“This auction will feature a fine and diverse collection of items from the Civil War through World War II, as well as many pre-Civil War pieces,” said John Fontaine. “Included will be 300 vintage firearms, a collection of over 300 swords, daggers, bayonets and other edged weapons, plus uniforms, accessories, flags, paintings and prints, letters, ephemera, daguerreotypes, tintypes, books and more.”
The auction will also be the first one to feature a new policy at Fontaine’s Auction Gallery: zero percent consignors’ commission on high-end consignments. “This is our way of thanking our many consignors who have helped make our past auctions so successful, and of insuring that these same folks and others like them with wonderful collections will consign with us in the future,” Mr. Fontaine said.
Zero percent consignors’ commission is just one highlight of the auction. The single session event will be held onsite and via the Internet, with multiple online bidding platforms, to include the one custom designed specifically for Fontaine's and accessible via their website, at FontainesAuction.net. The other platforms include LiveAuctioneers.com, Proxibid.com and iCollector.com. In addition, phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. A free full-color catalog is available by calling (413) 448-8922.
Vintage rifles, pistols, carbines and revolvers will dominate the day’s offerings, but the top lot just may end up being a fantastic bronze grouping after John Rogers, titled “The Picket Guards.” The group shows two Union soldiers dressed in Zouave jackets and armed with muskets. They are centered by a 2nd Lieutenant armed with a sword. The fine polished gold finish group should hit $10,000-$15,000.
Rifles will be offered up in abundance. Expected top earners include a Colt model 1855 military rifle, .56 caliber and a nice example of a rare Colt (est. $12,000-$15,000);
Other rifles of note include a flintlock full-stock Kentucky rifle with 41 ¼-inch octagonal barrel, .48 caliber and nice stock (est. $2,000-$4,000);
Revolvers are also expected to do well, too. A Colt first model Dragoon revolver with .44 caliber barrel, good bore and matching serial number (#5658) should command $12,000-$16,000. Other stars of the category include a cased Colt model 1851 Navy revolver, .36 caliber, with a great bore (est. $8,000-$10,000);
Additional revolvers will include a Remington new model Navy revolver, conversion to .38 rimfire, marked patented in 1858 and 1863, with a very good bore (est. $3,000-$4,000);
Some pistols will be offered as multiple lots. Examples include a wonderful cased pair of D. Egg percussion dueling pistols, British made, 19th century (est. $4,000-$6,000);
Additional multiple-lot pistols will include an elegant pair of flintlock pistols with 9-inch Damascus barrels that are about .56 caliber, in perfect working order (est. $2,500-$4,500);
Carbines will include a highly unusual Austrian flintlock carbine made in 1842, possibly a factory prototype that never made it to production (est. $3,500-$4,500);
Following are additional anticipated top lots from a broad array of categories, all military:
An exceedingly rare Confederate Bowie knife with black leather belt and cap box, the belt having a copper-colored brass buckle and the knife in a tin with a 9-inch blade (est. $4,000-$6,000)
A 14th New York Utica Citizen’s Corp Civil War officer’s coat, dark blue, with a row of 9 buttons down the front and large UCC buttons on each side, in excellent condition (est. $2,000-$4,000)
A pre-World War II (model 1934) light cavalry sword (Poland), with nickel-plated scabbard, brass pommel cap, brass stirrup guard, black wood groove handle and rear finial (est. $2,000-$3,000)
A muzzle-loading brass signal cannon, small but heavy, with a 22-inch brass barrel, 1.4-inch bore and a breech end of tube marked “Wm. Read & Sons” over “Boston” over “6” (est. $2,000-$3,000)
A rare Andersonville lithographic print titled “Let us forgive, but not forget” and detailing some of the atrocities committed at Andersonville Prison in the Civil War, framed (est. $2,000-$3,000)
A Florida state Confederate stars and bars flag, said to have been designed by Nicola Marschall, with seven original stars and an eighth later added, for Virginia in 1861 (est. $2,000-$3,000)
Fontaine’s Auction Gallery is always accepting quality consignments for its future sales. The firm is especially interested in vintage clocks and watches, Civil War items and other militaria; fine art, period American and Continental furniture, and decorative accessories. To consign an item, estate or collection, you may call them at (413) 448-8922; or you can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, please log on to www.fontainesauction.net.
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Ken Hall writes pre-sale and post-sale press releases for auction houses, for a fee. He writes, submits and tracks stories for clients. Submissions are published in trade magazines, posted on industry websites and appear in local newspapers.