IRVINE, CA, MARCH 2010 – Presenting Fine Collectible Arms & Militaria to a packed house in Southern California on March 14, Greg Martin Auctions achieved strong sale results of $2.6 million at its second live event in 2010. The iconic “Million Dollar Luger” – estimated to bring $500,000 to $1,000,000 – attracted wide interest prior to the sale. The rare 1907 semi-automatic pistol sold below the low end of its estimate at $494,500 including buyer’s premium, but still set a new world record for a Luger sold at auction.
Bidding was strong at the event, held near Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and the room overflowed with buyers and other antique arms enthusiasts. Over 890 items were offered at the sale, which continued eight hours without a break. The spring auction also included Part II of the Dale & Dolores Buller Collection, which feature the highest-quality firearms offered in recent years, including exceptional Winchesters and Colts. Bidding for the Winchesters was particularly robust at the sale, with four items achieving $20,000 or more.
According to Greg Martin, president of the firm bearing his name, the sale answered the question of what the “Million Dollar Luger” would bring in today’s marketplace. “One of the rarest and most coveted firearms in the world, the 1907 pistol sold at the low end of its estimate, but still achieved a world record at auction for a Luger firearm,” said Mr. Martin. ” This pistol will always be known as the ‘Million Dollar Luger’ and is sure to be the centerpiece of any collection. Someone made an exceptional investment – no doubt the buyer is ecstatic.”
The coveted pistol received its moniker after it was purchased in 1989 by Indonesian billionaire Yani Haryanto for $1,000,000 before financial problems forced its sale. The firearm was also featured in the 1987 movie Wall Street – “The rarest gun in the world, Larry, the .45 Luger” – which earned Michael Douglas an Oscar for his role as the ruthless corporate raider Gordon Gekko. The character is still known today for his notorious line “Greed is good,” which entered into the public lexicon. The newest buyer, an entrepreneur and firearms collector who wants to remain anonymous, acquired the pistol through Paul Cole, president of Gun World in Burbank, California.