An Iconic Lefever

Benj Harrison Lefever
Presentation-grade, high-condition shotguns of remarkable provenance are always popular, and we should see this borne out in the upcoming James D. Julia auction, which will feature President Benjamin Harrison’s “Optimus”-quality Lefever from the collection of Paul Tudor Jones II. With selections from many top collectors represented—especially on the second day—the March 14 & 15 sale is being described by the auction house as “perhaps the greatest selection of high-end, expensive guns that have come to market in quite a few years now.”
The catalog entry for the Lefever describes it as “Probably the finest and most important Nineteenth Century American shotgun” and “An iconic Lefever worthy of the most advanced collection.” It was presented to Pres. Harrison for “Protection to American Industry”—a phrase emblazoned on a gold eagle on the trigger guard—and is estimated to bring between $75,000 and $125,000.
Among the many other guns and rifles of note in the sale are a pair of Kell-engraved Purdey .410s (estimated to bring $150,000 to $250,000), an early Boss over/under 12-bore pigeon gun with two sets of barrels ($50,000 to $80,000) and various stopping rifles, including the Nizam of Hyderabad's Holland & Holland 4-bore ($80,000 to $120,000) and a gold-encrusted H&H 10-bore ($65,000 to $95,000).
If your budget isn’t quite up to presidential- or Nizam-scale patronage, on March 14 Julia’s is once again offering its lower-range Sporting & Collecting Firearms Session, featuring Lefevers, Parkers, Elsies and other double guns by the dozens.


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