To use a double negative for emphasis, NOT HARDLY! Single Action Army boxes often sell for more than the cited example. A near mint Pre-War Single Action Army box sold on eBay for $1,375 on August 23, 2009. A Single Action Army box from the 1800s can bring $5,000 or more.
All Colt boxes are a better investment than Colt guns. A recent example that comes to mind is the Colt .32 Hammerless box sold on eBay for $805 on May 6, 2011. That pales next to the Pre-War National Match box that sold for $2,011 on December 16, 2007.
I track boxes on eBay and the steadily escalating sale prices confirm my decision to begin buying boxes decades ago.
I had a chance to buy a decent, not mint, prewar Colt Single Action box at the CGCA show in Denver in May. It was for a 5 1/2 inch 45 Colt, which I have, but I didn't buy it, not because of the price, but because I just didn't need it. It was then offered to and sold to a collector/dealer a few tables down for $2000, if I remember correctly.
That is a lot of money for even an early 2nd gen but I also saw a ragged out 1911 national match sell the other day at auction at $19,500 plus 18% buyer's penalty because they "thought" it had belonged to a well known Texas Ranger who probably owned hundreds of guns during his lifetime and they are still surfacing.
If you are a millionaire or billionaire how many $688 boxes can you buy before you run out of money?
The fact the paperwork and cleaning brush were included was, I suspect, partially responsible for the sales price. The cleaning brushes are very difficult to find and the full set of paperwork, all together, virtually impossible. Also - maybe out of sheer luck or happenstance, the winning bidder owned the gun with that serial number.
this thread has opened my eyes for one more item to keep in mind when i am at a garage sale or swap meet.
i used to think boxes were pretty much useless unless the serial number matched a gun i had. i also remember seeing dealers w/table loads of empty boxes for sale @$10 or so and passed on them.
shame on me.
If I had the SAA that had the same serial # as that box did, you could bet your boots I'd be all over it. I'd have bid till I had supassed the value of the gun and then some if that's what it took. After all, it is the only one out there (for that gun)
You never know - the buyer might have had the gun to which that box is serialed. I can see paying that in such an instance, especially if the gun was in really nice shape such that the box really added a substantial premium.
Edited to add - posted before seeing Chaffee posting the same thing.
When I die, I want to be buried in a two piece lift top box (one big enough for me to fit in it) because its just a cool box and cause the original style is the one a Colt was always meant to be in.. it just looks vintage. not the styrofoam with the faux wood sleeve... the stinkin end flap will come off and eventually they won't know who I am or if that was the original box I was buried in. (the styrofoam would last pretty much forever though).
on a less silly note, if that winning bidder has a the gun from that era to put in that box , well.. post that match on an auction and he's made money. My eye (and apparently other people with deeper pockets) go to the guns with a box.