It is thought that the guns, a .500 revolver by E. M. Reilly & Co. and two Winchester rifles, each featured in some of the explorer’s greatest adventures in Africa.
Sir Henry Morton Stanley was a Welsh-born journalist turned explorer, who, when working for the New York Herald, is thought to have uttered the immortal greeting “Doctor Livingstone, I presume?” on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in 1872.
His book, How I Found Livingstone; travels, adventures and discoveries in Central Africa, charted his adventures through Africa and his search for the missionary Doctor David Livingstone.
The .44 rimfire model 1866 lever-action repeating musket by Winchester was described by Stanley as a “rare gift” and featured prominently in his writing.
With an estimate of £12,000 – £16,000, the gun sold for £26,000, as did Stanley’s .500 Tranter patent model 1868 five-shot double-action revolver by E. M. Reilly & Co.
A second rifle, a Winchester .45-75 model 1876 lever-action rifle, which was used on his expeditions to settle the Congo basin on behlaf of Leopold, King of the Belgians, and the search for Emin Pasha, in the latter half of the 19th Century, was estimated to sell at £7,000 – £9,000.
This gun, which is anecdotaly credited as almost single-handedly saving both expeditions, sold for a remarkable £35,000, bringing the total up to £87,000 for the collection.