DENVER, Pa., Sept. 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — On Wednesday, September 29, Morphy’s will auction the revered Bill Myers collection of antique firearms, edged weapons and early militaria. The 163-lot auction is devoted exclusively to Myers’ holdings, which were carefully acquired and scrupulously researched over several decades.
“Bill Myers knew from childhood that he would be a collector. At the age of ten, he was gifted with a Civil War sword, musket and screw-tip powder horn. There was an immediate connection that drove his lifelong fascination for antique firearms,” said Morphy Auctions Founder and President Dan Morphy.
After earning his college degree in structural engineering and serving in the armed forces, Myers set his collecting focus on items from the 1750-1850 timeframe, when everything was painstakingly handcrafted. His acclaimed collection grew to include the finest examples of Kentucky rifles, Bowie knives, engraved powder horns and Indian presentation tomahawks.
There are 31 antique rifles in Myers’ collection, including several percussion and lever-action models, and 20 coveted flintlock types. Of the latter specialty, the top entry is a slender and finely carved 42-inch example attributed to John Rupp I of Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. A classic, streamlined longarm with all of the defining features of the Lehigh school of gunsmithing, it retains a silver hang tag confirming it was the Kentucky Rifle Association’s 1979 choice as “BEST INCISED CARVED RIFLE.” Joe Kindig Jr’s respected Thoughts on the Kentucky Rifle in Its Golden Age depicts a similar, Rupp-signed rifle with the same Indian- head/Liberty-cap-head engraving as is seen on the auction gun. Estimate: $75,000–$150,000
Another outstanding longarm with prestigious provenance is a circa-1780 Berks County, Pa., over/under Kentucky swivel breech rifle attributed to Nathan Boyer. Centuries after its manufacture, it would become a prized asset in the collections of both George Murdock and, later, John du Mont. In du Mont’s notes on this rifle, he wrote that legendary long rifle collector and author Joe Kindig Jr once described it as “the finest over/under swivel breech rifle [he] knew of.” Estimate: $40,000–$80,000.
A wonderful pair of Lehigh County, Pa., antique tiger maple flintlock Kentucky pistols with brass triggers and furniture exhibits octagon barrels, punch-dot-decorated muzzle faces, and engraved front sights and banners. The duo is featured in James R. Johnston’s book Accouterments IV and retains the tag of noted author and authority Jim Dresslar. Estimate: $30,000–$50,000
An extraordinary circa-1780 inlaid pipe tomahawk originally belonged to Sir Alexander Mackenzie (Scottish, 1764-1820), the first European to reach the Pacific Ocean [in 1793]. The tomahawk pipe has been featured in numerous reference books, as well as Mackenzie’s own journals. He specifically mentions the piece in an entry dated August 1793. In 1801, the journals of his westward odysseys were published, attracting widespread attention. One year later, Mackenzie was knighted for his achievements. Even President Thomas Jefferson presented an American edition of the book to Meriwether Lewis, who carried it with him on the Lewis & Clark Expedition in 1804. The lot includes a first-edition copy of the Mackenzie book and the silver medal it won at the NRA’s 1984 “Ten Best Weapons” competition. Estimate: $150,000–$500,000
Morphy’s Sept 29, 2021 auction of the Bill Myers Collection will be held live at Morphy’s gallery in Denver (Lancaster County), Pa., starting at 10 a.m. ET. All remote forms of bidding will also be available, including live online through Morphy Live. www.MorphyAuctions.com
Media Contact: Sarah Stoltzfus
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SOURCE Morphy Auctions