A fine pair of 12-bore sidelocks, by Joseph Lang & Son, serial no:15174/5, the beautiful sidelock actions engraved with best foliate and bouquet engraving, the carved ornate fences also engraved with bouquet engraving, the top levers and ribs numbered ‘1’ and ‘2’ in gold, single-triggers and well-figured walnut stocks.
The makers have confirmed that this pair were made 15th August 1912 for a Mr J.P. Anderson.
Joseph Lang set up on his own in 1921 having worked for a number of years for Alexander Wilson. It appears he may well have had some help along the way having married one of James Purdey’s daughters! He was then credited with the introduction of breech loading sporting arms due to the improvements he made on an existing French design.
The business changed names many times over the years and was even in agreement with Abercrombie & Fitch of New York to act as an agent. In such high regard the business was held, records shows that in 1933 they had well over 6,000 customers including eight Dukes and two hundred and fifty four Lords.
A fine 12-bore sidelock, by Henry Atkin, described as ‘Best Quality’ in the makers records, the action with fine foliate-scroll engraving that expands throughout the action, further subtle engraving to the carved fences, top tang and top lever, the underside and trigger-guard also engraved, a classic double trigger and figured walnut stock.
The records show that the gun was made in 1903 and is recorded as being 12-Bore “Best quality, top lever, bar action sidelock ejector”.
Henry Atkin is thought to have been the first employee of Purdey in 1814. However it was Henry Atkin’s son also named Henry that opened this business in 1877 having apprenticed also under Purdey. The firm gained recognition and fame through these guns being used by the Hurlingham Club and Gun Club and this resulted in the business prospering.
A rare and fine 12-bore sidelock, by Vickers Armstrong Ltd, the beautiful patent action delicately engraved with border and fine acanthus scroll, the fences and top lever engraved ensuite to the action, the barrels in their original steel finish, with a classic double-trigger and well-figured walnut stock.
Vickers Armstrong Ltd was part of the famous Maxim Gun Company, very few guns were made under the name of Vickers Armstrong Ltd. Records show that this gun was made between 1932-38.
A superb 12-bore sidelock, by William Richards, the action with best deluxe foliate-scroll engraving with ‘Wm. Richards’ engraved in an acanthus scroll, the highly ornate fences finely carved with leaf decoration, the top lever, top tang, underside and trigger guard also highly decorated with engraving, a classic double trigger and well figured walnut stock.
William Richards had several addresses over the years and this serial number equates to 1905. This period of 1870-1909 the business was located at 27 Old Hall Street, Liverpool.
A 12-bore boxlock, by Love & Son, the action with acanthus scroll together with a delightful game scene of partridge and pheasant in natural setting, with fine engraving to fences and top lever, with classic double-trigger and well-figured walnut stock.
A 12-bore sidelock, by Thomas Wild, the action with a handsome game scene, on one side a Pointer dog and on the other pheasant, both in natural setting, together with diamond lozenges of foliate-scroll engraving, the top lever and fences also ornately engraved, the barrels in original steel finish, with classic double-trigger and well figured walnut stock.
The records tell us that this gun was ordered on 24th May 1928 by a J.J Bariger. The actioner for this gun was Betts. Thomas Wild is just one of the names that this business has carried over the years. The earliest was Benjamin Watson 1723-1777. Thomas Wild was the son-in-law of Benjamin Watson’s grandson.
A beautiful 16-bore hammer, by J.D. Dougall, the polished action with some border and acanthus-scroll engraving, the hammers engraved ensuite to action, the barrels in Lockyer broke finish, with classic double-trigger finished in gold, with well-figured walnut stock.
James Dalziel Dougall was the name of a father and son team operating from the same business. The father 1818-91 and the son 1846-96.
A fine 12-bore boxlock, by John Dickson & Son, the action exceptionally engraved with fine foliate-scroll, which extends to the beautifully carved fences, the top lever numbered ‘2’ in gold, the underside and trigger guard also engraved with delicate scroll, with a classic double-trigger, and well-figured walnut stock.
The makers have confirmed that this sporting arm was made on 30th September 1924 for a Mr A.G. Stewart.
John Dickson & Son (1794-1880) was an Edinburgh gunsmith that grew throughout the 19th century and eventually had two other makers assimilate into the business, T.E. Mortimer and J. Harkom. The last John Dickson running the business died in 1923. Over part of the 20th century other makers were acquired by John Dickson & Son, notably James McNaughton and Alex Martin.
The most famous customer of John Dickson was a Charles Gordon who, from 1875 to 1906 bought 225 guns. Many of which were never fired by the avid collector.
A 12-bore boxlock, by W.R. Pape, the stunning bright action with border and acanthus scroll engraving, the fences with bold foliate motifs, classic double-trigger and well-figured walnut stock.
William Rochester Pape stared trading in 1831 in Northumberland, however the gunmaking business didn’t get going until 1857. He invented the choke boring system that became a very competitive area. W.W. Greener went on to develop this system further. The business closed in 1940 after his son had taken over the reigns. During this time however, Pape’s inventive mind had developed several other gun Patents together with other areas of industry, not to mention railway carriage windows!
This sporting arm was built around 1910 however it was sold April 18th 1928 to an H. Darnley, Fulforth, Wilton Gilbert.
A stunning 12-bore boxlock, by McCririck & Son, the boxlock action emphatically engraved with beautiful acanthus and foliate-scroll, together with delicate blade borders and a gorgeous game scene of hound and fowl in natural setting, the fences also engraved ensuite, underside and trigger guard also engraved with foliate-scroll and game scene, with a classic double-trigger and figured walnut stock.
McCririck & Son first started trading in 1839 as James McCririck but split into two branches of Ayr and Kilmarnock. It was the Kilmarnock branch at 6 John Finnie St that this sporting arm was made as this was the trading name that it adopted. This dates the gun to circa 1905.
A fine 12-bore boxlock, by W.C. Carswell, the action with superb bouquet and best foliate-scroll engraving, with stunning fences carved with handsome ribbons that cascade through additional best foliate-scroll engraving, the tope safety revealing SAFE in gold, the top lever, underside and trigger guard also engraved with bouquet and foliate-scroll, with a classic double trigger and highly figured walnut stock.
The business was first recorded in 1913 and the proof marks show 1904-1954. There were three known Liverpool addresses for this business, with the last recording being 1982. However this serial number suggests to be the period between 1922-25.
A fine 12-bore boxlock, by Midland Gun Company, the beautifully engraved scallop-back action with deluxe foliate-scroll throughout, the fences and underside also engraved with this detail, the stock inset with two gold shield escutcheons on either side reading AS intertwined, the barrels striped back to their original steel finish, with classic double-trigger and well-figured walnut stock with interesting scrolled chequering.
Midland Gun Co’s first trading address was 76 Bath St, Birmingham where they were stationed from 1889-1894, however the company moved many times after this.