In what direction is firerams collecting going today? Already in the last few editions, a tendency of top collectors to move to modern or at least 20th-century guns had been noticed. The Polish VIS Mod. 35 pistol with serial number 12, which was put up for sale last year with an auction base of 5,000 euros, then sold for the extraordinary sum of 58,000 euros, is an example of a trend. The May 22, 2022 auction also confirmed this trend. If it seems quite obvious that historic, rare pieces in extraordinary state of preservation, such as the 1800-dated Gilardoni air rifle, accompanied by its original case and period accessories, were auctioned off at important figures (17,000 euros with a starting price of 12,000 - a good but not extraordinary increase) or the Salvator Dormus 8mm pistol, offered at 15,000 euros and sold for 17,000, it was certainly not expected that the absolute highest sale price was realized by a modern gun. We are talking about a special edition SIG P 210-8 Sport Heavy Frame in 9mm caliber, with a two-tone Dualtone finish and a case including accessories.
From a starting price of 8,000 euros, the 1982-dated Swiss pistol was auctioned off for the remarkable amount of 25,000 euros. Another exploit was achieved by the 1988 Heckler & Kock P7 M13 pistol in 9mm caliber bearing the markings of Pakistan Ordnance Factories, the Asian country's state-owned company that manufactures under license many versions of civilian and military weapons from German H&K. This is probably a gun made to be tested by the Pakistani military, and is the only one known with these markings. The pistol is in like-new condition, with classic H&K packaging that includes cleaning brush, spare magazine, instruction booklet and test target. This true rarity was sold at a final price of 25,000 euros, joining the SIG P 210-8 Sport at the top of the list for the highest price.
And to stay on the topic of Heckler & Koch pistols, an example of the PSP model with serial number 093 and proof marks from 1978 reached the handsome sum of 11,000 euros. The H&K PSP in 9mm Luger is the progenitor of the P7 and only 239 examples were made. It therefore represents an appetizing piece for collectors specializing in German-made semi-automatic pistols (lot 2437).
Another record-breaking price for a rare but relatively modern firearm is the 21,000 euros a collector paid to take home lot 2422, a Budischowsky Minigun Mod. PP 10 Long-Slide semi-auto pistol with serial number 10, made in 1994 and in perfect condition. It is a revised and corrected version of the famous HSP 701 Korriphila pistol, considered one of the finest semi-automatics ever conceived. Designed by Czech Edgar Budischowsky in the 1980s, this roller-delayed blowback pistol was initially manufactured in Germany under the Korriphila brand name and in very limited quantities. Very little is known about Minigun-branded production, but it appears that no more than 20 examples were made, some in 10mm caliber and others (perhaps only two) in 9mm. Hard to imagine a rarer modern gun than this one!
Also good are the Borchardt 93 pistols that never fail to change hands for significant figures: a specimen produced by DWM with serial number 2148, complete with original case and accessories, sold for 22,000 euros (lot 2420), while a Loewe-marked specimen similar in condition and equipment sold for 18,000 euros (lot 2421).
Antique firearms continue to attract interest, however. A fine wheellock pistol made in Augsburg in 1580/90 was sold for the handsome amount of 14,000 euros (lot 2046). The gun features a two-stage barrel (octagonal at the breech, then round) with a smooth bore in 13 mm caliber. It features floral engravings and gilt decoration. In Robert Brooker's book, "Radschloss Sammlung, Landeszeughaus Graz," on page 253 there is a photo of a gun with identical markings and very similar engraved bone inlays. It was probably modified during use with a somewhat older lock, but it is still a beautiful example of an Austrian Renaissance firearm.
We invite you to browse through the photo gallery below to see some of the most spectacular pieces among those sold on May 22, reminding you that the next auction of "Fine Antique and Modern Firearms" will be held on June 22, 2022 – and again. more than 90 lots will be auctioned. Stay tuned for all our previews. In the meantime, you can visit the Hermann Historica website to peek through the upcoming auction.