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    LOT 1552
Documented Griffin & Howe Bolt Action .30-06 Sporting Rifle
with Zeiss Scope, and Silver Plaque Inscribed with Initials Attributed
to Gary Cooper, Famed American Actor and Sportsman - Serial no. 1476, 30-06 Springfield cal., 25 7/8 inch round bbl., blue finish, walnut stock.
This outstanding .30-06 Springfield rifle was built and hand crafted by Griffin & Howe of New York with a silver oval on the underside of the stock
partially coated in oil and marked with initials “GC” attributed to Gary Cooper, one of the most famous American actors of all time who starred as Alvin York, and an avid
sportsman. With a thirty-six year long acting career from 1925 to 1961, Cooper was one of the top ten film personalities for twenty-three consecutive years, and one of
the top money-making stars for eighteen years. In between acting, Cooper spent a lot of his free time tinkering with rifles in his gun room to prepare for his next hunt. He went on multiple safaris in Africa in which he was credited with over sixty big game kills, including a rhinoceros, two lions, and various antelopes. His safari experiences in Africa had a profound influence on Cooper and intensified his love of the wilderness. Ernest Hemingway, famous American novelist and sportsman, became Cooper’s closest friend. Pg. 171 of the book “Gary Cooper American Hero” by Jeff Meyers states, “Their twenty-year friendship, sustained by Cooper’s amiable temperament, was unusual for Hemingway, who became impatient
 Gary Cooper
       with old friends and tended to break with them. For Cooper, Hemingway had a rare combination of qualities. Quite outside the world of Hollywood, he was an intelligent man who understood him and could talk about personal matters.” The included limited edition book “High on the Wild with HEMINGWAY” by Lloyd Arnold has an image on pg. 188 of Gary Cooper in the snowy mountains outside of Ernest Hemingway’s Trail Creek Cabin in Sun Valley, Idaho with what appears to be this exact rifle over his right shoulder while holding a slain bobcat in his left hand. Pg. 187 states, “...Coop came to the shop one cold morning to tell me he got a fine “bobkitty” the day before... he wondered if someone could take a picture of him with it.” Included with this rifle are a handful of high quality period press photographs of this same incident showing different angles in which the silver plaque underneath the rifle is visible. The back of one of the photographs has a type written February 12th, 1947 dated caption, “...Gary Cooper, Movie Star, using a high-speed .22 calibre rifle, shot this wildcat a few miles from Sun Valley where he is vacationing...”This rifle was also included in a couple photos from a promotional photo shoot of Gary Cooper on the set of Souls At Sea (1937). Copies of these photos are included with this rifle. The wood grain of the rifle in the photos can be can be matched like a fingerprint to the gun. After a very hard bargain, the consignor of this rifle finally convinced Griffin & Howe to release a 1936 dated original factory repair record in which
a rifle with matching serial number “1476/G. Cooper/220 Swift” is listed. Of important note, the original caliber marking on the left side of the barrel at the breech was milled off, likely by Griffin & Howe, and replaced with a “.30-06” caliber marking on a flat surface; indicating the rechambering of the heavy barrel from it’s original .220 Swift chambering. Top of the barrel marked “No. 1476 GRIFFIN & HOWE INC. NEW YORK”. Beaded blade front sight. Matted receiver ring. Fitted with a Griffin & Howe left side mount and Zeiss scope, right side mounted Lyman receiver sight base currently fitted with a blue Williams sight base with no peep for scope clearance, jeweled bolt and
follower, and knurled bolt handle. Deluxe checkered shadow line cheekpiece stock with horn forend
cap, blue steel grip cap, checkered and border engraved steel buttplate with trap, containing the original ladder with peep for the Lyman rear sight. Also includes four books, various photographs of Gary Cooper, and research. Gary Cooper’s snub nose Smith & Wesson .38 Military & Police revolver is also in this auction Lot 627.
CONDITION: Very fine as customized by Griffin & Howe, retaining 95% original blue finish with some light handling marks. Scope with clear optics. Stock is also excellent with some light handling marks and crisp checkering. Mechanically excellent. A rare opportunity to own a spectacular rifle attributed
as being owned by one of, if not the most famous American actors of all time!
Provenance: The Tom Selleck Collection.
 388 Estimate: 20,000 - 30,000

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