Sometimes I think I know a lot about old doubles. Then a gun like this one pops up, and I realize how much I need to learn.
Morphy Auctions sold it last month, and it hammered down for $225,000. With the 20% buyer’s premium, that means someone thought this gun was worth $270,000! I’ve studied the pictures and read the description over and over, and I have to say: I have no idea why a person would think that.
(A) TRULY SUPERB QUALITY, BEAUTIFULLY RELIEF GOLD INLAID AND ENGRAVED PERCUSSION SHOTGUN BY KOEZI: (ca 1850) This exceptional example of the gunmakers art has 31 – 1/8″ intricately patterned Damascus barrels with slightly raised broad game rib, gold inlaid with makers names and the addresses “Varsovie” (Warsaw) and “Faubourg de Eracovie” (suburb of Krakow), and with serial number “388”. Heer lists Jachimek I Sosnowski (circa 1850-60) in Warsaw but does not have an entry for Koezi. The rib is also flush gold inlaid with scenes of hounds, coursing stags and boar, as well as a small vignette of game birds, all in nicely detailed and engraved backgrounds. Sides of barrels are semi relief gold inlaid with mounted hunters and hounds chasing a fox on right, and a stag on left. These backgrounds are also well detailed; and gold inlaid rose bouquets accent ends of scenes. Bottoms of barrels are stamped with Belgian black powder proofs and bottom of right barrel is stamped “H. VINCENT”. An ebony ramrod with silver mushroom tip and brass tail (worm under cap) is held by two plain pipes. Patent breeches with vented platinum blow-outs are case hardened and nicely filed. Breech iron has integral fences, and is gold inlaid with mounted huntress. French grey isolated bar locks with tall serpentine round bodied hammers are relief gold inlaid and engraved en suite with barrels with hunters and hounds chasing fox on right and boar on left. Hammers are embellished with gold rose bouquets. Trigger plate, also French grey, has stylized pineapple finial matching thimble. These pieces also have gold rose bouquets. Blued trigger guard depicts more relief gold hunters with mounted pair on trigger guard about to finish off a wolf. Rifleman on trigger guard tang is taking aim at a lion. These scenes continue onto top tang of blued buttplate. A vacant silver shield is at top of grip, and rear of barrel channels in stock are protected by hallmarked gold washed silver guard. Superb lightly fiddle figured blackest ebony stock has relief acanthus carved panels at grip in place of checkering, and with triangles on sides of butt. Barrels attach to stock with captive sliding side bolt through oval steel escutcheons, lightly scroll engraved and with gold borders. Gun and accessories are housed in extravagant Brazilian rosewood case with four pin key-locking closure. Top of case is inlaid with engraved brass scrolls highlighted by tortoise shell infill with silver, ivory, and turquoise inlaid floral accents. Large central motif is topped by a pair of cherubs either side of an imperial crown. Top is outlined by brass and silver bands, and edge is of carved beaded rosewood. Interior is lined in red velvet with gold braid surround. A thin silk pillow with more gold braid accents separates top from bottom compartment. Bottom is French fitted for a multitude of exceptional quality steel and ebony accessories. These include a beautifully scroll and game scene embossed copper bodied German silver top powder flask by James Dixon with matching shot pouch having brown Morocco leather body. Other accessories include ebony handled nipple wrench, lead dipper, and cleaning rod. Steel accessories are all very finely turned, knurled and polished, and include a wad punch, mainspring vice, powder measure, oil bottle, and bullet mold. CONDITION: Excellent, showing little use, and only minor handling marks, and finish loss mostly from rubbing in case. Mechanically excellent. Case exterior shows added finish and considerable replacement of tortoise shell with red lacquer infill. 8″ piece of top surround is missing at right edge, and a 12″ crack is evident at lower right side of top. Interior cloth is very fine, somewhat faded, as would be expected. There are rubs and compressions from contact with gun and accessories. Protective pillow shows some fraying at right edge, gold braid somewhat tarnished. Accessories are generally excellent with minor staining and grime. Just a wonderful gun. MGM38. AccessoriesCase, Accessories Barrel Length31 – 1/8″ Barrel Wall Thickness(L) .030 (R) .036 Chamber ChokeNone Drop at Comb1 – 1/2″- Drop at Heel2″ FFL StatusAntique Gauge10 Bore Internal Bore Diameter(L) .745 (R) .745 Length of Pull14 – 1/8″ ManufacturerKoezi & Jachimek ModelPercussion SXS Paperwork Weight8 lbs. 0 oz. Serial Number388