A master’s work: Lucas scroll on an early Purdey shotgun…

Lucas scroll on an early J. Purdey & Son, Double Barrel, Centerfire shotgun
Lucas scroll on an early J. Purdey & Son, Double Barrel, Centerfire shotgun. Click for a closer look.

Engraving on top-quality doubles is unusual. While it’s one of the least functional features, it’s also one of the most important. Done right, engraving can make a gun (and a gunmaker); done wrong it can ruin both. London’s top firms realized this early only. To ensure that their best-quality guns featured equally impressive engraving, gunmakers paid their best engravers top wages.

James Lucas was one of these top engravers, and at the peak of his career he was earning one of the highest salaries in London gunmaking trade. He was worth it, too. From 1855 to 1915, Lucas was Purdey’s head engraver, and during that time worked with another Purdey engraver named J. Mace, Sr. to develop the fine, tight scroll work that went on to be come the “rose & scroll”  pattern that defined Purdey’s doubles.

The shotgun you see here is one of James Purdey & Sons first breechloading centerfire shotguns. Made in 1867,  You can see how the engraver (proably Mr Lucas himself) was working out the tight, densely-packed scrollwork that would become Purdey’s famous house style.

Lucas scroll on an early J. Purdey & Son, Double Barrel, Centerfire shotgun
Lucas scroll on an early J. Purdey & Son, Double Barrel, Centerfire shotgun. Click for a closer look.
Lucas scroll on an early J. Purdey & Son, Double Barrel, Centerfire shotgun
Lucas scroll on an early J. Purdey & Son, Double Barrel, Centerfire shotgun. Click for a closer look.
Lucas scroll on an early J. Purdey & Son, Double Barrel, Centerfire shotgun
Lucas scroll on an early J. Purdey & Son, Double Barrel, Centerfire shotgun. Click for a closer look.
Lucas scroll on an early J. Purdey & Son, Double Barrel, Centerfire shotgun
Lucas scroll on an early J. Purdey & Son, Double Barrel, Centerfire shotgun. Click for a closer look.

Recent Posts

See this week’s 5 doubles you don’t want to miss …

Browning  20 GA BSS Sporter LIKE NEW
From a rare, rare, rare A.H. Fox 20g CE with a straight grip and this great looking 20g Browning BSS Sporter to a perfect 28g Arrieta 557 and a great looking British boxlock. See all of this week's doubles now.
%d bloggers like this: