By Ed Carroll
Photos courtesy of James D. Julia Auctioneers
In many ways the end of an era, the auctions of Extraordinary Firearms and Sporting & Collector offerings at James D. Julia from March 21 to 23 will be the last gun sale to be held at the firm’s Fairfield, Maine headquarters. Following the Julia’s merger with Morphy Auctions, future sales will be held at Morphy’s in Denver, Pennsylvania.
Yet the more things change . . . there is continuity. As always, the guns in this three-day event are exceptional—and all the more so for being gathered together in one place. And, much of the Julia’s-now-Morphy crew will go on to continue working on the next auctions.
A few things that catch our eyes:
- You just don’t see that every day: Meticulously crafted 28 GAUGE ABBIATICO & SALVINELLI QUATTROCANNONE. A four-barrel gun with a single trigger firing two external hammers and a conventional boxlock.
- Beretta side-by-sides don’t get enough respect. From a maker who is far better known for its over/unders, the side-by-side that first comes to mind for many is the relatively “cheaper” 471 Silver Hawk, a beefy boxlock. This 451 EELL with scroll engraving is not like those.
- F.lli Rizzini has long been recognized as among the best Italian gunmakers, though the early guns imported by Abercrombie & Fitch show decidedly more humble (though still lovely!) beginnings. One reason the R2 boxlock ejector hasn’t been made since 1995: The small firm builds exclusively high-end sidelocks and the “best” quality R3 boxlock with intercepting sears. This is truly an exceptional boxlock.
- This Darne V-19 with its sliding breech design is the shotgun equivalent of having a road-worthy Peugeot 505. If the Peugeot was red, and in really nice shape.