These seldom seen, world-class firearms are exquisite examples of breathtaking craftsmanship; have fully documented multi-century provenance; and offer connoisseurs, enthusiasts, and museums the opportunity to own a truly one of a kind objet d'art.

Outstanding and Important Relief Carved Percussion Rifle by John Armstrong

I have no doubt that those who win these items at our upcoming auction will be exceptionally satisfied with their purchases and enjoy the bragging rites that come with such investments - Wes Dillon, Department Head, Rare Firearms and Military Division

James D. Julia, one of the nation's top ten antique auction houses, is excited to present this grouping of elite armaments in association with the company's upcoming Firearms Auction on October 14th - 16th, 2013. These outstanding rifles and pistols, from some of the best US and European collections, are certain to be of great interest to collectors, historians, curators, and those who appreciate the finest things in life, and will again showcase James D. Julia as the foremost firearms auction company in the world.

October's event features a selection of absolutely remarkable Kentucky long rifles and pistols. As a matter of fact, this will be the finest offering of raised carved Kentucky rifles and rare Kentucky pistols in history. The auction includes the collections of Dr. Douglas Sirkin of New York; Woody Frey of Pennsylvania; and Frank Sujansky, also of Pennsylvania. Kentucky long rifles are perhaps the greatest icons of early American firearms and are known for their long, curved profiles and ornamentation, as well as their ability to shoot at distances with great accuracy. Marksmen with these long rifles are credited in part for defending the port of New Orleans during final major battle of the War of 1812 as they were able to fire upon British forces long before these invaders could reach the Americans with the range of their European muskets.

Exceptional Kentucky long rifles in this auction include an Outstanding and Important Relief Carved Percussion Rifle by John Armstrong, which is estimated at $75,000-125,000. John Armstrong was a master 19th century gunsmith from Emmitsburg, MD who was known for his magnificent workmanship, fine designs, and exceptional detailing. This particular Armstrong rifle is 41-3/4" and elaborately decorated with silver inlays as well as relief, rococo, and basket weave carvings. This signed example is perhaps the finest of its type; it has survived in its original state and appears to have been fired only a few times. Another remarkable Kentucky long rifle in this auction is a Beautiful Littlestown School Relief Carved and Signed Frederick Sell Rifle, which is estimated at $30,000-50,000. Frederick Sell, from York, PA was, like Armstrong, considered to be one of the masters of Kentucky rifle production. This Sell rifle is 47-1/2" and features a finely engraved four-piece brass patchbox, which in itself is a work of art in both outline and engraving. This masterpiece is also carved profusely over the entire cheekpiece side of the butt, around the barrel tang, forward of the patchbox, and behind the rear ramrod pipe.

Kentucky pistols are rare and seldom seen on the secondary market; they were considered luxury items and far fewer were made during their production heyday in the early 19th century. Like the long rifles, they are known for their beauty and accuracy. An exceptional example of a Kentucky pistol is an Outstanding and Rare John Armstrong Kentucky Pistol Believed To Be The Only Signed Armstrong Pistol in Existence, which is estimated at $100,000-175,000. This 13-1/8" example, made from curly maple stock, features a pierced brass sideplate, large engraved silver buttplate, and handsome relief border carvings. Additionally, all the mountings are engraved by Armstrong in the finest manner, truly elevating this pistol into a class of its own.

Pairs of early American-made pistols are a second important focus of this upcoming firearms auction. For example, the Magnificent Renwick-Locke American Gold Inlaid Flintlock Dueling Pistols By James Haslett, Baltimore, Circa 1810, with an estimate of $75,000-125,000, are believed to be the finest American flintlock duelers in existence. James Haslett trained under the Irish gunsmith Robert McCormick, and as a result, brought many of the Irish firearms refinements to America. These pistols feature exuberant gold inlays including sunbursts, feathers, lightning bolts, arrows, and flowers; such elaborate decoration is most unusual on these types of firearms. The Hasletts are cased in a very fine quality French fitted walnut case with full accessories.

Another fantastic example of early American pistol sets in this auction is the Extremely Rare and Valuable Pair of American Walnut Stocked Revolutionary War Relief Carved Pistols Attributed to Dauphin School Gunsmith Peter Berry; the pair carries an estimate of $35,000-65,000. Each pistol is 9" and has high relief floral and leaf carving in the style of Peter Berry - an 18th century gunsmith from Pennsylvania - on their walnut stocks. These stocks have been documented by the USDA Forest Products Laboratory as American black walnut of the American Revolutionary War period. These pistols, made in the 1770-1780 time frame, rank among the most important pairs remaining in today's collections. This pair was most likely made for a high ranking officer during the Revolutionary War.

Outstanding 16th and 17th century European firearms from the Dr. Sirkin collection are a third featured area at Julia's fall event. This collection is considered the finest to come at auction in years. A few pistol highlights from this category include an Extremely Rare Alsatian Double Barreled Over and Under Wheel Lock Pistol, Sedan, Circa 1600, estimated at $50,000-75,000, and a Very Fine Matched Pair of Saxon Elector Guard Wheel Lock Pistols, Each Dated 1588, estimated at $40,000-60,000. Both are exceptional for their remarkable and illustrative inlays; the Alsatian firearm of this quality and rarity is seldom offered for sale, this being the first time in 23 years that one of this caliber has appeared at auction. The Saxon pistols are unusual because they are a true pair having the same date, "1588," and the same maker's name, "IS," with a cross and heart.

Very early rifle highlights from Europe include a Fine Silesian Wheel Lock Rifle, Circa 1640, estimated at $15,000-19,000, and a Superb Wheel Lock Rifle By Johann Mendel, Prague, Circa 1650, estimated at $25,000-50,000. The Silesian rifle is ornately decorated with regional motifs including a dog, stag, and squirrel, as well as multiple biblical references including Adam and Eve and Jacob ascending a ladder into Heaven. These religious inlays are not typical of Silesian decoration and may have been special ordered, possibly by a member of the clergy. The Mendel wheel lock rifle also features extraordinary detailing, including a lock deeply chiseled in relief with a king on horseback following a figure of Mercury holding a lion by his tail, as well as references to other mythical creatures, including sea monsters.

These important and one of a kind treasures represent the pinnacle in firearms and present the greatest opportunity in memory for enthusiasts to build upon - or begin - their collection of exceptional rarities.

According to Wes Dillon, James D. Julia's Department Head, Rare Firearms & Military Division, "Studying, cataloging, and preparing this absolutely exceptional collection has been awe-inspiring and one of the highlights of my career as a firearms specialist. Seeing the signatures on the Kentucky rifles and pistols transports me back 200 years in history. The quality of the carving, inlay, and engraving on the European guns will appeal to anyone interested in firearms as well as fine art; the work is so exquisite, intricate, and done by a true artisan. You don't see that caliber of work today. I have no doubt that those who win these items at our upcoming auction will be exceptionally satisfied with their purchases and enjoy the bragging rites that come with such investments."

About James D. Julia, Inc.:
James D. Julia, one of the top ten antique auction antique houses in North America, is headquartered in Fairfield, Maine. The company also has an office in Woburn, Massachusetts. In business for approximately 45 years, the company conducts high-end antique, collectible, and decorative arts auctions throughout the year. Julia's has routinely establishes new world records through its sales events. The company consists of four key divisions, including rare firearms; fine and Asian art and antiques; lamps and glass; and important toy, dolls, and antique advertising. Each division is regarded for its excellence and is staffed with world-class specialists to insure fair and professional authentication, identification, and valuation services.

James D. Julia is a proud recipient of the 2012 Governor’s award for Business Excellence, which is administered by the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. This honor recognizes companies that demonstrate a high level of commitment to the community, employees, and to manufacturing or to service excellence.

For more information on James D. Julia, Inc. and the company's October Firearms Auction, please visit http://www.jamesdjulia.com or click here.

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Wes Dillon, Department Head, Rare Firearms and Military Division
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