Biography of Greg Martin
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, Greg Martin has been a collector of antique weapons since childhood. He has amassed a significant personal collection of antique firearms and historic artifacts, becoming, in the process, a trusted authority on the subject. Of the top 20 highest prices realized for arms and armor, Martin has been directly responsible for 12 of the records achieved.
Martin has contributed articles on collecting and investing in historical artifacts to several publications and has lectured widely, including presentations at the Smithsonian Institution and the International Monetary Conference. He has also been featured in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Art & Auction, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Robb Report, Cigar Aficionado, Opulence Magazine, Wealth Magazine, San Francisco Magazine, The New York Post, The Los Angeles Times Forbes and Business Week. He has been interviewed about various aspects of antique arms and armor on major television networks including NBC, ABC and CNN, and on various radio programs in several countries.
Martin has appeared on PBS' "Antiques Roadshow," Discovery Channel's "The Search for Amazing Treasures," and The History Channel Series' "Tales of the Gun", and most recently on the “Mythbusters”. He is a regular on HGTV's "Appraise It!" and was profiled and featured in the BBC production “Antique Arms” and lent his expertise and collection to the major motion picture documentary "In the Blood" ... President Theodore Roosevelt African travels.
Martin was a two term Trustee of the California Historical Society; Member of the Arms & Armor Society of New York; Honorary Director and life time member of the Texas Gun Collector's Association; and a Trustee of the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles. Martin provided the Autry Museum with an endowment that has become the Greg Martin Colt gallery, highlighting the history of Samuel Colt’s Revolver. From 1986 - 2002, he presided, as Director and Leading Authority over the Arms & Armor Department at Butterfield and Butterfield Auctioneers, founded in 1865. During that time, Martin built Butterfields' arms department into the world's largest – achieving record prices and total sales of over $200,000,000 in antique arms, armor, militaria and historical memorabilia.
In January 2002, Martin formed Greg Martin Auctions with two veterans of Butterfields: Bernard Osher, its former owner, and John Gallo, former President. From 2002 to 2009 GMA sales went from 4,500,000 to over $16,000,000 annually.
He is an avid hunter and has hunted big game in Africa, North America and Europe. Martin is a life time member of the National Rifle Association and worked with the NRA to form the endowment fund strategy which is now engaged.
Mr. Martin has long been recognized as an academic and resource to writers and publishers for his expertise. He has contributed extensively from his private collection which formed the foundation of reference for Mr. Larry Wilson...recognized as the most prolific writer of reference material in the industry.
Martin is also recognized for his publication efforts for the following books he has written and published:
Buffalo Bill’s Wild West ... published by Random House
With Custer on Little Big Horn ...published by Viking Penguin...and in Japan
The Parker Lyon Pony Express Museum ...a photo essay publication featuring the largest collection of Western Memorabilia assembled...and owned by Mr. Martin
The Cali Collection
Colt Treasures ...currently pending publication this year
The Gamble Collection ...Currently pending publication this year
Martin’s personal collection is highly regarded as one of the finest private collections in America. This collection formed the theme of the movie ‘In the Blood’...the profile of T. Roosevelt...in which Martin himself was featured...and the movie ‘Son of a Gun’, produced by Sony Movie Productions.
His personal collection includes a most impressive Gold Rush Collection featured at the Oakland Museum of California...and has traveled to the Quebec Museum and on to the Paris National History Museum. Mr. Martin has also lent the collection to Shreve and Company for their 160th year anniversary.
Martin’s Collections of Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill represents the largest collections of their kind.
There is little doubt that Mr. Martin is recognized as one of the...if not the premier expert, collector, dealer, advisor and consultant in the industry. His ongoing success, both within the private sector and auction venue is unparalleled by any other individual in the arms, armor and related collectibles industry.
Record Prices achieved under the direction of Greg Martin & Associates
Throughout our history we have had the pleasure of marketing some of the finest collections available to the market. They include:
The Carl Press Collection...$30,000,000
Robert Howard Collection... 20,000,000
John Woods Collection...... 4,000,000
Parker Lyon Collection ...The first Western Collection of importance ever sold at auction.
Julie Cody Collection... The largest collection of Buffalo Bill and wild west material sold at auction.
William E Simon... The Secretary of the US Treasury...Roosevelt gun collection
Warren Anderson Collection...$10,000,000
Our sales include many world record prices realized for our clients.
Largest price for arms lot sold at auction ...Press Colt Board: 1,050,000
Holland and Holland sport guns sold at auction. $510,000 ... 480,000
T. Roosevelt sporting gun: $500,000
Colt gold inlaid Revolver: $810,000
Winchester Rifle One of One Thousand: $680,000
Serial number 1 single action Colt: $970,000
Cali Paterson: $977,000
Bowie Knife: $125,000
Paterson with 12” barrel: $840,000
Buffalo Bills Coat: $50,000
Overland Stage coach: $550,000
Pat Garretts badge: $150,000
Custer Flag: $175,000
Bonnie and Clyde shirt: $100,000
Civil War Sword – General Geo H Thomas –“The Rock of Chickamauga” : $240,000
John W. Hardin Colt Lightening with documents: $150,000
Bullet that killed John W. Hardin: $40,000
Bullet card of John W. Hardin $5,000
45 cal Luger Pistol: $500,000
Additional Collections sold under Greg Martin & Associates direction.
Buich Collection. $3,000,000
Koken Collection of Saddles, Bits and Spurs.
Bowie Knife Collection of Chas Shriner/Berryman...set a world record price for a single knife.
Bill Williamson Collection of Knives
Littman Collection of Knives...established world record price for SF knife $140,000...Largest collection of knives ever sold at action.
Don Tharp Sword Collection. Largest collection of swords sold at auction.