Morphy Auctions officially became a multinational company as founder and President Dan Morphy announced the launch of a European division based in Zwingen, Switzerland.

“Having a permanent presence in Europe means we can now offer collectors across the Atlantic a convenient and economical way in which to consign valuables to our major sales in Pennsylvania and Las Vegas,” Morphy said.

To ensure the intercontinental operation runs professionally and without any delays due to time-zone differences, Morphy’s has partnered with the respected Swiss firm CBR Trading AG, d.b.a. Munitionsdepot.ch (hereafter Munitions Depot). Consignors now have access to a streamlined service that includes pickup anywhere on the Continent or in the United Kingdom, safe storage of goods in Zwingen, and prompt shipment to Morphy’s in the US. Confirmed initial consignments include antique firearms and militaria, antique toys, fine and decorative art, jewelry, and other high quality antiques.

“We’ve had a strong involvement with European collectors for many years, especially those who collect antique firearms and militaria,” Morphy said. “We’ve often been asked if there were a way to consign firearms to Morphy’s that didn’t involve tedious government paperwork or international shipping hassles. We knew that in order to set up a seamless, consignor-friendly system, we would have to find the right partner – a business with unquestionable integrity, a secure facility, and a thorough understanding of the documentation and legalities involved in handling firearms. We found that partner in Munitions Depot.”

Led by CEO Christoph Borer, Munitions Depot is a premier retailer of modern and contemporary weaponry, sporting arms and ammunition. Owing to the nature of what they sell, the Swiss firm’s venue is already set up specifically for firearms storage, with state of the art security, locking display cases and a sizable vault. They have vast experience in the legal exportation of weapons to authorized dealers in other countries.

“The timing couldn’t have been better for us to forge a partnership with Munitions Depot,” Morphy said. “They recently moved from an 8,000-square-foot location to their new 30,000-square-foot gallery. There was 10,000 square feet of unused space, which was the perfect size for our purposes. They also have four photographers, shippers, bookkeepers, import/export specialists, a gunsmith and all of the other business assets we could possibly need. Christoph came highly recommended by a Morphy’s client who had known him for years. After meeting Christoph, it didn’t take long for me to realize he was our guy. He already had a very professional and well-respected staff, so we knew we wouldn’t be starting at the bottom with our new European venture; we would be starting at the top. I’m very excited to be working in partnership with him and his team.”

“When Dan Morphy came to us with the idea of a partnership, we were immediately intrigued. By the end of our first meeting, we were excited and had started making plans. We have been in the gun industry for 12 years now, and during this time we have learned the nuances and difficulties of the industry. Because of this, we have gained invaluable expertise and feel confident in our newly-formed partnership,” Borer said. “Being part of such a great alliance with a renowned company such as Morphy Auctions is an honor and is exciting for our entire team. We are looking forward to our future ventures, seeing the collections and meeting new people. We would like to welcome anyone to visit us in Zwingen or to familiarize themselves with our website, www.munitionsdepot.ch. We thank Dan and his team for their confidence in us, and we can’t wait to get started on the first exciting project.”

The steps for consignment are straightforward. After a European collector contacts Morphy Auctions and signs a consignment contract, arrangements are made for Munitions Depot to pick up their collection anywhere in Europe. If the consignment consists of firearms, Munitions Depot handles the packing and completion of paperwork needed to ship the goods to Morphy’s government-authorized arms importer in the United States. If the collection is comprised of militaria (e.g., medals, uniforms, etc.) or any other type of antique, artwork, or jewelry, it is shipped direct to Morphy’s Pennsylvania gallery. Guns will be available to preview at the Zwingen gallery approximately one month before they are auctioned.

Considering the number of auction houses already doing business in Europe, one might ask why collectors would prefer to consign to a US company. Dan Morphy explained that many categories command considerably higher prices in the United States than they do abroad. Therefore, it would benefit collectors to use the services of Morphy Auctions Switzerland.

“In firearms, for example, some categories sell for two to three times as much here as they do in Europe. World War I and World War II arms from Europe are the hottest areas in gun collecting right now, and the biggest collectors of early German, French and Austrian militaria are here in the States. The US market is hungry for it,” Morphy said. “The way we see it, Europe has the goods and North America has the buyers. Our new European branch is the link that brings them together, in a sensible, stress-free manner.”

The same protocol applies to many types of antiques and luxury items currently residing in Europe. “Amphora pottery, Rolex watches, high-end German and French toys and trains, for example – they still have a strong following in Europe, but many pieces would do even better in the States. We’ve also seen some fantastic collections of Tiffany lamps in European homes. That’s a category with which we have had great success,” Morphy said. Last year, Morphy’s sold a rare circa 1905-1910 Tiffany “Poppy” leaded glass lamp for $541,200 (June 9, 2023); and a Tiffany “Peacock” lamp for $307,500 (December 18, 2023).

Morphy’s plan also includes conducting two auctions per year in Zwingen, with the first to take place in fall 2024. Those proposed sales will feature American consignors’ property that, in the opinion of Morphy Auctions’ specialists, would fare better if offered across the Atlantic.

Morphy Auctions will have a presence at major gun shows throughout Europe this year, including the March 22-24 Weapons Sammlerborse in Luzern (Lucerne), Switzerland. Dan Morphy can meet personally with potential consignors or those with an interest in Morphy’s referral program, which pays fees for introductions leading to auction consignments. Morphy can be reached at (877) 968-8880 or info@morphyauctions.com. All enquiries are kept strictly confidential, and there is never any obligation to consign.