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Winchester glass display case
March 10, 2015
2:26 am
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Jackson, MS
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Hello all,

I’m researching an old Winchester glass display case for a family friend who has had one stowed away with some other furniture she inherited.  It looks identical to the case pictured below (I should be able to get original photos sometime this week).

glass display case

So far, I’ve discovered that the design was originally patented by Fowler Manning, a general sales manager for Winchester, in 1918; and that they were produced by Walrus Manufacturing of Decatur, IL (now closed) sometime around 1920.  Supposedly, few of them were made and only a handful of them are still known to exist in the US.  This particular case has the number 166 stamped on top of the door.  I’ve read that each of the frames should be stamped with a matching serial number on top, but they would have to be detached from the pyramid top in order to check — which I’m reluctant to try considering the age and potential rarity of the case.

If anyone has any further information about these cases that they would be willing to share, I’d really appreciate it.

Thanks!

March 10, 2015
2:05 pm
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Wisconsin
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Jim Gordon a 73 collector and wrote a book about them had one in his collection. It sold at auction with all his guns at Little John’s for $3600 in May 98 .

Bob

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March 14, 2015
12:38 am
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Wisconsin
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There is going to be one in the Rock Island auction in April

Bob

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March 15, 2015
2:18 pm
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Jackson, MS
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Thanks for the info Bob!  It looks like Rock Island has had at least two others up for auction in the past as well — both in 2013 it appears.

March 18, 2015
3:21 am
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Jackson, MS
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I had the chance to visit the case again today; so I took some photos and did a bit more investigating.  The album, for those who are interested.

I also noticed that there appears to be some variety in the door mechanisms.  The case pictured in my first post (which was sold through Rock Island Auction) has a much rounder knob for opening the door and what appears to be a latch for locking the case just above it.  While the case I’ve seen in person (and another sold by Rock Island) have a more elongated knob and no latch. 

I’m curious as to whether this indicates that these cases were manufactured by multiple companies after all, or if Walrus Manufacturing just swapped hardware somewhere along the line while they were being produced.

March 18, 2015
3:46 am
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Wisconsin
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What surprises me is the Rock Island one went for $16,100

Bob

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March 18, 2015
11:33 pm
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Bob,

At  that price it makes one wonder about “auction games”.

Walter

March 18, 2015
11:44 pm
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Walter,

Maybe it had guns in it at the time!

Bob

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March 19, 2015
12:19 am
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Bob,

That is funny.

Walter

March 20, 2015
4:25 pm
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They are tough to find but not as rare as you might think.  I’ve seen over 15 of them in collections over the years because I collect winchester collectibles.  There never for sale because people have an attachment to them they are nice.  They made thousands of these not just a few.  I’ve seen serial numbers up to 1500 for these cases after removing the top.   There are probably a lot more of them out there than people think.  

March 20, 2015
6:54 pm
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Wyoming - Gods Country
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Those cases are pretty darn classy looking. Id sure like to have one in my gun room and just pick a few out of the safe to display in it now and again. I’m not sure how you could ever ship something like that, probably have to pick it up on site. I assume these were built for store displays, or did folks buy them for their homes?

~Gary~

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April 17, 2015
6:29 pm
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Hi all.

I am also interested in finding out about the variations in these cabinets and when they were made. I have one that is made of cherry or mahogany and has a different ‘shelf’ support than the one shown above. In addition, the Walrus Mfg Co badge on the bottom is round, three0dimensional and has some degree of coloration remaining. I have sold my collection of 73s, so I am most likely going to sell this display case.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.Smile

Lang 

August 2, 2015
3:17 am
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jarod Dainoviec
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 did anyone every get in touch with this person….I’m curious as to what ever happened to the case?  

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