The inaugural outreach by Holt’s and Blixt will occur at the Safari Club Conventions in Dallas and Reno in early January. Dallas Safari Club, held January 3rd – 6th, takes place at the Dallas Convention Center. SCI’s 41st Annual Hunters’ Convention in Reno during January 23rd – 26th is in the Reno Sparks Convention Center.
The plan calls for Holt’s founder, Nick Holt, along with his associates from the auction house, to occupy the Blixt exhibit at both shows. The Blixt booth number is 2836-40 in Dallas and in Reno it’s number 30. A private area permits free confidential valuations of individual guns and collections centered on condition and provenance. With valuation certificate in hand, owners can either consign their guns to Holt’s for auction or retain ownership with no obligation to act.
Subsequently, Mr. Magnusson will be Holt’s point man in America to arrange valuations and logistical support for quarterly auctions at the Princess Louise House in London, which are complemented by live Internet bidding and sealed-bid auctions. Although Holt’s works with American dealers such as Griffin & Howe, Holland & Holland, Lewis Drake and Associates and Connecticut Shotgun Manufacturing Co. to locate firearms in America, Mr. Magnusson is Holt’s first exclusive agent with no competing interests in the gun trade.
Following the Safari Club confabs, Mr. Magnusson will arrange engagements in the U.S. where valuations by Holt’s will be given at no charge. If the owner opts to have Holt’s auction their guns, Mr. Magnusson facilitates the transfer.
The new alliance stems from a relationship between Mr. Holt and Mr. Magnusson that originated during the early-1990s in Sweden and onward to the West London Shooting School where Mr. Magnusson spent that period as an instructor. Early in 2012, their paths crossed again when they discussed collaborating at the Dallas and Reno conventions and beyond — reviving Holt’s presence at the events after a four-year hiatus.
Holt’s American network aims to counter the time-honored passage of premium English shotguns and rifles to America where they remain out of reach by collectors and enthusiasts there. In turn, by working with the nonpartisan Mr. Magnusson, Holt’s clients in England and additional countries can bid on firearms routinely confined to U.S. auctions.
“We’re looking for rare firearms here that we know there’s a market for in the U.K.,” Mr. Magnusson said.
“Some things sell better here or there,” Mr. Holt explained.
Since starting his auction house in 1992, Mr. Holt has built an organization of international representatives that source quality firearms for him. Mr. Holt described this ensemble as comprised of “hunting and shooting people who know the local language and their own gun legislation.”
Mr. Magnusson fit the bill. His family is renowned for their hunting skills in the celebrated Scandinavian hunting grounds where he was born and raised. After teaching shooting in Sweden and the prestigious West London Shooting School, Mr. Magnusson returned to Sweden where he helped establish the West Stockholm Shooting School. In 2003, he joined Griffin & Howe as Managing Director of its shooting school at Hudson Farm in Andover, New Jersey. Mr. Magnusson held that position until 2006, when he ventured to Jackson Hole, Wyoming with the vision of introducing traditional, driven British shoots to America through his start-up, Blixt & Co., which is named after his great-grandfather, the illustrious local hunter and fisherman, Bengt Blixt.