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The Times the Pawn Stars Shouldn’t Have Called an Expert

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In a 2020 episode of “Pawn Stars,” a man named Dennis was looking to sell a very old and very well-preserved long gun, one that took three different handlers to figure out its true value (which Dennis already seemed keenly aware). Corey Harrison identified the gun as being of French origin and something unique, so for a second opinion he called his father, Rick Harrison, a lover of historical relics, who immediately realized that they had a Boutet gun in their hands. “He was like a Rembrandt of guns,” the elder Harrison said of Nicolas-Noël Boutet, official gunsmith to King Louis XVI of France and post-revolutionary conqueror Napoleon, who “was like the first to truly combine” function and art. and catered to very wealthy customers in the late 1700s and early 1800s.

Dennis wanted $10,000 for his treasure, but before offering any amount, the Harrisons brought in Alex Cranmer, CEO of International Military Antiques, to assess the value. A visibly excited Cranmer said “Holy moly!” when he first laid eyes on the coin, and after admiring its detailing and ornamentation (and trying it out on a shooting range), he estimated its potential auction price at 30,000 $. Dennis raised his asking price to $20,000 and Rick Harrison lowered it to $16,000, well above the ten thousand dollars the client originally offered.