Barnebys sent the piece to the Midwest's Cowan's Auctions, led by PBS's Antiques Roadshow appraiser and History Detective Wes Cowan. The house specialises in Antique Firearms, and Historical Americana.

Example of a Harrington and Richardson Image via Example of a Harrington and Richardson
Image via

The firearms and militaria department is headed by Jack Lewis, who has 36 years experience in the firearms industry. The specialists at Cowan's passed their expert opinion on the piece:

''This is a break top Harrington and Richardson. They were made in Wooster, Massachusetts. Made from 1890-1915.''

''They were sold for about $1.95 through the Sears and Roebuck catalogs during this time, and what made this firearms famous was the fact that a man attempted to take out President McKinley with one of them.''

''Worth between $50-125 depending on condition. They were referred to as a "suicide special" because someone could kill someone with one of them and then quickly dump the gun into a river or body of water, etc. because of its small size.''

You can have your family's historic pieces valued here through Barnebys appraisal service.