A pair of revolvers that once belonged to Ulysses S. Grant has been sold for a seven-figure sum.
The Illinois-based Rock Island Auction Company announced on May 13 that American commanding general Remington New Model Army revolvers were sold for $5.17 million — the opening day of its three-day May Premier Auction.
The Rock Island Auction Company stated in a press release that the multimillion-dollar sale is the second-highest price for a collector's firearms at the auction house.
The revolvers were engraved artistically with a vine pattern by L. D. Nimschke, a 19th century master firearms engraver.
He was reported to have worked on more than 5,000 firearms between 1850 and 1904.
Both revolvers have decorated grips that feature carved portraits of Grant.
The full story behind the revolvers is not certain, but the Rock Island Auction Company reported that the firearms were believed to have been presented to Grant after he captured Vicksburg on July 4th, 1863. Grant, a Union Army general during the Civil War, helped secure the length of the Mississippi River for the Union. Grant became the 18th president of the U.S. in 1868.
He has credited the 15th amendment, which gave African American men the right to vote, as well as stabilizing the country's post-war economy.
Rock Island Auction Company originally estimated that the historic revolver set would sell for $1 million to $3 million.
Bidding started at $800,000 and exceeded the weapon auctioneer's top estimate by more than $2 million.
That was a six-piece garniture that once belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte, which sold for $2.875 million in December 2021.
Kevin Hogan, president of Rock Island Auction Company, said in a statement that we are seeing remarkable prices in the collectible firearms market.
Hogan said the growth has been extraordinary year after year, but recently there has been an explosion in the fine arms marketplace.
More and more collectors are aware of the value and importance of these objects. Other notable sales from the May auction included arms that once belong to American Old West folk hero James Butler Wild Bill Hickok, former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and classic pop singer Frank Sinatra.
From May 13 to May 15 the Rock Island Auction Company sold more than 2,000 lots and made $28.2 million from the auction.
The company says its May 2022 Premier Auction is the second largest in its history.
It surpassed the December 2021 auction record of $25.2 million.