18 Oct Why did this Mauser “Broomhandle” Sell for $1,057,000?
Image From Rock Island Auction Co. www.rockislandauction.com
Recently a Mauser “Broomhandle” Pistol sold at Auction for $1,057,000 including fees! Why did a gun that would be typically worth from a few hundred to a thousand dollars sell for one thousand times that amount?!
Quite simply Provenance. Which is the documented history of who owned the firearm and who or how it was used.
In this case, it was one of the “original” Blasters used by Han Solo in Star Wars. We are told that this was one of three that were used in the movie and that it had been “reconstructed” using original parts from the guns used in the movie by the “prop house” (firearms rental company) that originally provided it.
Most guns used in movies are not owned by the production company, they are rented along with other equipment for specific movies and then returned back to the inventory of the company to be used another day in another film.
Many of the guns are iconic, but to the “prop houses”, they have just been another gun in their rental inventory.
Apparently, when they relocated the firearm and were able to confirm that it was one of the original three guns used in the Star Wars movie series, they also hired the firearm technician/prop master/builder that created it in the first place. He dug around in the rest of the old inventory and found and reinstalled many (but not all) of the various bits and pieces that had been attached to the gun to give it a “Futuristic Look”.
The actual final bid was $900,000 and the balance is the fees that the Auction House receives on top of the bid. If the pistol had been actually one hundred percent original (not reconstructed) it probably would have sold for at least twice that amount or more! If Harrison Ford had actually signed the original gun back at the time it was used, it would worth even more!!
But at the time they were doing the first movies they didn’t know what a hit it was going to be and therefore didn’t keep the props separately and in condition to sell as collectibles. I have found that most true collectibles that have significant value, became collectibles virtually by accident.
So you can see that Provenance (verifiable chain of ownership and how it was used) is really what creates value in firearms like this one.
Collecting and preserving the story and history behind a firearm is what propels the value from just being another gun to being worth thousands and even millions.
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