James D. Julia's 2013 March Firearms Auction to Feature a Recently Discovered Important French Treasure: The Personal, Gold Encrusted Carbine of King Louis XV

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This historic 18th century gun was commissioned by the French King himself; it is detailed with his personal cypher and coat of arms in gold and features an extremely rare Lorenzoni repeating system, one of the most complex and highly prized designs of its time.

Louis XV German Sebastian Hauschka rifle

The offering of Louis XV’s gun is the first time in 41 years that a gun of such royal pedigree has been offered at public auction. Time will tell if this magnificent war trophy will indeed be worth a king’s ransom. - Wes Dillon, James D. Julia, Inc.

James D. Julia, Inc., one of the nation's top ten antique auction houses, is excited to present this exceptional, one of a kind German Sebastian Hauschka rifle - literally made for a king - in association with the company's upcoming Outstanding Firearms Auction to be held on March 11th and 12th, 2013. This world-class lot is certain to be of great interest to firearms, militaria, and history enthusiasts as well as museums around the world, and will again showcase James D. Julia and the company's specialists as the foremost firearms auction company in the world.

This firearm, lot #1522, estimated conservatively at $150,000-250,000, is remarkable for both its design and history. Made for gun enthusiast and avid hunter King Louis XV, the rifle is fully embellished, exquisitely carved, and of the highest quality throughout. It was manufactured by Sebastian Hauschka, a master 18th century German gun maker who also produced armaments for other European royalty including The Holy Roman Emperor, Charles VI, and Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. The rifle measures approximately three feet three inches long and features a walnut stock, gilt silver trigger guard, octagonal barrel, polished steel lock, a snake shaped handle, and a butt encrusted with gold and silver. It is decorated with King Louis XV's personal cypher and coat of arms inlaid in gold, as well as the figures "464" along the toe line - the inventory number 464 from the Royal Cabinet d'Armes. This Louis XV rifle is equipped with a sophisticated (for the time) Lorenzoni repeating Flintlock system featuring a two-chamber horizontally-mounted rotating drum. This arrangement allowed for the gun to be repeatedly fired until its two magazines were empty. However, because of the technical difficulties involved with this very complex system, only a handful of these deluxe weapons were produced - increasing the rarity, and value, of this exceptional rifle even more.

From the historical perspective, this very important firearm has lived several "lives" so far - with its next chapter in the hands of its high bidder. Manufactured by Hauschka in the town of Wolfenbutel in Braunschweiger region of Germany, the rifle is documented in the 1775 inventory of the French Royal Cabinet d'Armes. Historians speculate it was sent home by an official attached to the Prussian army after the fall of Napoleon in 1815. And just how did it get to the United States? Its current owner inherited it from a relative who was an American WWII officer. It was one of many guns confiscated from German citizens just after the surrender of Germany in 1945, and had been put in a giant pile of arms slated for destruction by U.S. Army engineers. This item was very ornate and stood out from the generic military hardware deposited at the collection point. The officer in charge, recognizing its unique character, pulled it from the pile and squirreled it away as a trophy of war – a common practice for GIs returning home at the time. The gun had remained in the family's possession since that time.

According to Wes Dillon, James D. Julia's Department Head, Rare Firearms & Military Division, "Any Cabinet d'Armes gun is the greatest treasure a collector or public institution can own, but to acquire the personal gun of one of France's great kings is a once in a generation opportunity. The offering of Louis XV’s gun is the first time in 41 years that a gun of such royal pedigree has been offered at public auction. Time will tell if this magnificent war trophy will indeed be worth a king’s ransom."

About James D. Julia, Inc.:
James D. Julia, Inc., 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 and militaria; 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 Outstanding March Firearms Auction, please visit http://www.jamesdjulia.com.

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Wes Dillon, Department Head, Rare Firearms and Military Division
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