Fox News| by Angelica Stabile| August 26, 2023
Article Takeaways by DP News Staff:
- Elvis Presley’s engraved Smith & Wesson Model 53 revolver, reflecting his flashy lifestyle, is scheduled for auction with an estimated value of $60,000 to $90,000.
- The Sedgley Mark Two ‘Fist Gun’ Hand Firing Device, a unique spy gun hidden in a glove, is also up for auction, estimated to fetch $9,000 to $14,000.
- A rare CIA Deer Gun Single-Shot Pistol, inspired by WWII weaponry, is part of the auction, with an expected value of $25,000 to $40,000.
Rock Island Auction Company of Illinois shows off rare Civil War, WWI items made by Tiffany & Co. Rock Island’s Joel Kolander shares details with Fox News Digital on three military antiques up for auction.
A roundup of collectible firearms is set to hit the auction block at Rock Island Auction Company (RIAC). And one of them is connected to Elvis Presley. The Illinois-based company’s August Premier Auction, which will be held from Aug. 25 to 27, includes numerous military firearms and spy guns with rich histories.
RARE CIVIL WAR, WWI MILITARY ITEMS MADE BY TIFFANY & CO. TO HIT ILLINOIS AUCTION BLOCK
Here are a few of the standout items that will be auctioned off at RIAC’s summer flagship event.
- Elvis Presley’s Bicentennial Smith & Wesson The “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” was a known lover of firearms. Although they were often used for his own protection, some of his guns also matched his flashy lifestyle.
This includes Elvis’ engraved Smith & Wesson Model 53 revolver, which is scheduled to hit RIAC’s auction block on Saturday, Aug. 26. The revolver, embellished with gold and silver inlays, reflects the “Las Vegas razzle-dazzle” more than any of the entertainment star’s other firearms, according to RIAC.
Master engraver Russel Smith engraved Elvis’ American bicentennial gun with relief floral scrollwork, silver inlaid five-pointed stars and the years “1776-1976” inscribed in gold near the muzzle. The side plate of the gun also shows a golden bald eagle in flight carrying the 13-star American flag. The left side of the frame has a golden minuteman surrounded by stars, and the Liberty Bell can be found on the back strap. The gun was delivered to Presley on Nov. 16, 1976, according to RIAC’s website. The Elvis revolver is expected to fetch $60,000 to $90,000 on the auction block. Elvis passed away just nine months later, on Aug. 16, 1977. The revolver is expected to fetch anywhere from $60,000 to $90,000 on the auction block.
- Sedgley Mark Two ‘Fist Gun’ Hand Firing Device Several “spy guns” and other undercover firearms are also up for auction. The “Fist Gun” was never officially an Office of Strategic Services (OSS) spy gun, but the single-shot firearm hidden inside a glove was made for the U.S. Navy.
The Sedgley Mark Two “Fist Gun” Hand Firing Device with Fitted Glove was patented by Stanley M. Haight in 1944, according to RIAC. The mechanism was built into a leather worker’s glove, which had a plunger-like trigger just above the knuckles. The single shot could be fired with a “punch of the fist,” RIAC noted on its website. The “Fist Gun” is likely most recognized from Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 film “Inglorious Basterds” — the weapon replica was used to take out a pair of Nazi guards. Only 50 to 200 of these guns were produced as a “weapon of last resort,” RIAC reported, and were developed to fire Smith & Wesson .38 caliber cartridges.
The “Fist Gun” was designed to be an at-hand weapon for soldiers at all waking hours, according to RIAC. It could be activated by simply balling up a fist. There are no recorded instances of the “Fist Gun” being used in combat due to its impracticality. This item is estimated to fetch $9,000 to $14,000 on the auction block.
- Rare CIA Deer Gun Single-Shot Pistol RIAC considered Deer Guns to be “truly spy guns,” although the CIA does not acknowledge that they exist. During the early 1960s, at the top of the Cold War and Vietnam War, the CIA reportedly searched for secretive weapons to offer allies.
The Deer Gun is described as an “extremely rare assassination pistol” made for the CIA’s Clandestine Operation of the ’60s. The agency is said to have taken inspiration from the single-shot Liberator of World War II, which was developed for use by resistance fighters. Made by American Machine & Foundry, the Deer Gun has a cast aluminum receiver and screw-out two-inch barrel, and it fires 9mm ammunition, RIAC stated. The gun was a bit lighter than the .45 caliber Liberator but was also much simpler, made with 12 components compared to the Liberator’s 23. The CIA reportedly ordered 1,000 Deer Guns for $30,000 — but only about 20 of these guns remain in circulation today.
Elvis Presley’s Exhibition Quality S&W Model 53 Revolver (far left) along with the Sedgley Mark Two “Fist Gun” Hand Firing Device with Fitted Glove and other items are being offered at Rock Island Auction Company’s August Premier Auction. The Deer Gun “lacked any marking identifying the manufacturer or user, in order to prevent tracing the weapons,” according to the book “Pistols of the World” by Ian Hogg and John Walter. The pistol comes with its original drop box. It is expected to fetch $25,000 to $40,000 at auction.