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Discussion Starter #1
The Sutherland collection is made up of many prototype and on-of-a-kind guns. He must have had close factory connections. Does anyone know the Sutherland story? How did he amassed such a unusual collection and how did he came up with the answers through his research? THX, Addict
 

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Addict, R.L.Wilson's "Book of Colt Firearms" is to a large extent the 'Sutherland Collection'. In the mid 1960's Larry Wilson and Robert Q Sutherland met and Wilson became a consultant and buying agent for Sutherland in order to help him improve his collection. Sutherland later decided to underwrite Wilson project to write the definitive Colt reference book. The incredible Sutherland Collection assembled for "The Book of Colt Firearms" were made possible by Sutherland's deep pockets and Wilson's contacts. Yes, among the many impressive check marks on his resume, Wilson was employed by Colt Firearms.
 

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A little known fact about very advanced collectors is, they move in a very narrow little world.

They all know each other, and in many cases, they all know specific individual guns.
This means when "The Jones 1st Model Dragoon" comes on the market, they all know the complete provenance of that specific gun, and know exactly who will be interested in buying it.

Most of this level of collectible guns never come on anything like a public market, and most people never hear of them.

In this world, DEEP pockets are a necessity.

At this level there are a number of sub-sets of specialty collectors.
One set collects only engraved and inlaid models.
One collects only Single Actions.
One collects only engraved Single Action.
One group collects guns owned by famous or infamous people.

I knew a VERY advanced collector who collected only factory oddities: guns with wrong markings, barrels in one caliber, cylinders in another, guns that were such poor quality they should have never made it out the plant door, etc.

One of the more low-profile collector groups are the people who collect only "blood guns". Guns that were used in killings.
At the top of this group are more or less normal people who collect famous crime and lawman guns that got used in shootings.

At what I'd personally call "the bottom" are some VERY shadowy (and often shady) collectors who collect ANY gun that's been used in a killing.
Doesn't matter if it's a fine Colt SAA used in a famous gun fight, or a cheap Lorcin some gang banger used to kill another banger.

There are many cases of people who had a relative commit suicide getting contacts trying to buy the gun.

The more wealthy of these often try to get contacts inside police departments and coroners offices to be used as leads and sources of guns, and often other weapons.

Most "blood gun" collectors are just slightly odd people with an unusual hobby.
Some of them are downright creepy.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Does the collection still exist or has it been sold off? Is Sutherland still living?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Dee, How can you be a junior and I'm a newbie when I have more posts than you? /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
 

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Dfaris, Well put, advanced collectors [read very wealthy] do travel in a 'narrow little world'. Addict, over the last five years or so, I have often read, "from the collection of, from the estate of, from the late Robert Q Sutherland etc". I have no doubt that Mr Sutherland is quite dead but I do not know when he passed on. Perhaps someone here could let us know.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
Dee, How can you be a junior and I'm a newbie when I have more posts than you? /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

[/ QUOTE ]

Registration date, maybe?

Brian
 

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Dee P Six: Interesting post. I didn't know how Sutherland and Wilson hooked up for the first book.

Dfariswheel: I have met some of those collectors with the deep pockets and you are 100% correct. They live in a completely different collector world from the rest of us. The big dealers know precisely where to sell the special rare guns and frequently they are sold immediately. They turn the money in days after acquiring an interesting piece.
 

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Hi Addicted,
If you read the introduction on the dust jacket to the original edition of The Book Of Colt Firearms, the authors tell you all of the different places they researched for their information, and they tell you a lot of the guns were photographed in various museuems etc. A lot of the guns shown in that book came from the Connecticut State Library collection. These guns were originally donated to the CSL by Colt in the mid 50s (1956 I believe). A number of guns from the Colt collection were released by the CSL and made their way into private hands. You see them being auctioned or offered for sale now and then. This book was first published in the 70s and it is a REALLY GREAT BOOK! My wife bought me an original copy as an anniversary gift when we were first married. You do have to be careful though as there are a number of places that the information is not accurate or is incomplete ... A lot of research has been done in the last 30 years and I would say that in the area of Single Actions alone only the most basic information is contained in The Book Of Colt Firearms. Also, a lot of the serial number dates of manufacture are somewhat inaccurate as more detailed research has been done in specific fields like the New Army and Navy Models and the 1911 series autos, and the 1878 models... If you are interested in doing research, try the National Archives for the military topics (Most Large Universities also have Gov't Documents sections) and try the CSL for Colt Studies in general. There are a number of excellent works written on specific Colt models as well... you can never have enough reference works in your library! Hope that helps... Bob Best
 

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Someone who supposedly knew told me that Sutherland got divorced and his collection was sold as a result of the property settlement. Never knew if it was true, but if true, the "very advanced collectors" would have swarmed on the collection as mentioned. Wilson would know. I have corresponded with Wilson on occasion, but never raised that issue.

For what is is worth, TBOCF was not first published in the 1970s, it was published in 1970. It does contain many errors, yet remains THE general Colt reference.
 

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Hi Judge,
I agree with you... The Book of Colt Firearms is the Very Best Reference available for all of Colt's Products found in one location. I still use it regularly! According to my book copy, it was copyrighted in 1971 by Robert Q. Sutherland. My wife gave it to me as a present for our second anniversary (1971). It cost $50 and for the time was like spending $500 now... R.Q. Sutherland's "In Appreciation..." remarks in the book's introduction are quite enlightening if you are interested in the roles of the various "players"in the development of the book... I don't know if that is included in the new edition published by R.L. Wilson or not...
I don't know about "the divorce" issue, never heard that but that doesn't mean anything... I believe R.Q. Sutherland has passed away and his collection has been disposed of... Not all of the guns in the book are from his personal collection, many were photographed and credited to the holding institution...Have a GOOG ONE! Bob Best
 

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I have two copies of the first edition. The first copy cost me $500 back when I first really getting interested in Colts and the history (approx 1990). The binding is not that great in that book and I have almost been afraid to even read it. Pretty bad, huh. Always figured that the other books that post dated the 1971 book actually had most of the same information in it. I'm probably wrong, of course.

I believe the second editon came out after RQ Sutherland passed. There was some sort of divorce issue that caused the book not to be republished until later.
 

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I don't pay much attention to the current Wilson BOCF prices, but after reading this thread, checked out the classified link to Amazon, and saw a second printing copy listed at $950.00!
I paid $125.00 for my copy, purchased on the tail end of the rush to by the 2nd printing, roughly 10-12(?) years ago. I didn't realize I had found such a bargain. It would pain me to pay current prices, but now that I know the value of the book, even with the mistakes it may contain, I would definitely pay the going rate, should I (God forbid) ever need to replace my lost, stolen, or destroyed copy. Hmmm...I may have to make room in the vault... /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The fools pricing their's on Amazon is not what they're selling for. A first edition sold recently on ebay in excellent condition for $265. I've seen them go for as much as $350 but that's about max.
 

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I bought my first copy prior to the Second edition coming out. At that time, some first edition books were selling for as much as $1000. Overnight, the bottom fell out of the first edition market and as mentioned above they are selling for the $250-$350 area now. Ebay changed the antique book market entirely. Anyway, that was a pretty poor investment and it was intended as an investment at the time! Sometimes the second edition sells for that much now.
 

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I wanted one strictly for the information. I remember asking one dealer if I could rent a copy for a few hours, so I could xerox it...I was making fun of his prices, but he thought I was serious... /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
 

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I do not know which is going more quickly, my mind or my typing fingers! The first edition of TBOCF was published in 1971, not 1970. Sorry. My bad.

I bought a first edition in the late 1970s and paid around $400 for it as I recall! A while after the second edition came out in 1993, I saw a stack of them at a closeout book store for about $50 per copy, but, having a first edition, did not buy any. After thinking about it and deciding it would be a good idea to have a couple of second editions to use for reference (one for home and one for the office) so as to save my vaulable first edition, I went back to the bookstore a month or so later and all were gone. I ended up buying a second edition for about $90 and another for about $125.

I would love to see an updated edition that corrects the known errors, and addresses known variations of the common guns more completely. It should include pictures of the box types,stock types, sight types, etc. as they changed from time to time.
 

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I bought a 2nd Edition in the early 90's,paid about $125 for it,IIRC. Came with an extra dust jacket,which will be "needed" when time comes for "my estate sale"! I have used it plenty.

Have to agree with the Judge,that a new book is NEEDED! I say something along the lines of the fine Standard Catalog of S&W. It should cover the options,boxes etc. -AND-a way to make it smaller,(and keep price down) would be to ONLY cover the cartridge guns.

The older Colt books by Severn and Haven & Belding are good compliments to a library,but are "incomplete,and outdated".A very useful book,that has some great info(such as handling the change of grip frames on the small frames in the 20's,and the 2" O.P. being usually shipped with rounded butt) is the "classic", Pistols and Revolvers by W.H.B. Smith. Yes,it is "old",but a valuable source and quite comprehensive on "other guns" and data. Being a frequenter of used book shops,flea markets,and antique emporiums,I rarely see a copy priced over $25.

I genuinely believe that the publication of the SCSW,has greatly increased the number of S&W lovers,especially with the limited production guns from Springfield over the last 2 decades. It may also have helped raise prices,as the increased demand by "new collectors" is impacting the limited supply. So,this might be an unintended consequence of a similar book on Colt Cartridge Revolvers and Pistols?

Just some "thoughts".

Bud /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
 
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