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Fontaine's Auction Gallery adds a second day to its Civil War, Firearms, Militaria auction
What started out as a 500-lot, one-day auction of Civil War, Firearms and Militaria at Fontaine's Auction Gallery in Pittsfield, Mass., has swollen to an 800+-lot colossus that will span the weekend of August 15-16, beginning at 11 a.m. both days.
The auction will feature not one, but two 19th-century Gatling Guns, one of which is in truly spectacular condition and could fetch as much as $250,000; vintage rifles, muskets, revolvers and guns; cannons and cannon accessories;
The undisputed centerpiece of the sale – as it was before the second day was added – will be the lifetime collection of the late George J. Bisacca, whose mainly Civil War collection was housed in the Eastover Resort complex in Lenox, Mass., scheduled to close in November. The aforementioned Gatling Gun is Mr. Bisacca’s, and the cannons and hundreds of firearms in his collection are no less impressive.
The Gatling Gun – a Colt M 1883 model – was named after the man who invented it (Richard J. Gatling) and is a precursor to the machine gun. This example (est. $150,000-$250,000)
Expected top lots among the rifles are a Confederate Fayetteville .58 caliber muzzle loader armory rifle, stamped 1864 (est. $20,000-$25,000);
Other rifles include a Model 1841 U.S. Harper’s Ferry percussion rifle, also known as a Mississippi rifle, .54 caliber (est. $2,500-$3,500);
Ever dreamed of owning a cannon? There will be many in this auction, to include a Model 1861 Confederate ordinance rifle cannon (est. $50,000-$75,000);
Other cannons will include a British 12-pound cannon, circa 1812, mounted on a post-Civil War naval carriage (est. $30,000-$50,000);
Cannon parts and accessories will include a beautiful artillery carriage without tube, 80 inches from hub to hub (est. $10,000-$15,000);
From the swords category: a massive, original 16th-century Landsknecht double-handled sword from northern Europe (est. $8,000-$12,000);
One of the sale's most interesting lots is the Civil War collection of Henry B. Walker, of the 121st Volunteer Infantry New York regiment. The selected group of items came directly out of the attic of his descendants and includes his .22 caliber single-shot rolling block pistol, his six-shot Colt revolver, a daguerreotype of Mr. Walker, his personal Bible, his handwritten will and more (est. $10,000-$15,000)
Frocks, coats and uniforms include a U.S. New York regiment militia frock overcoat, circa 1860 (est. $10,000-$15,000);
Tops among pistols and guns are a massive .70 caliber percussion swivel gun with a 37-inch barrel (est. $6,000-$8,000);
You want muskets? This sale's got 'em! A few examples include a British Revolutionary War sea service musket with 26-inch long .75 caliber barrel (est. $3,000-$5,000);
Other military-related lots include a rare artillery limber with a heavy ammunition chest (est. $10,000-$15,000);
Also: an early Annin & Co. 13-star U.S. Flag on a shield (est. $3,000-$5,000);
Previews will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 12, from 10-5; Thursday, Aug. 13, from 10-5; Friday, Aug. 14, from 10-5; Saturday, Aug. 15, from 8-11 a.m.; and Sunday Aug. 16, from 8-11 a.m. A packed house is expected on the days of sale. Online bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com and Proxibid.com, and directly through the Fontaine's website (which will feature live online streaming, both audio and video). Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted.
To learn more about Fontaine’s Auction Gallery and its calendar of upcoming events, please log on to www.fontainesauction.net. To order a color catalog for the Aug. 15-16 sale, call (413) 448-8922.
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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.