I am new to this forum. I joined this forum to hopefully gain some insight to what I have. I have acquired a 1902 Ithaca double barrel shotgun. This is a special gun for several reasons. It has two sets of barrels, a 28" set, and a 26" set. Ithaca would do this and assign the same serial number on the extra barrels, but from what I have gathered, it was VERY expensive to have done. On the inside of the receiver, hand stamped into the metal is the name Marion Morrison. Now I know that I dont have to explain the significance of that. Also, underneath the plastic butt stock of the gun, it has been signed John Wayne 1948.
What troubled me is that John Wayne was not born until 1907. Why would he buy a USED gun, and like it so much that he would hand stamp his birth name in the metal, and then sign the butt stock in 1948 as John Wayne? Well after more research, I found out that his grandfather was Marion Mitchell Morrison (1845-1915). This ties in nicely with the guns manufacture date of 1902. John Wayne, from what I have found out was born and given the name Marion Robert Morrison in 1907, but was changed two years later to Marion Mitchell Morrison. I believe that this gun belonged to his grandfather, and was either passed down to John Wayne's father, Clyde Morrison, and then to John, or it may have been passed down directly to John, who was named after his grandfather.
I have sent the butt stock of this gun to PSA / DNA Authentication Services for the signature to be authenticated. From everything, I have seen, it is indeed his signature, but I am not an expert or authenticator. I should be getting this back in 10-20 days with a certificate of authenticity. What makes this unique is that it is not just a gun that someone had autographed, but could realistically be one of John Wayne's personal guns.
I am a federal licensed firearms dealer, and I know what the gun is worth without all these unique features. I guess, I am asking do any of you have any idea what this gun could possibly be worth? I do have pictures, if anyone is interested in seeing this gun.
Thanks in advance for any input, and I do apologize for my first post being so long.