This list of the five most expensive firearms ever sold is impressive, to say the least. From historic figures and events to fine engraving and precious metals, these guns are in a class of their own.
Here they are, listed from least to most expensive:
5) Presentation Colt 1849 Revolver – $1.14 million
Featuring deep relief engraving and gold inlay, this gun is one of six Model 1849s to be embellished in this style and were often given to important politicians. One of them was given to Russia’s Czar Nicholas I. These six guns are so impressive and visually stunning that four of them are held in museum collections. This particular one is at The Met in New York City. It sold at auction in 2012.
4) Millikin Dragoon Revolver – $1.66 million
Profusely engraved by master engraver Gustave Young, this Colt Dragoon revolver falls within the serial number range for a variety of other special presentation guns given out by the factory. This gun was originally owned by Colonel John Millikin, who was killed in 1862 during the Civil War. His son Paul, who was himself a colonel in the Spanish-American War and World War I, inherited the gun after his father’s death. It sold at auction in 2019.
3) Simon Bolivar Pistols – $1.80 million
Made by Nicolas-Noël Boutet, the personal gunsmith to Napoleon, these pistols were given by the Marquis de Lafayette in 1825 to Simón Bolívar, who had dedicated his life to liberating six South American countries. Boutet is regarded as one of the finest gunmakers to have ever lived, and this pair of pistols is an excellent example of his talent. They sold at auction in 2016.
2) Danish Sea Captain Colt Walker – $1.84 million
This is the only known cased civilian Colt Walker revolver in existence. It is also the only known Colt to have maintained documentation in Sam Colt’s own handwriting from the date of its original sale. The gun gained its nickname when it was purchased by a Danish sea captain named Neils Hanson when he visited New York City. It sold at auction in 2018.
1) Lafayette-Washington-Jackson Pistols – $1.98 million
Making another appearance on this list, the Marquis de Lafayette presented these pistols to George Washington during the Revolutionary War. The pistols eventually found their way into the possession of Andrew Jackson. When the Marquis visited him in 1826, he verified that they were, indeed, the pistols that he had given to Washington. They sold at auction in 2002.
A Lot of Money
All told, these five guns have a combined sales total of more than $8.4 million. If you were to stack one dollar bills on top of each other, that amount of money would be as tall as 8.5 30-story buildings.
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