Michael Zomber has spent his lifetime studying and restoring antique arms and armor. One of his favorite things to collect are antique Japanese swords. He says that other collectors should collect what interests them the most. He says for some collectors that may be a particular make and model of arms while for other collectors it may be arms from a particular period in history. He says that these pieces should be restored and protected so that future generations can see their value and understand the lessons inherit in them.
While Michael has collected arms for a long time, even he was surprised by the prices that some pieces brought during the first sale of the year at Julia’s first arms sale of the year in Fairfield, Maine.
Following up on a story that first appeared in Antique Trader, the sale occurred on March 14 and 15. Setting a world record, a Colt SP-1 Machine gun with 3 uppers sold for $42,000. During the sale, an ivory stocked Model 66, once owned by Porfirio Diaz of Mexico brought $230,000 while a Colt Model 1883 U.S. Navy Gatling Gun with two drum magazines was sold for $345,000. Incidentally, the new owner immediately sold the drum magazines to a person in attendance. A 4 Bore Holland & Holland hammer rifle made for the Nizam of Hyderabad sold for $258,750 while a President Harrison’s Lefever “Optimus” arm was purchased for $120,000.
Michael says, however, that not all arms must be in pristine condition to bring good money at auction. Nor must they be owned by someone famous in the past. If you are interested in having your arms appraised, then he recommends you contact him or another established gun appraiser.