Spring 2024 Premier Firearms & Militaria Auction

June 7th, 8th, 9th, & 10th, 2024
This auction will feature an outstanding collection of items spanning multiple categories including Modern, Military, Sporting, & Antique firearms & militaria! Below is just a small grouping of select highlights from the massive offering to be featured in this upcoming sale!


Cal. .31 caliber

Pictured and Described on pages 137-139 of “The Fur Trade”, author Milton von Damm: “Pair of Blunt and Syms pepperbox pistols. They are accompanied with the only known saddle holsters for such guns. The underside of the strap connecting the holsters which mounts the saddle pommel contains the faint, but unmistakable hand printed name of Ceran St. Vrain.

Ceran St. Vrain was one of the giants of the Southwest fur trade, a courageous man with a gregarious, gracious and reserved manner. He was a competent businessman who was an invaluable resource to the U.S. Army, before, during and after the Mexican War. A Catholic son of French immigrants with noble blood, Ceran St. Vrain was born in St. Louis county in 1802. He lost his father at age 16, but was soon embraced by Bernard Pratte where he gained valuable experience as a store clerk, fur shipment manager and trader for Bernard Pratte and Co. With Pratte’s support, St. Vrain became involved in shipping trade goods to Santa Fe and Taos in the early 1820’s during which his path occasionally crossed with Charles Bent. By 1827, the lure of trapping called and on his second trip, he enlisted as a clerk, but assumed the leadership when Sylvester Pratte, son of Bernard, died from a dog bite. This is the same trip where, Tom “Peg Leg” Smith was injured by an Indian and apparently amputated his own leg. In December of 1830 the partnership of Bent St. Vrain & Co. was formed.

By age 45, St. Vrain had tired of the trapper’s life with Indians and fur trappers and focused more on land speculation, supplying gold miners and the Army, saw mills and flour mills after Bent, St. Vrain & Co. was dissolved. He was active in public affairs, was a colonel of Mounted Troops and tinkered with publishing. He eventually retired to Mora, New Mexico where he owned the grist mill and another store. He died in Mora New Mexico in October 28,1870 and was honored with a military funeral unequaled in the area with over 2,000 people attending. These Blunt and Syms pepper box pistols have a European mechanism, American barrels, ring triggers and a concealed underhammer. The underhammer had two advantages; sighting was improved because the hammer did not rise above the barrel and the bottom barrel fired which enabled the shooter to stay on target better because the recoil was straight back rather than up.

There are six four inch barrels of .31 caliber and were manufactured between 1837 and 1850’s.” UNATTACHED ACCESSORIES: saddle holsters and reference letter.

PROVENANCE: from The Lifelong Collection of Author Milton von Damm.


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