.577 Holland and Holland underlever hammer double rifle in a new made oak and leather case with new Ivory handled accessories sold for $16,000.00 in the April 2016 Julia Auction. Just sold for $7,000.00!...
Ouch. Quite a drop. Lots of thoughts already shared on possible reasons why. I'd add a few --
1) Rock Islands' auction listings are never as well supported by the necessary clear pictures needed to reach top dollar as someone like Julia/Morphy. This is particularly irritating with doubles, where they never seem to picture the top of the action or the watertable and barrel flats
2) In uncertain times when the market is this volatile, many are holding off on larger purchases, particularly antiques
Re the idea that interest in older firearms isn't passing to the younger generations, I generally agree, but it's not black and white. I've been collecting for 30 years and it has seemed that various sub-categories of firearms run up in price as they get hot and then contract. But over the long haul, rarity and quality gain value.
At the end of the day, this is for fun, not money.