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 superb rare pair of 16-bore sidelocks, by J&W Tolley, the 1879 patent actions masterfully engraved with beautiful border, acanthus and foliate-scroll, together with the rear of the dipped edge lock plates engraved superbly with a charming set of game scenes of partridge and grouse in natural setting, with ornate carved fences, the trigger-guards engraved with running hare, classic double-trigger, the Homer patent 1877 forends with push-forward release, with well-figured semi-pistolgrip stocks.
J&W Tolley was first recorded in Birmingham in 1859 however they opened London premises over the years and this pair we built in their shop on Conduit St as mentioned on the rib. This dates the gun to 1883/1884 as this was the period of trading at this premises. The original records were lost due to bombing during WWII.
An early impressive 12-bore sidelock, by Frederick Beesley, the beautiful action with foliate-scroll engraving and ‘F. Beesley From Purdeys Patent’ in scroll banner, the carved ornate arcaded fences beautifully engraved ensuite to the action, with classic double-trigger and well-figure walnut stock.
Frederick Beesley (1846-1928) was a superb gunsmith and inventor. He is often described as ‘Inventor to the London Gun Trade’ due to his designs and patent that he sold to James Purdey in 1880, whom he used to work for. This design was undoubtedly his most famous. However he continued to design and sell patent’s to other makers throughout his career.
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 spectacular Germanic 16-bore hammer, by Th. Rose, Diez, the action ornately engraved throughout with foliate-scroll and game scenes, with boar, hare and deer in gold, all set in natural surroundings, the hammers also engraved beautifully, the damascus barrels in their original gun metal grey finish with ornate gold and silver wire set decoration, with a Jones patent rotary underlever, classic double-trigger and well-figured walnut stock with ornate horn strap.
Theodor Rose, of Diez and Bonn worked from 1883-1903
A 12-bore pinfire, by Adolphe Jansen of Brussels, this quite superb pinfire action is heavily engraved with game scenes of pheasant, deer and hunting hounds in natural settings, surrounded with both border and foliate-scroll work engraving, the hammers are also engraved heavily, together with a Jones patent rotary underlever, the Damascus barrels are in their original gun metal grey finish, with some engraved decoration, with a classic double-trigger and walnut stock.
Adolphe Jansen of Brussels was gunmaker to King Leopold and designed several patents in the mid to late 19th century. The name finished trading in 1958.
A stunning 12-bore hammer, by James Dalziel Dougall, the ‘Lockfast’ action with fine acanthus-scroll engraving, carved ornate fences with engraving ensuite to the action, the barrels with Lockyer Bronze finish engraved ‘J.D. Dougall Inventor and Patentee’ ,the delightful hammers of dolphin form, with classic double-trigger, 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. It was this Lockfast model that is the most famous piece of work. The barrels are engraved ‘J.D. Dougall Inventor and Patentee’ dating this gun between 1860-70, however the serial number narrows this down to 1868-1870
A magnificent 12-bore, by Harkom & Son, the brilliant action engraved delightfully with a game scene of a hunting dog and game birds in natural setting with multiple border engraving, the hammers handsomely engraved, with a Jones patent rotary under lever, the barrels finished in stunning Lockyer Bronze, with a classic double-trigger and well-figured walnut stock
Joseph Harkom was making guns in Edinburgh as early as 1840 in 31 West Register St, he then moved addresses several times over time. The business was amalgamated into John Dickson in 1938.
A stunning 12-bore hammer, by George Smith, the action superbly engraved with bouquet and foliate-scroll, with carved delicate fences engraved with the top tang boldly engraved with acanthus-scroll, Jones patent rotary underlever, the barrels in stunning Lockyer Bronze finish, with hammers and double-trigger in dazzling Lockyer Gold finish, with well-figured walnut stock.
George Smith operated from 1859-1897 and this piece is one of the earliest. A London maker with several addresses over the years from Davies St to New Bond St. This piece is of particular note as there are one or two George Smith hammer sporting arms in the Royal Collection at Sandringham. However, even this piece is an earlier serial number than those.
A 12-bore sidelock, by James Lang, the bright plain action with some foliate-scroll engraving set in beautiful lozenges, together with some border engraving, the fences and underside carved ensuite to the action, with classic double trigger and well figured walnut stock.
The records for this gun clearly show the gun was completed on 17th July 1888. The makers original description of the gun states “Rogue Top Dolls” then signed by Osborne. Presumably an employee of James Lang at the time.
A 12-bore sidelock, by Dudley Williamson, the action with two charming game scenes, on both sides it depicts a Pointer dog flushing game birds, surrounded by fine acanthus leaf engraving and foliate-scroll, the fences with side clips and top tang also engraved with foliate-scroll, the trigger-guard beautifully engraved with a pair of hunting dogs, a classic double-trigger and well figured walnut stock.
Dudley Williamson is recorded to have been trading from 1820, which was based on Waterloo Road, London. The business is only recorded on Waterloo Road from 1906-1920. There is interesting reference to Dudley Williamson being a witness at the Old Bailey during a murder trail in 1909 by shooting. The defendant having purchased cartridges from Dudley Williamson.
The proof marks tell us that it was first proved in Birmingham post 1904 then reproofed in London.
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, 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.