20g Parker VHE vs 20g Fox AE: Which would you pick?

AE Fox VS VHE Parker: Which 20g would would you pick?
AE Fox VS VHE Parker: Which 20g would would you pick?

Here are two classic American doubles–an A.H. Fox and a Parker–both in twenty gauge and both perfect for the uplands. Which would you pick?

A. H. FOX, PHILADELPHIA, A-GRADE 20 GAUGE AUTO-EJECTORS, SxS SHOTGUN
A. H. FOX, PHILADELPHIA, A-GRADE 20 GAUGE AUTO-EJECTORS, SxS SHOTGUN

This Fox has a lot going for it: Original condition, lightweight, decent stock dimensions. Drawbacks? It’s pricey.

A. H. FOX, PHILADELPHIA, A-GRADE 20 GAUGE AUTO-EJECTORS, SxS SHOTGUN
A. H. FOX, PHILADELPHIA, A-GRADE 20 GAUGE AUTO-EJECTORS, SxS SHOTGUN

A. H. FOX, PHILADELPHIA, A-GRADE 20 GAUGE AUTO-EJECTORS, SxS SHOTGUN: 28″ CHROMOX FLUID COMPRESSED STEEL BARRELS, MODIFIED AND FULL, EXCELLENT BLUE, MIRROR BRIGHT BORES, TWIN IVORY SIGHTS, NUMBER FOUR WEIGHT, AUTOMATIC EJECTORS.  TOP LEVER TO THE FAR RIGHT, TIGHT ON FACE, 2 1/2″ CHAMBERS.  GOOD CASE COLOR IN THE PROTECTED AREAS, STRONG TRIGGERGUARD BLUE, PERFECT ENGRAVED SCREWS, ATTRACTIVE ENGRAVING WITH BOLD SCROLLWORK WITH STIPPLED BACKGROUND.  PISTOL GRIP STOCK, SPLINTER FOREARM, GORGEOUS HIGHLY FIGURED WOOD, ORIGINAL GRIP CAP AND BUTTPLATE.  GREAT DIMENSIONS – 1 1/2″ X 2 1/2″ X 14″, 5 POUNDS 10 OUNCES. MADE IN 1925.  100% ORIGINAL CONDITION. Price: $5900

PARKER BROS. VHE 20 GAUGE 0 FRAME SIDE-BY-SIDE SHOTGUN:
PARKER BROS. VHE 20 GAUGE 0 FRAME SIDE-BY-SIDE SHOTGUN:

This Parker doesn’t have the original condition of the Fox and it’s a heavier gun. But it has better stock dimensions because it was restocked. It’s less expensive, too.

PARKER BROS. VHE 20 GAUGE 0 FRAME SIDE-BY-SIDE SHOTGUN:
PARKER BROS. VHE 20 GAUGE 0 FRAME SIDE-BY-SIDE SHOTGUN:

PARKER BROS. VHE 20 GAUGE 0 FRAME SIDE-BY-SIDE SHOTGUN 28″ BARRELS, VERY GOOD BLUE, MIRROR BRIGHT BORES, BARRELS RING BEAUTIFULLY, AUTOMATIC EJECTORS.  TRACES OF CASE COLOR, 0 FRAME.  PISTOL GRIP STOCK, SPLINTER FOREARM, HIGHLY FIGURED WOOD, FINE CHECKERING, STEEL GRIP CAP.  THE GUN WAS RESTOCKED IN ENGLAND, OUTSTANDING WORK.  GREAT DIMENSIONS – 1 1/2″ X 2″ X 15″, HAWKINS PAD, 6 POUNDS 10 OUNCES.  GREAT LITTLE PARKER TO HUNT WITH, MADE IN 1919. Price: $3500.00

Auction alert: CE grade A.H. Fox, 12g & 16g…

Fox CE Grade, from 1937-39 Savage-era catalog
Fox CE Grade, from 1937-39 Savage-era catalog

If you’re a Fox fan, these two SxSs are going to make you drool. One’s a 16g and the other’s a 12g. Both look like CEs, and they’re coming to auction this Friday, May 20, @ Cottone Auctions.

Fox considered the CE to be a high-grade gun. In 1931, retailers asked $100 for it — more than twice the price of Sterlingworth with ejectors and a little less than a Parker GHE. The same year, a sidelock W. & C. Scott Premier cost $1,000.

Today, CE grade Foxes like the ones you see here are very collectible — especially the 16g. Fox made very few of them, and to see two with this kind of original condition is a treat.

16 gauge Ansley H. Fox, Philadelphia Double Barrel Shotgun, Vintage, original blueing & finish, 26″ barrels, 2 3/4″ chamber. Serial #302043

16 gauge Ansley H. Fox, Philadelphia CE grade Double Barrel Shotgun, Vintage, original blueing & finish, 26" barrels, 2 3/4" chamber. Serial #302043
16 gauge Ansley H. Fox, Philadelphia CE grade Double Barrel Shotgun, Vintage, original blueing & finish, 26″ barrels, 2 3/4″ chamber. Serial #302043

12 gauge Ansley H. Fox, Philadelphia Double Barrel Shotgun, Vintage, 30″ barrels, 2 3/4″ chamber. Serial #12031. Checkered grip. Highly figured stock. Original bluing & finish.

12 gauge Ansley H. Fox, Philadelphia CE grade Double Barrel Shotgun, Vintage, 30" barrels, 2 3/4" chamber. Serial #12031. Checkered grip. Highly figured stock. Original bluing & finish.
12 gauge Ansley H. Fox, Philadelphia CE grade Double Barrel Shotgun, Vintage, 30″ barrels, 2 3/4″ chamber. Serial #12031. Checkered grip. Highly figured stock. Original bluing & finish.

Good gun alert: 12g A.H. Fox Sterlingworth, 32″ barrels…

Fox Sterlingworth Trap SxS Shotgun, 32" barrels
Fox Sterlingworth Trap SxS Shotgun, 32″ barrels

Like a lot of guys, my first real SxS was a Fox Sterlingworth. My gun was a 12g with 30″ barrels, and even though it didn’t fit me, I killed a lot of wild pheasants with it.

Introduced in 1910 and built until around 1940, the Sterlingworth was Fox’s best selling shotgun. The vast majority were 12 gauges with 28″ or 30″ barrels. But the company also offered 12g Sterlingworths with 26″ and 32″ barrels.

From the beginning, Fox associated a “style” with the barrel lengths of its Sterlingworths: 26″ guns were Brush styles, 28″ guns were Field styles, 30″ guns were Standard styles, and 32″ guns were Trap styles.

Fox Sterlingworth Trap SxS Shotgun, 32" barrels
Fox Sterlingworth Trap SxS Shotgun, 32″ barrels

That means the guns you see here is a true Trap-style Sterlingworth, and with it’s 32″ barrels, it would a great gun for sporting clays or the field.

Fox Sterlingworth “Trap” SxS Shotgun, 32″ barrelsA totally original and honest 32″ 12 gauge Sterlingworth.  Not messed with and in great user condition. Tight as new. Lever way right of center. Completely on face. Both chokes are original with 4 1/2″ of taper. Just a nice user with perfect barrels. Price: $1350

Model: Sterlingworth Trap
Serial Number: 121061
Ejectors: No
Condition: Original

Fox Sterlingworth Trap SxS Shotgun, 32" barrels
Fox Sterlingworth Trap SxS Shotgun, 32″ barrels

Metal Condition: Original blue
Wood Condition: Original finish and checkering
Bore Condition: Unhoned and no pitting
Gauge: 12
Stock: 14 1/4″ x 1 5/8″ x 2 3/4″
Rib: Rings like a bell
Weight: 7 lbs 5 oz
Manufacture Date: 1928
Choke Left: .729 (.041)
Choke Right: .729 (.023)
Minimum Wall Thickness Left: .030
Minimum Wall Thickness Right: .029

Head scratcher: a12g A.H. Fox A grade, straight grip, 32″ bbls …

A.H. Fox "A" Grade 12 bore, Philly SxS Shotgun, 32" bbls
A.H. Fox “A” Grade 12 bore, Philly SxS Shotgun, 32″ bbls

It’s rare that a twelve-gauge, A-grade Fox excites me. But when I saw this one, I started doing the mental math to figure out how to pay for it. With it’s straight grip and 32″ barrels, it’s an unusual A grade.

But even though the gun looks right, that butt stock has me scratching my head. Is it really original? Te fact that it’s “cast on” for a lefty raises questions. If I were going to add this SxS to my safe, I would be sure to take a much closer look at it (and probably order a letter from The A.H. Fox Collector’s Club).

A.H. Fox “A” Grade 12 bore, Philly SxS Shotgun: 32″ bbls. choked tight & full, DT’s, extractor, oil finished hand checkered American walnut, 14 1/4″ LOP over factory buttplate, 1/4″ cast ‘ON’ (left handed favorable), 75% case colors, 95% bbl. blue, most minor of handling, This Fox is pure & has mountains of curb appeal (Phizazz) tight as new & all original so. Price: $3,999

A.H. Fox "A" Grade 12 bore, Philly SxS Shotgun, 32" bblsA.H. Fox "A" Grade 12 bore, Philly SxS Shotgun, 32" bbls
A.H. Fox “A” Grade 12 bore, Philly SxS Shotgun, 32″ bbls
A.H. Fox "A" Grade 12 bore, Philly SxS Shotgun, 32" bbls
A.H. Fox “A” Grade 12 bore, Philly SxS Shotgun, 32″ bbls
A.H. Fox "A" Grade 12 bore, Philly SxS Shotgun, 32" bbls
A.H. Fox “A” Grade 12 bore, Philly SxS Shotgun, 32″ bbls

Great gun alert: A.H. Fox CE 20 gauge…

A.H. Fox CE Grade 20ga double barrel SxS shotgun
A.H. Fox CE Grade 20ga double barrel SxS shotgun

Here’s one of the Holy Grails of American shotguns. A.H. Fox made very few graded, 20 gauge double, and one in a CE-grade is very tough to do. This one here sure looks original, and the stock is high enough to make the gun really usable.

A.H. Fox CE Grade 20ga double barrel SxS shotgun:  Early gun manufactured in 1915, SN: 2007xx.  26″ M/F Krupp Steel barrels with very good blue.  Ejectors.  Very nice wood in excellent condition, modern, shootable dimensions at 14″ LOP, 2 1/2″ DAH for original buttplate. Gun weighs right about 6 lbs,  points and swings like a dream. Case colors in protected areas.  Beautiful, early engraving in excellent condition.  This gun comes with documentation and will letter if owner so desires.   A rare opportunity to own a nice, original example of an early graded  AH Fox  shotgun produced when quality was at its best. Price: $12,500.

A.H. Fox CE Grade 20ga double barrel SxS shotgun
A.H. Fox CE Grade 20ga double barrel SxS shotgun
A.H. Fox CE Grade 20ga double barrel SxS shotgun
A.H. Fox CE Grade 20ga double barrel SxS shotgun
A.H. Fox CE Grade 20ga double barrel SxS shotgun
A.H. Fox CE Grade 20ga double barrel SxS shotgun

That 20g Fox XE brought how much? Plus, a pair of Wilkes does real well…

1921 A.H. Fox 20 gauge XE double barrel shotgun
1921 A.H. Fox 20 gauge XE double barrel shotgun

It’s confirmed: Fox collectors are nuts. The auction for this 20g A.H. Fox XE ended Monday, and the final price was $24,002. That’s a lot for a gun with almost no original color-case hardening and a stubby stock. At least its provenance is sound. That must be what drove the price so high.

For the same money,  the winning bidder could have bought this 20 gauge Westley Richards droplock. Much nicer gun, but it doesn’t come with as nice a story.

1921 A.H. Fox 20 gauge XE double barrel shotgun: According to J.T. Callahan, the Fox records indicate that this gun, SN 201509, a 20 gauge XE, was shipped on August 7, 1921 from Philadelphia to Abercrombie & Fitch of NYC, the original consignee. The gun was made with 26” barrels, choked IC (r) and M (l) with a LOP of 13 ½” and DOH of 2 5/8”. Weight, 5 lbs., 12 oz. — FINAL HAMMER: $24,002

Over in Scotland, Gavin Gardiner held his annual Gleneagles Sale on the same day (Monday). This pair of 12g sidelock Wilkes shotguns did extremely well – pricey, but possibly worth it.

JOHN WILKES PAIR OF KELL-ENGRAVED 12-BORE SIDELOCK EJECTOR GUNS, NOS. 13802/3
JOHN WILKES PAIR OF KELL-ENGRAVED 12-BORE SIDELOCK EJECTOR GUNS, NOS. 13802/3

JOHN WILKES A MAGNIFICENT PAIR OF KELL-ENGRAVED 12-BORE SIDELOCK EJECTOR GUNS, NOS. 13802/3: 28-inch barrels with 2 1/2-inch chambers, about 1/4 and 3/4 choke borings, matted top ribs, the frames, locks and gold numbered top levers with best bouquet and scroll engraving and retaining virtually all of their original hardening colour, the inside of the fore-end irons with further bouquet and scroll engraving, gold washed lockwork, rolled edge trigger guards, 14 1/2-inch highly figured exhibition quality stocks, inlaid in gold with the entwined initials “W.D.”, 6lb. 9oz., nitro proof, in their maker’s presentation case with engraved fittings and canvas outer cover. ESTIMATE: £25000-35000 SALE PRICE: £53,900

The maker confirms that the guns were completed on 24th August 1935 for W. W. Dowding. The guns were engraved by Harry Kell with special flower and scroll work and the guns remain as originally built. The original cost was £220 with the case costing £13 15s and the matching outer cover a further £5 12s 6d.

W. W. Dowding

William W. Dowding, for whom these guns were made, was one of the Wilkes’ largest retail customers in the 1930s. He started to buy guns from them in 1931 and in the course of the next five years ordered a total of ten new guns as well as buying others and a wide variety of shooting requisites. The story passed down the family was that in 1933 Dowding challenged Jack Wilkes to make for him a pair of guns that were on a par with the best the London trade could offer. Guns 13802/3 were Jack’s response to that challenge. Many years later his sons viewed this pair of guns as his masterpiece.

To make them, Wilkes went to many of the best outworkers in the the London trade. George Lane and Bolter normally worked for Woodward; Mealey at the time was on Wilkes’ payroll, but had worked for Grant & Lang and several others in a very long career; and Willie Lane was shortly to join Grant & Lang’s payroll. The engraver Harry Kell is probably the only outworker now widely known.

Wow – a minty 20g A.H. Fox Sterlingworth ejector…

Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:

If you’re a Fox fan, grab a towel: This 20 gauge Philly Sterlingworth is gonna make you drool. It looks brand new and 100% original. And if that wasn’t enough, it has ejectors and 28″ barrels, making it one of the toughest Sterlies to find.

Ironmen Arms & Antiques just had it, and I remember the price was pretty high. If you’re looking for American doubles, I would keep an eye on the Ironmen site. They handle a lot of nice American doubles, and most of them sell pretty fast.

Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original: Offered is perhaps the best all original Philadelphia Fox Sterlingworth 20 gauge shotguns that you are likely to find.  It is also the rare ejector model Sterlingworth.  Serial Number 262488 was produced in early 1930 most likely during the Savage Arms buy out of the Fox Company.  It is one of the last FOX shotguns of any grade marked Philadelphia.  It remains in nearly brand new condition with NO restoration work or touch up.  It shows evidence of very limited firing and nearly 100% case color and blue remain.  Screws and bores are mint.  Original butt plate and grip cap.  It would be next to impossible to upgrade on the condition of this fine little Philadelphia 20.  The dimensions are: Barrel length 28″ choked modified and full.  2 1/2″ chambers. Length of pull from the front trigger over the original hard rubber butt plate is 14 1/8″  Drop at heel is 2 3/4″ and drop at comb is 1 5/8″.  Weight is just shy of 6 pounds.  If you collect only the best condition possible, this Fox is for you.

Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original:
Fox Sterlingworth Ejector 20 gauge Philly As New Mint Original

Does this 20 gauge A.H. Fox CE look odd to you?

20 gauge CE grade A.H. Fox Shotgun
20 gauge CE grade A.H. Fox Shotgun

Nice smallbore A.H. Fox shotguns are tough to find, especially twenty-gauge CEs with straight grips. The one you see here looks like a decent example. But there are a few things about that have me scratching my head.

According to the seller, the stock and metal finishes on the gun are original. I’ve looked at the pics several times, and to me, the bbls and triggerguard look too blue and the checkering looks too sharp  — especially for a gun with so little original color-case hardening. Like I said, a real head scratcher……

20 gauge A.H. Fox CE grade Double Barrel Shotgun. Price: $17,500

Shotgun type: SxS

20 gauge CE grade A.H. Fox Shotgun
20 gauge CE grade A.H. Fox Shotgun

Action: Boxlock
Ejectors: Yes
Trigger: Double
Grip: Straight Grip
Forend: Checkered
Lop: 13 5/8 ”
Drop @ comb: 1 9/16 ”
Drop @ heel: 2 3/8 ”
Cast amount: 0 ”
Weight: 5 lbs, 12 oz

20 gauge CE grade A.H. Fox Shotgun
20 gauge CE grade A.H. Fox Shotgun

Finish: Brushed
Overall condition: Very Good
Stock condition: Very Good
Metal condition: Very Good
Stock: Original finish
Metal: Original finish
Type of Case: none

Barrel info:
Gauge: 20 ga
Chamber: 2 3/4 ”
Length: 26 ”
Chokes: Full Mod

Auction alert: an A.H. Fox A Grade 16 gauge…

16 gauge A.H. Fox A grade double barrel shotgun
16 gauge A.H. Fox A grade double barrel shotgun

Here’s your chance to get a deal on a classic upland gun. This 16 gauge A.H. Fox is coming up on Saturday at Cady Auction Gallery & Appraisal in Cedar Rapids, IA. From what I can see, this side-by-side looks like a nice, original shotgun.

16 gauge A.H. Fox A grade SxS Double Barrel Shotgun: Manufactured in 1924. Barrels are 28″. Engraved receiver. Checkered butt stock and forearm. Nickled trigger guard. All numbers match. SN 303657. Condition: Good, bore is bight and shiny.

16 gauge A.H. Fox A grade double barrel shotgun
16 gauge A.H. Fox A grade double barrel shotgun
16 gauge A.H. Fox A grade double barrel shotgun
16 gauge A.H. Fox A grade double barrel shotgun
16 gauge A.H. Fox A grade double barrel shotgun
16 gauge A.H. Fox A grade double barrel shotgun
16 gauge A.H. Fox A grade double barrel shotgun
16 gauge A.H. Fox A grade double barrel shotgun
16 gauge A.H. Fox A grade double barrel shotgun
16 gauge A.H. Fox A grade double barrel shotgun
16 gauge A.H. Fox A grade double barrel shotgun
16 gauge A.H. Fox A grade double barrel shotgun

Auction alert: a super rare Joseph Jakob – H.A. Lindner 10g boxlock shotgun…

10 gauge Joseph Jakob boxlock double barrel shotgun
10 gauge Joseph Jakob boxlock double barrel shotgun

Towards the end of the 19th century, America was full of gunmakers. From the big boys like Colt and Winchester to tiny guys like Krider and Tonks. Joseph Jakob was one of these tiny guys, and the 10g shotgun you see here is one of his guns. It’s coming up this Saturday, March 8, 2014 at Poulin Antiques & Auctions. The sales starts @ 10:00 AM.

Jakobs was has a shop at 1156 Passyhunk Avenue in Philadelphia, PA. Other than that, little is known about him, though and very few firearms bearing his name are in circulation today (Maybe around 12).

On the one you see here,  the action, barrels, and metalwork were sourced in Prussia from H.A. Lindner, the famous double-barrel maker behind Charles Daly shotguns. These parts were fitted and finished off by Jakob, and the gun was also stocked by him (or by people he employed for the task). This was a common practice and “makers” throughout the US did it with parts they brought in from the UK and Europe.

10 gauge Joseph Jakob boxlock double barrel shotgun
10 gauge Joseph Jakob boxlock double barrel shotgun

Lot #1130: JOSEPH JAKOB SxS SHOTGUN: Cal. 10 Ga., 2 7/8″. S# 3011. Bbl. 30″ of damascus steel. Mod & full fixed chokes. Top rib marked “Joseph Jakob-Maker 1156 Passylink Ave. Philada.” Anson & Deeley boxlock action with cocked indicators & fancy fences. Bbls feature Lindner’s crossed-pistols trademarks. Unique, full coverage scroll engraving featuring mountain village scene on floor plate with hunter on bottom of frame. Dbl. triggers. Extractors. Original splinter forearm of checkered walnut with engraved, pull down latch & fancy steel tip. Replacement straight-hand stock of checkered fancy walnut. LOP: 13 7/8″ over horn butt. DAC: 1 9/16″. DAH: 2 1/2″. Stock is cast off. Weight: 8lbs 13.3oz. Minimum wall thickness L. .042 & R. .044.

CONDITION: 40% brown bbl. finish an area of right pitting on right bbl. showing good damascus pattern. Action has sm. amount of original case colors in protected areas blending with silvery patina. Forearm has darkened finish with moderate wear having a chip on left side near tip. Stock has good finish with scattered handling marks. Good bores with areas of dulled appearance. Minimum wall thickness L. .042 & R. .044 ESTIMATE: $1000-1500.

 

More about Joseph Jakob

I found this info online. It’s from a book on classic American gunmakers. Judging by the “War of Northern Aggression” comments, I’m guessing the author was Southern:

“It appears Joseph Jakob hung out his shingle as the War of Northern Aggression commenced and at least the firm, or some variant & maybe Joseph Jakob himself, till 1905. He made percussion dueling pistols and muzzleloaders to the customers specifications.

In the 1870s he seemed to parallel William R. Schaefer in effort as both had 2 to 3 craftsmen working in their respective shops.. He must have been an obsessive-compulsive as his shop in every detail was as clean as a pin. One could not find the shop of Messieurs Purdey any more immaculate or more organized than that of Joseph Jakob. Also his workmanship was compared to that of Purdey at the time. Upon entry to the shop, one would pass thru a portal, where a half glass door hung, noting white curtains covering the window panes, and passing across a white surfaced floor that was so clean one could take lunch off of it. A few small rugs were neatly placed in the shop. All this cleanliness was due largely to the efforts of his daughter.

Prior to say 1890, one would have found several Joseph Jakob examples in a gun case with a set of glass doors. During the 1890s the guns were replaced by sporting weapon components and sporting related items. The demise of the firm of Joseph Jakob can be attributed to the lack of embracement to mechanization. After the truce of the War of Northern Aggression in 1865, one could not find a machine made sporting weapon in the U.S. of A. and the Brits had cornered the market. But over the next decade the scales were going to tilt in the other direction with respected to partially machine made and machine made sporting weapons. This transition forced Joseph Jakob’s shop from a multi-man effort shop to a single man shop, to pretty much a repair facility peddling shell cutters and the like. By 1890 the firm was listed as Joseph Jakob & Sons and the reorganization may have occurred earlier say between 1885 & 1889.

It was either the name change, or an address change, from 1890 foward till 1905 when the shop appears to have been closed. Something occured in 1899 and it may be that Joseph Jakob retired or expired and the sons continued for about another 5 years. This is purely conjuecture but it was a bumpy road for the firm from the mid 1890s to 1905 and possibly as late as 1909. “

A really nice A.H. Fox CE in 12 gauge…

A. H. FOX CE 12 GAUGE DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN
A. H. FOX CE 12 GAUGE DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN

Original condition is something I love to see, and there’s a lot of it on this super nice A.H. Fox CE grade12 gauge  double barrel shotgun.

Ansley H. Fox’s started making “The Finest Gun in the World” under the A.H. Fox Gun Company name in 1905 and the C grade was one of the first models offered. In 1906, a C was a $100 shotgun. In 1927 when the one you see here was delivered, the price was up to $107.30. Here’s more about this gun from the seller:

A. H. FOX CE 12 GAUGE DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN: This is another Outstanding Original Collector Quality gun from my collection. I purchased it long ago from the original owner’s family but have misplaced their information. The gun comes with the ORIGINAL FOX HANG TAG. It has 28″ barrels with Right Bore at .730″ with .022″ constriction (Mod) and Left Bore at .729″ with .042″ constriction (Full). The barrels have twin Ivory Beads. Pistol Grip Stock with Splinter Fore end. LOP is 14 1/4″, DAH 2 3/4″ and DAC 1 5/8″. The gun weighs 7 pounds 3 ounces. The gun has 30% to 40% Case Color in exterior areas, full Case Color everywhere else. Bluing on barrels is 100%. Bluing on Trigger Guard is about 75%. The wood is perfect with no dents, scratches or cracks and has 100% Finish. The engraving is breath taking, clear and sharp. Price: $5,250

A. H. FOX CE 12 GAUGE DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN
A. H. FOX CE 12 GAUGE DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN
A. H. FOX CE 12 GAUGE DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN
A. H. FOX CE 12 GAUGE DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN
A. H. FOX CE 12 GAUGE DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN
A. H. FOX CE 12 GAUGE DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN
A. H. FOX CE 12 GAUGE DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN
A. H. FOX CE 12 GAUGE DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN
A. H. FOX CE 12 GAUGE DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN
A. H. FOX CE 12 GAUGE DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN

What’s it worth? A nice 16 gauge Fox Sterlingworth, 28″ barrels…

16 Ga Double Barrel A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun
16 Ga Double Barrel A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun

Here’s a shotgun that a lot of guys are looking: A 16 gauge A.H. Fox Sterlingworth with 28″ barrels. This one looks like it’s in decent shape. It’s up for auction now, and it will be interesting to see just how high the price goes. The listing ends Sunday, February 23 @18:02 PT.

Here’s the full description from the seller:

16 Ga Double Barrel A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun: Like new old 16ga 2 3/4 inch AH Fox Sterlingworth with 28inch barrels. Gun is near mint condition. The recoil pad that was on the gun got hard so I sent it out to be replaced. While it was out the forearm and stock were retouched because they had a few marks. Wood has no cracks, marks or dings. All wood is perfect. While it was getting the wood done a small scratch on the trigger guard was redone. Other than that all case colors are original, all bluing on the barrel is original and perfect. Wood to metal fit is perfect and tight. There is one small nick in the wood as you can see in the fourth picture. It is the size of a pin head. Bore are perfect, chokes are modified and improved cylinder these are correct measurements and factory. Gun appears to have slight use. Flawless, almost mint condition. Comes with a full box of old shells and a 16 ga gun cleaning kit that has not been used.

16 Ga Double Barrel A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun
16 Ga Double Barrel A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun
16 Ga Double Barrel A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun
16 Ga Double Barrel A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun
16 Ga Double Barrel A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun
16 Ga Double Barrel A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun
16 Ga Double Barrel A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun
16 Ga Double Barrel A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Shotgun

Original or redone? So that A.H. Fox CE 20 gauge is…

A.H. Fox CE 20 gauge double barrel shotgun
A.H. Fox CE 20 gauge double barrel shotgun

Thanks to everyone who responded to my Original or Redone post about the 20 gauge A.H. Fox CE 20 gauge shotgun. For everyone who is wondering, the gun is…all original.

Like I said in my first post, 20g CE-grade Fox shotguns are rare doubles — especially in this kind of condition. The 30″ barrels are also nice, and super hard to find in a small bore Philadelphia Fox.

This fantastic little side-by-side sold for $18,630 at James D. Julia Auctioneer’s October 1st & 2nd, 2012. Here’s the entire listing from the sale:

A.H. Fox CE 20 gauge double barrel shotgun
A.H. Fox CE 20 gauge double barrel shotgun

EXCEPTIONAL INVESTMENT QUALITY FOX CE SINGLE TRIGGER 20 GAUGE GAME GUN: SN 202627. (1926) Cal. 20 ga. 2-5/8″ Chambers. 30″ Bbls with concave, matted game rib, fitted with two ivory beads, is stamped “CHROMOX FLUID COMPRESSED STEEL” and “MADE BY A. H. FOX GUNS CO. PHILA. PA. U. S. A.” on tops. Breech ends of bbls are engraved with 1-5/8″ triangles of simple scroll. Bbl flats are stamped with grade, and SN. Bottoms of bbls are stamped with “3″. Case hardened small frame ejector action is fitted with automatic safety and Kautzky single selective trigger. Action is engraved with typical “C” grade birds in ovals surrounded by 60% coverage medium scroll. A setter is engraved in circle on bottom of action. “ANSLEY H. FOX” is engraved in arches over game scenes. Trigger guard bow is engraved with vacant scrolled riband. SN is at grip. Nicely streaked and lightly figured European walnut semi-pistol grip buttstock measures 13-1/2″ over original ribbed composition buttplate. Stock has standard point pattern checkering with beaded borders at grip and side panels. Matching splinter ejector forend has inset ebony tip and Fox Deeley type release. Bore diameter: left -.617, right -.615. Bore restrictions: left -.027, right -.027. Wall thickness: left -.030, right -.030. Drop at heel: 2″, drop at comb: 1-1/2″. Weight: 6 lbs. 1 oz, LOP 13-1/2″.

A.H. Fox CE 20 gauge double barrel shotgun
A.H. Fox CE 20 gauge double barrel shotgun

CONDITION: Exceptionally fine. Bbls retain 98% orig lustrous blue, with a few scattered minor marks. Action retains nearly all of its orig case hardening color, thinning slightly on bottom. Thumbpiece of top lever is silvered on left side. Forend latch retains most of its case color, silvered slightly overall. Trigger guard retains nearly all of its orig blue. Stocks are also untouched, with a few very minor marks, with the slightest of wear to the checkering of forend. Bores are excellent, bright and shiny throughout, with no visible imperfections. Action is tight. Ejectors are in time. Trigger works. An incredible, untouched, long bbl small bore Fox.

On Ebay now: A super rare 1908 A.H. Fox 1908 Campfire-series shotgun catalog…

1908 A.H. Fox Philadelphia, PA, double barrel shotgun Campfire catalog
1908 A.H. Fox Philadelphia, PA, double barrel shotgun Campfire catalog

For the really obsessed shotgun collector, vintage catalogs are a must have. If you’re really into A.H. Foxes, the catalog you see here is a real score. It’s a Campfire-series, and one of the toughest A.H. Fox catalogs to find.

The Campfire Series catalogs were the second series of catalogs A.H. Fox used, and the company they sent them out  from 1907 to 1912. The catalog you see here is from 1908 , making it the fourth the company produced.

It appears to be in great condition overall, and the seller has put up a lot of photos in the listing. Check it out now to learn more about this catalog and to place a bid.

1908 A.H. Fox Philadelphia, PA, double barrel shotgun Campfire catalog
1908 A.H. Fox Philadelphia, PA, double barrel shotgun Campfire catalog

American classics: a Parker VH, a A.H. Fox AE & a Lefever FE…

Parker VH 12 ga, 28” barrels on a 1 ½ frame:
Parker VH 12 ga, 28” barrels on a 1 ½ frame:

Parker VH 12 ga, 28” barrels on a 1 ½ frame: Clean shiny bores, rib has two ivory beads. LOP is 14.25”to an original butt plate. The butt plate is in great condition and you can clearly see the detail of the wood cock the dog is holding in its mouth. Drop at the comb is 1.75” and drop at the heel is 2.75”. Bores are choked F/F. Has some original case coloring on the sides of the box lock action. The bluing is original and very good, but it is beginning to wear thin in a couple of areas. Wood is solid, no cracks or gouges and this is a very nice clean original Parker on a desirable frame size. SN is 2129XX, and the Parker Association says this gun will letter. Price: $1,800

Early 12 ga Fox AE SxS, Factory straight grip, 30" bbls
Early 12 ga Fox AE SxS, Factory straight grip, 30″ bbls

12 ga Fox AE SxS, Factory straight grip, 30″ bbls: Case colors have faded. Barrels are smooth and shiny inside, single brass bead. The ribs are problem free and the wood is in very good condition too. The gun originally belonged to a man named George Eshias. I have been told that he was an Americana of Armenian heritage and that he was a famous hero in WW1 and that he fought with distinction in the US Army. I have not taken the time to confirm this, but his name has been engraved into the top of the left chamber . (Look at the photos) Hard to believe that his family let this heirloom go but life does get complicated at times. LOP is 14” and drop at the comb is 1.75, drop at the Heel is 3”. Barrels are choked F/F. Price: $2,600

Lefever FE 12 ga with 30” Damascus barrels and twin Ivory beads
Lefever FE 12 ga with 30” Damascus barrels and twin Ivory beads

Lefever FE 12 ga with 30” Damascus barrels and twin Ivory beads: Nice Silvers recoil pad and a LOP of 13.5”, Drop at comb of 2” and drop at heel of 3”. The ejectors work nicely and the gun locks up tightly. The bores are very good and this gun is ready for the field and some RST ammo!! It does have an old repair on the fingers by the triggers. The repair has been looked at by two different reputable gunsmiths and both independently agreed that the old repair is good and is nothing to worry about. Barrels are M/IM. Price: $1,700.00

 

Very odd…A.H. Fox Sterlingworth 16g with an peculiar stock…

16 gauge A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Double Barrel, SxS Shotgun
16 gauge A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Double Barrel, SxS Shotgun

The A.H. Fox Sterlingworth  was one of the most practical doubles ever made in America. Rugged and affordable, it was a reliable SxS that gave hunters everything they needed at a great price.

Wise Americans recognized this and made the Sterlingworth a huge success. But of the 100,000+ Sterlies made, none of the ones I’ve seen have had a round-knob stock on them like the onee on this Sterlie.

Round-knob grips were special order items available on A-B-C and other graded Foxes. But that wasn’t the case with the Sterlies. Serial #363731 puts this gun around 1927. According to the AH Fox Collector’s Association,  the 1927 catalog The FOX GUN”( A.H. Fox “Wood Grain” Catalog A.H. Fox Gun Company, Philadelphia, Pa.) states: “…THE STOCK is best quality plain American Walnut, thoroughly seasoned and checkered. Full capped pistolgrip only…”

16 gauge A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Double Barrel, SxS Shotgun
16 gauge A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Double Barrel, SxS Shotgun

So where did this stock come from? It sure looks original to me. So was it special ordered, or added afterwards by the factory? I’m not sure. A factory letter may solve the mystery — or it may say nothing.

This shotgun is at Gunauction.com and the listing ends October 6, 2013 @ 16:47:00 PT. If you like the stock as much as I do, you should bid on it now. Here are the details on it from the seller:

16 gauge A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Double Barrel, SxS Shotgun
16 gauge A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Double Barrel, SxS Shotgun

A.H. Fox Sterlingworth 16ga Side by Side: Serial number 363781 which is correct on for end, barrel and receiver. 26″ barrels, choke unknown, checkered pistol grip, boxlock action, extractors and ejectors,double triggers and auto safety,. Mfg 1910-1942 in Phila. Pa, by A.H. Fox company. Bluing on barrels are just outstanding, and receiver shows case coloring as you can see in pictures, bore is bright and shiny . LOP to rear trigger is 13 1/4 and 14 to front, wood shows some small handling marks, but overall in super condition.

The high cost of condition – a 16 gauge Lefever H and a 20 gauge A.H. Fox AE…

LEFEVER "H" GRADE 16 GAUGE Double Barrel SHOTGUN
LEFEVER “H” GRADE 16 GAUGE Double Barrel SHOTGUN

There aren’t a few rules to gun collecting. “Cash rules” is one of them. So is “Oral agreements are worth the paper they’re written on.”

Another rule is “Original condition is king”. The more of it a double has, the more it costs (and “restored” never compares to original). The side-by-sides below are perfect examples of the high prices that shotguns in original condition can command. Check them out to see what original finishes really look like, and how much they’ll cost you.

LEFEVER “H” GRADE 16 GAUGE SHOTGUN: 16 gauge, 28″ damascus steel barrels, double triggers, extractors, and top lever opening. Checkered forend and pistol grip buttstock measuring 14″ to a factory buttplate. Comb: 1 3/4″ Heel: 3″ Weight: 6lbs 11oz. Retaining 99% original barrel brown, 99% plus vivid casehardened finish. Beautiful wood and checkering. Appears unused. Mint bores. Chokes: mod & full. Price: $6750.00

LEFEVER "H" GRADE 16 GAUGE Double Barrel SHOTGUN
LEFEVER “H” GRADE 16 GAUGE Double Barrel SHOTGUN
LEFEVER "H" GRADE 16 GAUGE Double Barrel SHOTGUN
LEFEVER “H” GRADE 16 GAUGE Double Barrel SHOTGUN
A H Fox A Grade 20 Gauge Automatic Ejectors Philadelphia
A H Fox A Grade 20 Gauge Automatic Ejectors Philadelphia

A H Fox A Grade 20 Gauge Automatic Ejectors Philadelphia: A H FOX, PHIL., A GRADE 20 GAUGE, 26″ BARRELS.  EXCELLENT BLUE, MIRROR BORES, IC & MODIFIED (RIGHT BARREL .007, LEFT .017), CLEARLY MARKED NUMBER FOUR BARREL WEIGHT.  AUTOMATIC EJECTORS, ATTRACTIVE DEEP CUT ENGRAVING, LIGHT CASE COLOR, TOP LEVER TO THE FAR RIGHT, VERY STRONG EJECTORS.  MOST OF THE BLUE ON THE TRIGGER GUARD.  ROUND KNOB PISTOL GRIP STOCK, SPLINTER FOREARM, EXCELLENT WOOD, PERFECT CHECKERING.  ORIGINAL BUTTPLATE, 1 1/2 X 2 5/8″ X 14 1/8″, 5 POUNDS 8 OUNCES.  MADE IN 1926.  ALL ORIGINAL FINISH.  NICE LITTLE FOX.  Price: $5,000.00

A H Fox A Grade 20 Gauge Automatic Ejectors Philadelphia
A H Fox A Grade 20 Gauge Automatic Ejectors Philadelphia
A H Fox A Grade 20 Gauge Automatic Ejectors Philadelphia
A H Fox A Grade 20 Gauge Automatic Ejectors Philadelphia
A H Fox A Grade 20 Gauge Automatic Ejectors Philadelphia
A H Fox A Grade 20 Gauge Automatic Ejectors Philadelphia
A H Fox A Grade 20 Gauge Automatic Ejectors Philadelphia
A H Fox A Grade 20 Gauge Automatic Ejectors Philadelphia
A H Fox A Grade 20 Gauge Automatic Ejectors Philadelphia
A H Fox A Grade 20 Gauge Automatic Ejectors Philadelphia

Good gun alert: A.H. Fox CE Grade 12 gauge…

A.H. Fox CE Grade 12 gauge Double Barrel Shotgun
A.H. Fox CE Grade 12 gauge Double Barrel Shotgun

Fox’s C-grade double barrel shotguns have always seemed like a good balance between too little and too much finish. The grades about them (the DE, XE, & FEs) are bit too done up for my taste, while the Sterlingworths, AEs, & BEs can be plain.

The one you see here is a good example of what I mean. The engraving is just enough to keep things interesting without being gaudy, and the wood is appealing with screaming “FIGURE” and stealing the whole show. In their 1925 catalog, A.H. Fox has this say about  their C-grade shotguns:

A.H. Fox CE Grade 12 gauge Double Barrel Shotgun
A.H. Fox CE Grade 12 gauge Double Barrel Shotgun

“This is the grade that has made good everywhere. In every respect it is a high grade. It’s beauty in looks and finish. No gun will stand up better to hard work. Its every detail is perfect. And at the price it is in a class absolutely by itself.

THE BARRELS are a high quality of Chromox Fluid Steel. They are guaranteed both for accurate shooting and great strength. THE STOCK is a choice selection of dark, curly Walnut. The grain is beautifully brought out in the hand rubbed oil finish. THE ENGRAVING is the work of an artist. It stands out clear and beautiful in design. THE CHECKERING is of fine diamond pattern on grip, panels and forend…”

Here’s more about this one from the seller:

A.H. Fox CE Grade 12 gauge Double Barrel Shotgun
A.H. Fox CE Grade 12 gauge Double Barrel Shotgun

A.H. Fox CE Grade 12 GA: 30″ bbls, 2 3/4″ chambers, Modified & Full, 14 3/8″ LOP, 7 3/4lbs. Action shows case color in protected areas and barrel blue remains at 90%. Bores are bright and excellent! Wood is free of cracks with light use marks and has been fitted with an aftermarket pad. Small chip is missing at top right corner behind reciever. Lockup is tight. Price: $3,999

A.H. Fox CE Grade 12 gauge Double Barrel Shotgun
A.H. Fox CE Grade 12 gauge Double Barrel Shotgun

 

Good gun alert: 16 gauge A.H. Fox AE, straight grip, 2-barrel set…

Fox AE 16 Gauge Two barrel set with Single Selective Trigger,
Fox AE 16 Gauge Two barrel set with Single Selective Trigger,

Here’s another nice Fox that just hit the market. The price seems a little high, but as sellers always say: Go find another one for less. If you try, I bet you’ll be looking for a long time.

Fox AE 16 Gauge Two barrel set with Single Selective Trigger, Straight grip stock: Very nice Fox AE grade 16 Gauge Fox Two barrel set with Kautzky single selective trigger and one set of 28″ barrels and another 30″ set. TWO forends! Straight grip English style stock with 14″ Length of Pull to one inch leather covered pad. Stock is original to the gun, and so serial numbered. Splinter forends. Gun was sent back to Fox after it was built to have the second set of barrels and forend fitted. Both sets of barrels and both forends carry the gun’s serial number. Gun is very well balanced, and I have used it to hunt pheasants the last two seasons. Serial number is 303xxx. Gun weighs 6lbs 13 ounces with the 30″ barrels and 6 lbs 7 ozs. with the 28″ barrels. 28″ barrels are choked IC / MOD and 30″ barrels are choked Full / IMP Mod. Price: $8,995.00

Fox AE 16 Gauge Two barrel set with Single Selective Trigger,
Fox AE 16 Gauge Two barrel set with Single Selective Trigger,
Fox AE 16 Gauge Two barrel set with Single Selective Trigger,
Fox AE 16 Gauge Two barrel set with Single Selective Trigger,
Fox AE 16 Gauge Two barrel set with Single Selective Trigger,
Fox AE 16 Gauge Two barrel set with Single Selective Trigger,
Fox AE 16 Gauge Two barrel set with Single Selective Trigger,
Fox AE 16 Gauge Two barrel set with Single Selective Trigger,

 

Good gun alert: a decent looking A.H. Fox AE-grade 12 gauge…

Ansley H. Fox A Grade Double Barrel Shotgun 12 Gauge With Ejectors
Ansley H. Fox A Grade Double Barrel Shotgun 12 Gauge With Ejectors

When it comes to American doubles, it’s hard to beat a A.H. Fox SxS. Simple and rugged, Foxes like this Fox AE Grade 12 Gauge used to be the shotgun of choice for thousands of hunters. Today, they’re just as useful. If you’re looking for a nice vintage double to use and be proud of, this could be it.

Here’s more about it from the seller:

Ansley H. Fox A Grade Double Barrel Shotgun 12 Gauge With Ejectors
Ansley H. Fox A Grade Double Barrel Shotgun 12 Gauge With Ejectors

Ansley H. Fox A Grade 12 Gauge With Ejectors: This hard to find A grade has factory ejectors. The case color is still strong for the age of the shotgun. Someone has added a pad to the gun but it is still quite nice. The lever is past center. 2 3/4″  chambers, 30″ bbls, Full 7 Full. 13 3/4″ LOP from front trigger to Jostam pad, 7 1/2lbs. Price: $2,099.99

Ansley H. Fox A Grade Double Barrel Shotgun 12 Gauge With Ejectors
Ansley H. Fox A Grade Double Barrel Shotgun 12 Gauge With Ejectors

Auction alert: 20 gauge A.H. Fox CE double barrel shotgun…

A.H. Fox CE Grade 20 GA Double Barrel Shotgun.
A.H. Fox CE Grade 20 GA Double Barrel Shotgun.

Here’s your chance to pick up a rare double by one of America’s most collectible gunmakers. This A.H. Fox CE 20 gauge is coming up on Saturday, Jun 15, at Morphy Auctions in Denver, PA.

Fox’s Cs were mid-grade shotguns, a little fancy and sort of affordable. Finding one in 20 gauge is not an easy feat, and I bet this one will well above the estimate. Here are the full details on this SxS from the auctioneer:

A.H. Fox CE Grade 20 GA Double Barrel Shotgun.
A.H. Fox CE Grade 20 GA Double Barrel Shotgun.

Lot 174: A.H. Fox CE Grade 20 GA Double Barrel Shotgun: Serial #: 202315. Manufactured date: 1910. Barrel length: 26″. Chamber length: 2-1/2″. Choke dimension: M & IC. Length of pull: 14″. Drop on the heel: 2-1/2″. Drop on the toe: 1-1/2″. Excellent shiny bores with a few frecklings of rust on barrels. Receiver shows trace of case coloring. Exceptional example of an “Ansley Fox” made in Philadelphia. Chromux fluid compressed steel. Barrels not factory length. Originality: 95%.
Condition (Fine). Estimate: $2,500-$4,000

A.H. Fox CE Grade 20 GA Double Barrel Shotgun.
A.H. Fox CE Grade 20 GA Double Barrel Shotgun.

 

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