U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)-– The prop used by the character Han Solo in the original Star Wars movie was lost for decades. It was recently rediscovered, re-assembled, and sold at auction at Rock Island Auction Company. The price, as bid, was $900,00. With the buyer’s fees, the total amount came to $1,057,500.
As one of the auctioneers quipped, that is a record price paid for a blaster!
The following video shows the bidding at Rock Island Auction Company. It is fast. It is pricey. It only lasts two minutes and 59 seconds.
Interested bidders from all over the world were willing to pay a lot of money for this iconic movie prop.
The history of the prop is fascinating. Director George Lucas did not want flash and shiny. He wanted something described as a “used future,” meaning props and devices in the movie should appear to show wear and appear cheap. The original Star Wars did not have a big budget. The video below tells the entire story of how the prop was made from a surplus Mauser 96 pistol. They were still cheap in England in 1976. A scope mount, flash hider, and other items were added to create a unique DL-44 Heavy Blaster.
While the Solo DL-44 Heavy Blaster movie prop netted over a million dollars, it is only the tenth highest item that has been sold through Rock Island Auctions.
The top price was for a cased pair of Remington New Army model revolvers owned by President Grant. They are percussion revolvers and sold for $5,170,000 dollars. They were presented to General Ulysses S. Grant when he was commander of the Union Armies before becoming president.
The second highest price was paid for six weapons owned by Napolean, five firearms, and a sword. The price for the six items was $2,875,000.
The third highest was a set of chain mail made for a sultan in about 1480. it went for $2.3 million.
The fourth highest was a historical, documented, only known example of a cased Colt Walker for $1.84 million.
The fifth highest was an engraved, cased, well-documented Third Model Colt Dragoon for $1,667,500.
This correspondent was surprised. President Theodore Roosevelt’s Single Action Colt revolver sold for $1,466,250. It was number six on the list. President Roosevelt received the revolver as a gift for his 54th birthday.
The seventh on the list was a Model 1886 Rifle, serial number 1, presented to Captain Henry W. Lawton. Lawton was a Medal of Honor Recipient following the surrender of Chiricahua Apache Chief Geronimo. A pocket watch presented to Captain Lawton was included. The rifle and watch sold for $1,265,000.
The eighth most pricey lot was for a Winchester 1886 Model Express Rifle in .50 caliber. It was heavily engraved and a takedown model. It has been considered the finest Winchester in existence. It sold for $1,178,750.
The ninth most expensive lot was a pair of dueling pistols, which belonged to Alexander Hamilton. The flintlocks were presented to Hamilton while he served in the Revolutionary war under General Washington. The pair sold for $1,150,000.
The tenth most expensive lot was, of course, the Han Solo DL-44 Heavy Blaster.
The entire list may be viewed at the Rock Island Auction Company site.
In a conversation with Rock Island Auction Company CEO Kevin Hogan last year, Hogan believes high-quality collectible firearms are dramatically undervalued in current society.
Hogan does not recommend collectibles as a stand-alone investment. However, if you enjoy your collection, they are a way to hedge against monetary inflation.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.