Merz Antique Firearms Museum

Antique Colts


GUEST:
This is a poster that is from Colt's Firearms Manufacturing that I found in my great-grandfather's store. Went in the store after he had passed away, and it was curled up in a corner.

APPRAISER:
The artist is a great American illustrator and painter named Frank Schoonover. So Frank Schoonover was known as the dean of Delaware artists, and he was born in 1877 and died in 1972 after having painted, they say, more than 2, 000 separate illustrations.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
And this is a painting that he did in 1925, and the title is “Tex and Patches.”

GUEST:
Tex and Pa... ah, the horse.

APPRAISER:
The painting was so popular that it appears on the cover of two books - one actually a book about Schoonover's art, with the title “The Illustrator of the North American Frontier”, and it also appeared on the cover of a novel called “The Range Boss” by Charles Seltzer. Now, you might well ask me, “How do I know that the artist is Frank Schoonover”?

GUEST:
How do you know that the artist is Frank Schoonover?

APPRAISER:
Thank you for asking.

GUEST:
You're welcome.

APPRAISER:
Part of this poster has been matted out, and at the bottom down here, originally, was his signature in the painting, “Frank Schoonover”, and the date, 1925.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
And I've found similar images online, which is how I know that should be there. So that's a little bit about the man, the painter, and the illustrator. It's a little bit about the painting, “Tex and Patches”. Now something about the poster - Winchester and Colt are two of the most famous firearm manufacturers in America. Colts are the number one collected pistols in the world, and some of my colleagues here got very excited about this piece. Now, I'm not a cowboy.

GUEST:
I never could tell that.

APPRAISER:
I'm a city boy. So gun posters don't speak to me in the same way that they speak to other people. And we did a little research on this piece. There's actually three variations of the poster.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
There's a version in Spanish. There's a version without any text on top. And then there's this, the most desirable English language version.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
There are a few condition issues. Even with those condition issues, it's such a rare piece, and still the colors are so bright...

GUEST:
They really are.

APPRAISER:
...that, that's what drives the value. That's what drives the excitement of gun and Colt enthusiasts around the world. Now, my city slicker, not cowboy appraisal of this poster, at auction, I would say it's worth between $4, 000 and $6, 000.

GUEST:
No way.

APPRAISER:
Way. Now, my enthusiastic Western colleagues and gun-collecting friends on the floor of the convention center feel that this should be worth between $7, 000 and $10, 000.

GUEST:
No way.

APPRAISER:
Way. And as one of my gun buddies said, if you have $200, 000 to $300, 000 worth of Colt pistols on the walls of your study, why wouldn't you want this hanging there?

GUEST:
I could see that. Very nice- thank you. Wow. I was not expecting that. At all. I was thinking a couple of hundred bucks.



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