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Ernest Hemingway's Winchester Model 61 Pump-Action Rifle

ERNEST HEMINGWAY’S WINCHESTER MODEL 61 PUMP-ACTION RIFLE.

Serial no. 203648 for 1954, .22 caliber 24 inch round blued barrel. Grooved fore-end. Checkered steel buttplate. Together with sleeve. WITH: Express Transport Co., Ltd. … Nairobi ID tag with “Hemingway” written in ink, originally affixed to canvas rifle case. AND WITH: Printed firearms registration form for this gun, the Kenya Police accomplished in manuscript by Ernest Hemingway, 1 p, 5 x 5 inches, Nairobi, Kenya, July 29, 1957, creasing and thumbing. AND WITH: A group of 9 gelatin silver print photographs of Hemingway, c.1954, most with news service stamps or snipes on the verso.

Provenance: purchased by Hemingway at Abercrombie & Fitch, c. 1953 and used on safari in Nairobi that year; recorded by serial number on a Kenyan registration form for Ernest Hemingway, July 29, 1957 (see 3rd item above); consigned or sold to Abercrombie & Fitch by the estate of Ernest Hemingway, 1963 (letter dated July 22, 1963); purchased by Karl Leonhardt; sold to Jim and Theresa Earle, June 1974.

Literature: Calabi, Silvio, et al. Hemingway’s Guns: The Sporting Arms of Ernest Hemingway, pp 198-199.

HEMINGWAY’S FAVORITE .22.

In 1953-54, Ernest and Mary Hemingway embarked on a months-long safari in Kenya, which was marred by the Mau Mau uprising and two plane crashes in two days. One of Hemingway’s last works, not published in his lifetime, was a slightly fictionalized version of the safari that he referred to as “the Africa book.”  His son Patrick edited it and released it for publication in 1999 as True at First Light.

The purpose of the safari was to hunt, and the Hemingways brought an arsenal with them, according to Mary Hemingway.  In a typed note to the new owner of the .22, she explains, “We had 18 to 20 guns with us on that 1953-54 Safari, including shotguns and various rifles from little .22’s to big 376 elephant guns, which neither of us used on elephants. Our favorite .22 was a light pump-action gun which held, if I recall, 15 short-nose shells in the tube which lived under the barrel. Ernest would have used this or any other .22 on small beasts such as bush-babies, rodents, or snakes, and also, on guinea fowl, which are such cleaver [sic] birds, they know shot-gun ranges and keep outside them.  With a .22, you have to shoot them in the head, of course, which calls for pretty good marksmanship, since they keep moving all the time.”

The 1957 Kenya registration for this gun was likely engineered by Denis Zaphiro, game warden of the Kaijado District of Kenya, who visited the Hemingways in Cuba in July of 1957.

We do not sell post 1898 firearms to California residents unless they have a valid FFL or Relic and Curio license. Old West Gun Room in El Cerrito, CA will handle all in state and out of state transfers. His fees are $100 per gun plus any applicable shipping charges. By purchasing this lot you agree that you will be solely responsible for compliance with all applicable Legal Requirements governing the purchase, sale, transfer and shipping of Firearms. The Firearms must be shipped only to a Federal Firearms License holder (“FFL Holder”). You must transmit a copy of your (or your FFL Holder’s) license to the seller before the Firearms can be shipped. You must make arrangements with an FFL  Holder before placing a bid. It is very important that you contact an FFL Holder before placing a bid in order to verify the complete cost of the transfer, the legality of the item in your area, and to make sure you qualify to pass any required background checks. “Firearms” shall have the meaning provided under the Gun Control Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C. 101 et seq. “Legal Requirements” means all applicable legal requirements for the sale, transfer and transport of the item, including but not limited to statutes, regulations and/or requirements of any country, state locality, province, municipality or other government authority or regulatory entity regarding sales or auctions, the sale and/or transfer of the item, export or import control, taxation, duties or tariffs, and licensing of brokers and dealers. 

 

 

Condition:

Very fine to excellent. Stock with minor imperfections. Witherell's strives to provide as much information and photographs as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Condition statements are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Witherell's. All lots are sold "AS IS" under terms and conditions. Please be advised we do not provide porters nor packing materials for pick ups.

Estimate: $50,000 - $100,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$30,250
09/21/2021
Internet Bidding
 

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Witherell's strives to provide as much information and photographs as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Condition statements are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Witherell's. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms and Conditions. Methods of payment are cash, check, money orders, or wire transfer for foreign payments. Please note we do not accept credit cards. This auction has a buyer's premium of 21% when bidding through witherells.com.