I already put up a post about these incredible Boss shotguns. Now that the auctioneer has posted a complete set of pics and a full description for each one, I wanted to mention them again. They are that stunning — and rare.
These shotguns are best-quality, London-made sidelock .410s by Boss & Co: a side-by-side and an over under. Ordered in the 1950s, they are in incredible original condition. Pre-auction estimates put their value at $135,000+ a piece. The final hammer price will probably be much higher – especially for the O/U. Last spring, a set of 28 gauge Bosses in similar condition came up at Julia’s. The final prices for those 28g guns were $138,000 for the SxS and $207,000 for the O/U.
Here are the full descriptions for the Boss & Co. .410s from Julia’s site:
TRULY EXCEPTIONAL, HIGH CONDITION BOSS .410 GAUGE SIDE BY SIDE, SIDELOCK EJECTOR, SINGLE TRIGGER GAME GUN WITH CASE: SN 9067. (1954) Cal. .410. 3″ Chambers. 26″ Chopper lump bbls are engraved “Boss & Co” “41 Albemarle Street Piccadilly London.” “Made in England” on tops, either side of slightly raised, flat, matted rib, fitted with two red Bradley beads. Bbl flats are stamped with London nitro proofs for 3″ chambers. SNs are on bottoms of bbls. Nicely filed, diminutive, case hardened action is fitted with front action sidelocks, also exquisitely scaled down, and in perfect proportion with action. Action features non-automatic safety (SAFE inlaid in gold), (factory records instruct “remove safety wire and attach to gun (“wire” or rod is in case)), gold band tumbler end cocking indicators, as well as Boss’s superb single trigger. Engraving is in typical Boss house style with 17 rose bouquets surrounded by small scroll. Scroll engraved, small bow, single beaded trigger guard has SN at grip. Exceptional, strikingly flame figured, nicely marbled European walnut straight grip buttstock measures 14-1/2″ over checkered wood butt, with engraved steel heel and toe plates. Stock features classic drop points, point pattern checkering with mullered borders, and an individual gold initial “P” inlet into toe line, which is beautifully swept with approx 1/4″ negative camber. Slim beavertail forend with Anson release is fitted with Boss’s highly regarded ejector system which lifts cartridges well clear of breech ends of bbls when acting as extractors. Bore diameter at muzzles: left-.401, right -.403. Minimum wall thickness: left -.042, right -.038. Drop at heel: 2-9/16″, drop at comb: 1-5/16″. Weight: 4 lbs. 15 oz. LOP: 14-1/2″. Fine quality toe under leather case with stitched leather corners. Case has leather trimmed canvas outer cover with central medallion. Interior is lined in burgundy cloth, and has small paper Boss Albemarle Street label on lid. Case contains 2-pc brass and walnut cleaning rod with mop, jag, and Turk’s head, unmarked round oil bottle, pincher type broken case extractor, small horn handled turnscrew, pair of A & F marked snap caps, and envelope containing and marked for “Safety rod for .410 gun”. Also included are two Abercrombie & Fitch hang tags with information for this gun. PROVENANCE: Copy of factory records confirming all specifications and stock shaping.
CONDITION: Exceptionally fine, near new, showing only exceptionally light evidence of firing and use, with only the faintest of handling marks on bbls. Damascening on breech ends is exceptionally fine. Action has only a hint of silvering on beads. Breech faces show only slight extractor wipe marks. Trigger guard retains essentially all of its orig blue. Top lever has only a hint of silvering on thumbpiece. Lock pins show essentially all of their bright polish and temper blue. Stocks retain nearly all of their orig rubbed oil finish with a few light handling marks. Bores are excellent. Action is tight. Trigger works. Ejectors are strong and in time. Case leather is very fine with a number of scuffs and marks. Handle is fine. Outer cover has some rubs and scuffs. Interior cloth shows some soiling and compressions. Label is very fine, slightly foxed. Partitions are tight, but show some re-working in action area. Accessories are excellent. This exquisite and dainty little gun is in an extraordinary state of preservation, and is also exceptionally rare. Dr. Ronald S. Gabriel in AMERICAN AND BRITISH .410 SHOTGUNS relates “In a conversation in 1982 with Boss’s ancient and retired barrel maker, Jack Rennie, he told me that the firm had made “perhaps” 13 .410s – 10 side by sides and “3 or 4″ over under .410s” An exceptional, perfectly proportioned, great handling small bore British classic in a condition worthy of the finest collection. Estimate: $100,000- $200,000
EXCEPTIONALLY RARE AND SUBLIME BOSS .410 OVER-UNDER, SIDELOCK EJECTOR, SINGLE TRIGGER GAME GUN WITH CASE: SN 8855. (1952) Cal. .410. 3″ Chambers. 26″ Demi-bloc barrels are engraved “Boss & Co 41 Albemarle Street. Piccadilly. London. W.” on left side of top bbl, which is mounted with flat, matted, solid rib sporting Bradley red beads. Right side is stamped with London nitro proofs for 3″ chambers. Bbl flat is stamped with matching proofs. SN is on bottom of bottom bbl. Diminutive Boss low profile O/U action is fitted with back action sidelocks and incomparable Boss single trigger. Case hardened action is nicely filed and engraved in classic Boss house style of medium scroll and 14 rose bouquets. “Boss & Co” is on the front of each lockplate, and “Patent 3307-1909″ (O/U gun) is engraved on each side of action. Single beaded trigger guard is scroll engraved and has another rose bouquet on small bow. SN is at grip. Beautifully marbled and elegantly flame figured European walnut straight grip buttstock has negative camber along toe line giving racy look. Butt is checkered and flanked by engraved steel heel and toe plates. Other features include classic drop points, point pattern checkering with mullered borders, and the initial “P” inlaid in gold on toe line. Small forend housing Boss’s unique ejector system, matches wood and checkering of butt, and has Anson type release. Bottom rear of iron is engraved “Boss’s Patent 3308-1909″ (ejector system). Bore diameter at muzzles: top -.398, bottom -.399. Minimum wall thickness: top-.032, bottom -.030. Drop at heel: 2-1/2″, drop at comb: 1-7/16″. Weight: 4 lbs. 15 oz. LOP: 14-1/2″. This lovely creation comes with its original leather case with stitched leather corners. Case is lined in scarlet cloth. Paper Boss label in lid has Dover Street address crossed out and Albemarle Street address stamped in. A second label gives instructions regarding ejectors. Case contains a pair of brass snap caps marked “Parker” “Made in England”, an H & H marked round oil bottle, and a 2-pc oak and brass cleaning rod, with mop, jag, Turk’s head, and lead remover in brown leather wallet. A horn handled small turnscrew and key are in covered compartment with brass knob. Accompanied by a copy of the original Boss ledger page for this gun order 12th May,1952 with specifications as observed.
CONDITION: Exceptionally fine, as found, near new, showing scant evidence of handling and firing, with only a few very light handling marks on bbls. Nearly all damascening marks are on breech ends. Action retains nearly all of its orig case hardening color with slight silvering evident on beads, and on sharpest edges. Breech faces show only a hint of firing halos. Safety button retains over 60% orig bright blue, as do hinge pin covers. Trigger guard and top lever show only the slightest of silvering. Stocks retain essentially all of their lovely rubbed oil finish, with only a few minor pings and marks. Checkering shows only a hint of wear. Bores are excellent. Action is tight. Bbls are on face. Ejectors are strong and in time. Trigger works flawlessly. Case leather is excellent with only a few very minor marks. Straps and handle are very fine. Interior cloth is excellent with only a few slight rubs. Leather action guard shows some scuffs. Labels are slightly soiled and foxed. Accessories are fine. As well as being in an extraordinary state of preservation, this exceptional wand is also extremely rare. Dr. Ronald S. Gabriel in his book AMERICAN AND BRITISH .410 SHOTGUNS relates that he has studied the Boss records, and found only five .410 O/U’s before SN 10000. He further states that the 5th found was SN 10000 commissioned by an American dealer. A unique opportunity to own one of the finest and rarest British shotguns in existence. ESTIMATE: $100,000- $200,000