The High Value of Winchester Firearms Memorabilia

  • 01 of 04

    Collectors Seek Varied Advertising Items to Go Along With Their Guns

    Winchester Advertising Ammunition Board
    Morphy Auctions

    It’s no secret that collectors will pay a pretty penny to own rare firearms produced by Winchester, especially the early models. An eager auction bidder paid $80,000 for an 1897 12-gauge Winchester shotgun said to have been owned by Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker several years ago. But even older Winchester firearms without such notorious provenance can be quite expensive, and so can the display items, advertising signs, and other memorabilia that went along with them when they were new.

    Items ranging from calendars to powder tins and all types of advertising and store displays bearing the Winchester name can sell for big bucks to the right buyer today. It just goes to show that Winchester firearms memorabilia can be quite valuable.

    This framed Winchester shell board dating to 1897 was originally made to hang in a store where ammunition was sold. Depicts the classic “W” spelled out with original cartridges. It does have some minor staining to the border but is in very good to excellent condition for a piece of this nature. Sold for $24,150 (not including buyer’s premium) at Morphy Auctions in December 2010.

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  • 02 of 04

    Winchester Hunting Hounds Calendar

    Winchester Hunting Hounds Advertising Calendar
    Morphy Auctions

    All types of advertising calendars can be rare and valuable collectibles, and that includes those hawking firearms by major brands such as Winchester. Examples from the 1920s and earlier are hard to come by in excellent to mint condition.

    This calendar dating to 1925, deemed “rare” by Morphy Auctions, bears the Winchester name along with artwork depicting hunting dogs. Although it does have a few light nicks along the edges, the original top and bottom bands are present so the condition is graded as excellent for this type of ephemera. Framed size is 29” x 23”. Sold for $2,655 in June 2011.

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  • 03 of 04

    Winchester Repeating Shotguns Poster

    Winchester Repeating Shotguns Advertising Poster
    Morphy Auctions

    Posters and signs depicting all types of advertising slogans and logos can be quite valuable, including those relating to Winchester firearms. This is especially true for examples dating to the late 1800s and early 1900s. Depending on the artwork and condition, they can be worth thousands. These items have been reproduced, however, so it’s wise to have them authenticated prior to paying top dollar unless you’re extremely familiar with fakes in this genre of collecting.

    This Winchester shotgun advertising poster dates to 1909. The Ruffed Grouse (identified as a Pheasant in auction catalogs) artwork by Edward Knobles has retained its color nicely. It has been professionally framed with the original metal band included. The framed size is 23” x 40”. The condition is near mint, which adds to the value significantly. This poster sold for $6,435 in March 2009.

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  • 04 of 04

    Winchester Easel-Back Father and Son Sign

    Winchester Point of Purchase Easel-Back Display Sign, c. 1920s
    Morphy Auctions

    According to information provided by Morphy Auctions, this particular example of 1920s point of purchase sign doesn't come up for sale often. That helps to drive the demand for this type of advertising memorabilia.

    One of the things that makes this 1920s easel-back display special is the die-cutting. The father and son are raised from the background giving the picture dimension. It has some light overall wear including a fold mark on one corner and some light rub marks but is in excellent condition considering its rarity. It sold for $5,500 (not including buyer's premium) in September 2015.