May 2nd, 2015

Historic Colt Paterson Revolver Sells for $414,000

Colt Engraved Patterson Revolver Auction RIA
This handsome Paterson revolver, the earliest known, factory-engraved Colt, sold for remarkable $414,000 at an April 2015 RIA auction.

Gun prices climbed into the stratosphere last month during the 2015 April Premiere Firearms Auction conducted by the Rock Island Auction Company (RIA). The most expensive gun at auction was an historic Colt Paterson, the first-ever factory-engraved Colt handgun. Complete with the original fitted factory case with various accessories, this Paterson inspired a bidding war that saw the price rise to a stunning $414,000. That is an amazingly high price for a gun that was not owned by a well-known historic personage. Generally, to command a price in the multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars, a gun must have a significant historic provenance — such as having been owned by a legendary figure such as Billy the Kid or Wyatt Earp.

It seems like prices continue to rise every year at auctions of historic and collectible firearms. At RIA’s April Premier Auction, the total sale value of the auctioned guns topped $11.6 million. Remarkably, a first-year production Colt Python (serial #170) sold for $17,250! That makes this Editor regret not having acquired an early model Snake decades ago.

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October 3rd, 2011

1836 Colt Revolver Sells for Record $977,500 Price at Auction

An 1836 Colt Paterson Revolver (with accessories in box), sold last month for $977,500 at a Texas auction. This is believed to be a new world record for the sale of a single American firearm. The very rare, ivory-gripped Texas (Holster Model No. 5) Paterson Revolver was part of the Alfred (“Al”) Cali Collection of Colt firearms. The revolver, with a 9-inch barrel and attached loading lever, is the finest known surviving example of Samuel Colt’s first revolver, produced by the legendary gunsmith in Paterson, New Jersey in 1836.

1836 Colt Paterson Revolver $977,500

Colt Purchased by Silicon Valley Zillionaire
The 1836 pistol, one of the earliest generation of Colt revolvers, was purchased by an unidentified West Coast collector, a Silicon Valley mogul. The gun was sold September 18 as part of Greg Martin Auctions/Heritage Auctions’ Signature Arms & Armor Auction in Dallas. “There are certain collectibles that transcend genre, period and form and exist simply as great works of art,” said Greg Martin, “and clearly this supremely beautiful firearm is such a thing. The nearly seven-figure final price realized proves just how great a piece this is, and well worthy of being the world record-holder. This is as desirable… as any piece I’ve seen in more than 40 years of buying and selling the very best firearms in existence”.

1836 Colt Paterson Revolver $977,500

Two More Boxed Colt Revolvers Sell for Over $800K Each
A pair of Colt revolvers tied for the September auction’s second most valuable lot, both realizing jaw-dropping $805,000 prices. The first was an exceptional historic, cased, engraved and presentation-inscribed Colt Model 1861 New Model Navy Revolver. The second was an historic, cased Gustave Young-engraved and ivory-gripped Colt Third Model Dragoon Revolver, inscribed ‘Colonel P.M. Milliken”. Both these guns were from the Al Cali collection, like the record-setting 1836 Paterson.

Photos Courtesy Heritage Auctions.
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