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My father-in-law passed away close to two years ago now and left an extremely nice 2-digit SN Colt 1905 to my wife and I. He actually wrote a book about the 1905 back in 1998 which contains a few pictures of this one.

My wife is considering selling it and putting the money into the business her father started which she has been running for many years. I’m not too big on the idea but her Dad, her gun.

Does anyone know where I could have a proper appraisal or at least a legitimate idea of what this 1905 is worth? I’ve been told a few things by a few people but I’m looking for an estimate from someone who knows what they are looking at.

Also, if she decides to part with this, does anyone have recommendations on where to sell it? I’ve been told to look at some of the Internet auction / sale sites but I have to believe there are better options.

Thanks in advance for any advice and if placed this in the wrong forum, I apologize. Just direct me to the correct one and I’ll repost.

1905- - 2.jpg 1905- - 4.jpg 1905- - 5.jpg 1905- - 8.jpg 1905- - 11.jpg
 

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Wow!! If thats all original its worth alot.. Certainly five figures plus.. Only a good auction will tell for sure.
 

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Collectors Firearms in Houston might be a good one to help with the appraisal. If I win the lottery in the next few days I will buy it. I have your father in laws book. It is a great one. Here is their website. Collectors Firearms
 

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Assuming it is original finish (I have no reason to assume otherwise), I would not be surprised to see $15 to $20 k on that at auction with a few motivated buyers. More if the provenance becomes a factor.
 

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It definitely looks refinished in the photos to me, but sometimes photos can be misleading. In any case, it's still a great piece of early 45 semi-auto history. Call Turnbull and ask them if they've had it in the shop before, although there are also a few others that do similar work. Good luck !
 

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Indeed this SN 18 has multiple B&W photos in John Potocki's subject book and is noted as in the author's collection, consistent with the original post. It oddly isn't on either color cover however, which could be because it is refinished, but my thoughts and earlier comments must be tempered by speculating from photos of an apparently well oiled high polished pistol. It looks more realistic in the B&W book photos. I'd speculate it's worth 8-10k$ if refinished and 25-30k$ if it was original finish based on comparables, but there's a big spread in the comparables data.

John Potocki has an exact weight table for "nine original condition M1905s" in his book on p. 38 and SN 18 is not included in the table, while it is noted as being in his personal collection. This would seemingly support that it is because it is not in "original condition". I'd be more than happy to do a free inspection and assessment however if the author wishes ;-) . Thanks for sharing in any case and indeed a great pistol whether original finish or refinished. Also, an acknowledgement sent out to John Potocki for a fantastic book on the Model 1905 and his generosity in sharing his knowledge and love of these beautiful pistols.
 

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That is one very nice 1905.

My condolences on the passing of your father-in-law.
I know his book well. There were several 1905's from this collection sent across country to your father-in-law to help his study of the variances of the pistol. The copy I have has a very nice note to my father hand written in the front of the book (dated in Dec. 1997).
Below is one of the pistols featured in his book:
IMG_2367.JPG IMG_2368.JPG IMG_2369.JPG
 

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Nice pistol!!! I do not believe it to be re-finished. Looks original to me. As for the price, who knows. Get two maybe more in a bidding war, it could be very high. Wish I could buy it!!!
 
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That is one very nice 1905.

My condolences on the passing of your father-in-law.
I know his book well. There were several 1905's from this collection sent across country to your father-in-law to help his study of the variances of the pistol. The copy I have has a very nice note to my father hand written in the front of the book (dated in Dec. 1997).
Below is one of the pistols featured in his book:
View attachment 315217 View attachment 315225 View attachment 315233
Now that's most certainly beautiful and original finish !!! Thanks for sharing.
 

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Extremely impressive. It is very valuable if it's original. I would reach out to some of the big Pre War dealer's for opinions. Most guys want to see a lot of detailed pictures or handle it in person to give a spot on value
 

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Welcome to the forum. You have a beautiful and very valuable 1905. I think you should sell in an auction setting. Rather than dealing with an auction house I would suggest consigning it with a GunBroker dealer who has a reputation for selling this grade of firearm like "Jack the Dog"

I would also suggest you and your wife look for miscellaneous related material such as parts, stocks, screws, ammo, advertising etc. This could be a treasure trove for the collector and another source of income.
 
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