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Greg Martin Auctions is the brainchild of three auction trade heavyweights, namely Martin, John Gallo, former president of Butterfields and Bernard Osher, former chairman of Butterfields. Gallo and Osher sold the company to eBay for around $260m in 1999. Steve Turner, general manager and also formerly of Butterfields, joins the team bringing several years of international auction experience.

It was Martin, Gallo and Osher who put together one of the largest antique arms and armour departments in the world at Butterfield & Butterfield.

Six months in the making, the new business was unveiled (under the working title of Colt Auctions) to a promising response at the Las Vegas Antique Arms Show, the ‘Winter Show’ of American arms and armour fairs, held at the Riviera Hotel Convention Center from January 31 to February 3.

‘Landmark’ is the word Greg Martin used to describe the type of sales and pieces that the new business will specialise in – “a level of antique arms and armour sales that has never been seen before in the market. The [antique arms and armour] market is very vibrant right now and the sales we will offer will attempt to broaden that market.”

For the inaugural event, which will be held on June 3 in San Francisco (with plans in place to allow online bidding), Martin has pinned down a number of exceptional consignments. These include a gold inlaid Gustav Henry pistol presented to President Grant and consigned by the Ulysses S. Grant family and items relating to Pat Garrett including the Lincoln County, New Mexico sheriff’s badge presented for his role in the demise of Billy the Kid.