455 webley fosbery sales

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by kim123, May 24, 2012.

  1. kim123

    kim123 New Member

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    I have a webley fosbery that I need to sell. I am a novice at the gun thing but am becoming more and more educated with all that I have to deal with. As the executrix of my parents estate I am responsible for liquidating all the assets....the Webly being one of them. Both of my parents were gun dealers, my father somewhat of a collector, which brings me to my question: I am looking for good ideas where to sell this gun, looking for ideas about it's value, wondering what others have sold for recently. I realize that they are few and far between. Most that I have been able to Google were sold years ago...not sure if those prices still apply. From what I've read seems they run around 5k or 6k for the gun...with the case around 8k or 9k. This one has the case....and all these pricess were from 10 or more years back. My father seemed to think it was worth more than that and another guy who has seen this gun said the same thing. There is a screw and part missing...I believe it is the safety "lever"....otherwise the gun is in good condition. I have also read that for a nominal fee you can get a document stating the original purchaser. I'd love to know how to do that. Any comments or information is appreciated.
     
  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Kim. first, welcome to the forum. When you get a minute, stop by the intro section, say hi, and tell us a bit about yourself.

    As to the value of your revolver- values are based on exact make, model, and CONDITION. With very scarce collectors guns, condition drives a HUGE part of the value. Unfortunately, none of us can judge condition without the gun in hand. Accessories will push the value up.

    I have seen 2 that sold in the past several years. 0ne a nickel plated version, with papers, for over $17,000. That is INCREDIBLY rare. The other a refinished blued version for just over $6,000.

    IF you had an ordinary modern firearm, I would direct you to a local gunshop, or one of the on-line firearm auction sites. However, you need to be talking with the firms that sell the very rare guns, and have the expertise, ability, and clientele to sell it at the best price. They can also advise on values.

    Rock Island Auction Company may be ONE of the firms you would discuss this with, and there others. They usually do these on consignment- at sale, they get a percentage of the sale price.

    Provenance- you MAY be able to get a letter from Webley- it would show the retailer it went to, not the retail purchaser.
     

  3. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska New Member

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    Put it up on Gunbroker, no reserve, starting at a Penny, and you will get FMV. I have sold numerous collector guns that way. One of my buds woould bid that one to the heavens...hell I'd run $5K on it just to start
     
  4. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    Kim, Your weapon is rare and to be cased makes it even more desirable if its original to the weapon. Their are a few differant versions of that and they all sell quite differently according to condition and version. As you have found out, there isnt much info about them out there, you have to really look hard to find anything but the standard info.

    Dont clean it, take it apart, allow anyone who isnt an expert to touch it or try to fire it without a real smith checking it out first. The 455 had less than 4000 ever produced, the more you find out about yours, the more it will be worth to the next owner.

    The person you need to contact is Richard Milner in the UK, he has all of the available Webley archives and can give you any info available for a reasonable cost to include copies of the original entries in Webley's register for your piece. He's a really great guy and has a wonderful collection of WF's himself (even though he's not allowed to shoot them anymore thanks to the queen!).

    enquiries@armsresearch.co.uk

    The Nickel 38 C3 was talking about was mine before it sold for 17K+ May 2nd. I sold it through Cowans in Ohio and it was worth every dime they earned as a commission. Christies is another place worth looking at. Had I sold it to a dealer, It would have gone 4-6K. Funny thing is my piece was also missing the safety, lefty fire issue with that unit, My dad removed it and lost it back in the 50's. !

    Dont be in a hurry, you only get one chance to sell it! It took 5 months to sell mine but it was well worth the wait.

    Good luck!
     
  5. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Webley- excellent information- and on behalf of the original poster, thank you.

    By the way, welcome to the forum. When you get a minute, stop by the intro thread, say hello, and tell us a bit about yourself.

    And other than the photos of yours, I have never SEEN a nickeled W-F! Would love to hear the story behind that one!
     
  6. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    Hello C3, glad to be invited in! I did a little intro and I will post a bit about the 38 in the Revolver section for those interested in it!
     
  7. kim123

    kim123 New Member

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    Hello all. Thanks for all the information you've given. Here's a little update. I just went and took a look at the case the WF is in and it has the initials C.A.C. stamped in the leather on top. (not sure what that is) Inside the box was all sorts of documentation. My father bought it in 1984 from a couple in Texas...there is a receipt...no amount..just says paid in full and has their names. They bought it for $1.00 from the Carlton Jones whom it was issued to in 1945. I have the paperwork from HEADQUARTERS UNITED KINGDOM BASE APO 415, US ARMY to the Commisioner of Police in London certifying that Carlton Jones of the US Army is approved to purchase the weapon upon his departure from the United Kingdom, dated November 28 1945, signed by Lt. Col. James Cullen Provost Marshal. I also have the receipt from the London Metropolitan Police for 5 shillings for issue of a Firearms Certificate for said WF, the recepit from James Woodward & Sons (Gun and Rifle Makers of London SW1) for 2 Pounds for deposit on said WF, the receipt from James Woodward & Sons for 10 Pounds for payment in full for said WF, and a certificate signed by Carlton Jones' Commanding Officer (Samuel G. Lebow AGD, Captain, 42nd Machine Records Unit) stating T/5 Carlton Jones (with his ASN #) is authorized to retain said WF .455 cal Target Pistol #3697. So...what do you all think of this info? Add any value? or just cool stuff?
     
  8. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Kim- insert big disclaimer here- I am a hobbyist collector, and not a dealer in antiquities- HOWEVER-

    What you are describing is known as the provenance of the item. That is, DOCUMENTATION of how it got to be to where it is. In general, yes, it does enhance the value of the item. How much? Ehh- can't really say- there is no one hard and fast number- but it IS a factor in values.

    Now, obviously provenance showing direct connection to a famous person or event ups the BLING KA-CHING! factor- paperwork that shows the gun was originally shipped to Ensign Winston Churchill, then shipped to the US aboard the Hindenburg, etc is big factor. :D
     
  9. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    I agree C3, every scrap of info is a few more shillings, according to exactly who, it could be many pounds. The worth of the weapon is really going to be based on a number of physical factors as well as the prov. Only a true aficionado with a pedigree or an auction will be able to put the real value on it.

    I would almost bet that if it is in good working order and it hasn't been modified or refinished, your not looking at less than $6k, they just don't sell any less than that if they are given the correct audience to volley for it. If its in excellent condition and has some rarer characteristics like being a Bisley Target Shooters Weapon or Nickel Plated, it could go very much more than that.

    By all means, take some pictures of it and get them up on the site here, I would love to see them and its bound to get you some commentary if not interest!
     
  10. Historyhunter

    Historyhunter New Member

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    Hi, I'm new to this forum, and found it whilst googling Webley Fosbery. I'm looking for one of these. Would love to see photos!
     
  11. kim123

    kim123 New Member

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    I have tomorrow off (finally) ;).... Ill try my hand at getting some pictures posted for you. Historyhunter..I did get your private email with the phone number. After I get some pictures up if you are still interested we can talk. Thanks to all for your comments and pointers. I'm soaking it all in.
     
  12. kim123

    kim123 New Member

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    Heres some pics of the WF...(hope this works!) If so I have a few more ~ Kim
     

    Attached Files:

  13. kim123

    kim123 New Member

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    ..and, a few more. If there is anything specific you want to see that I missed let me know.

    ~ Kim
     

    Attached Files:

  14. kim123

    kim123 New Member

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    ...and, one more!
     

    Attached Files:

  15. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    Wow, very nice, looks like you have a target pistol in very original condition with a custom shooters case. The serial number puts it later into production and was likely always a ,455. Even has the front sight blade protector. While its not in new condition, the original Blue is worn and it is missing the safety, it is a very desirable piece. My guess is that the original owner CAC is not impossible to track either, this was no novice weapon, it was a skilled shooter.

    You really need to contact Webley Scott Archives and get the rest of the Provenance from them. My guess is that this one has a history deeper than just the original sale. Richard can pull all the repair docs and such and see if a name is associated with it. That could add significant value to it.

    I would be very wary about doing any direct sale on this one because it really has the possibility of a very large purse attached with the sale unless your in a big hurry, put it in the hands of an expert. Otherwise you would likely not get what its worth without the exposure to a wide range of possible buyers.

    Im not a Antique Weapon expert but I would imagine this one will sell well over $8K and maybe closer to $20K if its fully functional, given the proper exposure and the Shooter who originally owner it is discovered.

    Thanks for the pictures, good luck with the hunt!
     
  16. kim123

    kim123 New Member

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    Once again THANKS everyone for your insight ..and to WF38 especially! ~ I did just send out an email to Richard Milner via the email address you supplied. I will let you all know when I hear something and what he may have to add to the provenance.

    Due to these postings I have been contacted by a Military Antiquities Expert. So,THANK YOU to Firearms Talk for getting me in touch .... maybe something will pan out after all. This MAE and I have yet to make actual verbal contact ...so far just playing phone tag ya know? Maybe tomorrow will bring better luck.

    Also...just wanted you all to know that, yes, this WF is in great working condition...my father carried it carfully and used it while hunting occasionally.
     
  17. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    Kim, I do know a thing or two about powder actuated weapons but antiquities are a whole different world. Im very glad I could help, having been there and done that just recently I realized you may appreciate some insight that I had only recently gained about owning something as valuable as this without having any clue what to do with it!

    I love the internet! Richard actually contacted me first on another Gun Board after he heard I had the piece. Otherwise I may have made a big mistake and taken it to a local Gun Shop trying to sell it. That would have been a huge error and loss.

    One of the things I found out was the Webley Fosbery was one of the preferred pistols for champion level target shooters. Yours was no doubt one of those pieces, I would almost bet it spent lots of time in Bisley and was likely owned by a shooter with a big name, that was an expensive unit the day it was made. That case was not standard issue with the weapon, standard was an oak box not a leather bound case. Your piece also has an adjustable front sight/ blade (I think under the shield), that was also a more rare feature and found on very few WF's except the few target pistols they produced. The transfer dates to Carlton Jones in 1945 are most certainly tied to WW2, a story all of its own and you have the proof, his service number is also listed as well as his branch information, all that could lead you to some interesting and valuable info if you do a little investigating. If I read the thing correct, he paid 10 pounds for the piece, about $15.00 USD, thats a deal but back then the WF had been panned by the military as a has-been that never was!

    Richard wont steer you wrong, he's a true gentleman and the owner of a bunch of these pistols. The few dollars you invest to get the info will come back to you 10 fold.

    Dont get anxious with this thing, you wont get the real money from a private sale unless you have rock solid trustworthy connections in the field. Very few people around the world can actually afford to own one of these but if they find out its out there, they will do whatever they can to get it!

    Great luck with it and do let us know what you found out, I think the big story is more than either of us know right now and the story could be worth as much as the gun.
     
  18. Historyhunter

    Historyhunter New Member

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    I actually joined this forum because of this gun, having done a Google search on Webley Fosbery. Great gun, great story!
     
  19. kim123

    kim123 New Member

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    Hey...for those interested, that Richard Milner is quick! I emailed, he replied with the information ~ PRONTO! The information he has states that there were two WF's issued/ordered to the Royal Military Academy, in Woolwich, in October 1913. (#3697 being one of them) The only record he has is the name of the Secretary of the Revolver club as receiving officer, not the actual purchaser. He said it was likely that at the time of order/purchase the name of the actual GC who would eventually own the weapon was not yet known. I will request what paperwork he has but unfortunately no clue as to who C.A.C is...yet.

    I do have some phone numbers & addresses in with all the other paperwork/provenance...I suppose calling them might be the next step in the C.A.C. mystery. Maybe I can reach someone with further information.

    ~Kim (Private Investigator :))
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012
  20. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    I love the internet, the things you can find out in a week would have taken a year ten years ago! It just goes to prove, its all out there if you just know where to look for it!

    I just PMed Kim, I think I may have found C. A. C.,
    Major Cecil Aylmer Cameron CBE DSO (17 September 1883–19 August 1924) was a British Army officer and spymaster and also a central figure of a notable fraud trial of 1911. The son of Colonel Aylmer Cameron VC, he was educated at Eastman's Academy, Bath College, and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, The only graduate of Woolwich with those initials. If this can be verified, thats provenance!!! Kim, My finders fee is a very reasonable pint of Gentleman Jack! Ha, ha.