The Rock Island Auction Company (RIA), the No. 1 collector firearms auction house in the world, hit record-breaking sales of more than $121 million for the first time in company history in 2021.
Thanks to the $25.2 million the company realized from two December auctions, the Rock Island-based auction house topped President Kevin Hogan’s own record breaking expectations by several million dollars. He told the Quad Cities Regional Business Journal earlier this month that he expected RIA to top last year’s record $92.7 million in sales by $10 million to $12 million. After adding sales from RIA’s Dec. 15 auction, the auction house beat that mark by closer to $19 million.
The December take was boosted by RIA’s final Premier Auction event of 2021 which presented a collection of weapons that belonged to Gen. Napoleon Bonaparte. It sold to a phone bidder for $2.875 million, capping a 2021 that saw more than 50 pieces achieve six-figure price tags, the company said.
With 21 auctions in the last 12 months, RIA hosted the four largest firearms auctions ever, including December 2020, $22 million; May 2021, $30 million; September 2022, $24 million; and December 2021, $25.2 million.
“Every year we continue to see more people express interest in collecting historic firearms. People are seeing the value behind investing in a piece of history and are realizing that art doesn’t just hang on the wall,” Mr. Hogan said.
“This year was a milestone for our brand, with more than 30,000 firearms and related items selling. In the last 12 months, we had two items sell for more than $1 million and another sell for more than $2 million, which was the Napoleon Garniture that sold in December’s Premier Auction.”