As I’ve written before, N. Guyot is one of the mysteries of the European gun trade. In the early to mid 1800s and into the 20th century, someone — or perhaps a family — “made” all sorts of firearms under this name: From target pistols and fancy hammerguns to high-quality sidelocks and plainer boxlocks. It appears that they had a shop in Paris for many, many decades, and for a time, an office in London.
There was also a N. Guyot who an inventor with several patents to his name and a world-class pigeon shooter who won the Monaco Grand Prix du Casino in 1901. Perhaps this was the founder of the firm, or a son who carried on the name?
As you can tell, I know very little about who N. Guyot was. But I do know that someone made some nice doubles with this name on them. Here’s one of their nicer side-by-side boxlocks. It’s coming up to auction today at Powell Auction & Realty LLC in Knoxville, TN.
From what I can see, this sideplated shotgun was made between 1887-1896. It carries a full-set of London proof marks from that period (for Black Powder, not Nitro), but no Belgian or French proof marks. This is one of the mysteries of Guyot: Why would a gunmaker with a retail shop in Paris have his a shotgun proofed in London — especially if it was made back home in France or next door in Belgium?
Condition wise, the color-case hardening on this gun looks pretty original. I’m not sure about bbl blueing and wood finish, though. Both look fresher to me, and the checkering has definitely been recut. Also, this gun has some funky looking ejectorwork on it which appears to be unique to Guyots. Wonder what it is?