I used to think the over-under was a pretty modern shotgun design. But the truth is, people have been making -stacked-barreled doubles for almost as long as they’ve been building side-by-sides. The flintlock Tatham & Egg O/U you see is a good example of what these old examples looked like.
Egg was Durs Egg, a Swiss-born craftsman who emigrated to London and became one of Great Britain’s most famous lock and gun makers. His locks were the best of the best and he made guns for the Prince of Wales, H.M. George IV and the Duke of York.
Tatham was Henry Tatham. Gun maker and Sword cutler to the king. Together, T & E traded as Tatham and Egg, Gun-Makers and Sword-Cutlers to His Majesty. It looks like Tathan & Egg used the services of silversmith Moses Brent to build this gun, and it’s interesting to see Brent’s hallmarks on the silver portions of this gun, like the triggerguard and the buttplate.
Even though this O/U is a smoothbore, I’m not so sure it was made to shoot feathered game. The bayonet makes me think it was more for deer or even wild bore. Whatever it was for, the client who ordered it sure had a lot of $$$. The listing says the gun carries the marking used by some British Dukes. it would be interesting to verify.
- Over / under flintlock
- Stalking shotgun
- 32″ barrels
- This gun was assembled and made by 3 separate makers to the King of England
- It is embellished throughout with fine engraving and gold and sterling silver mounts
- The 3 makers to the King are: silversmith – Moses Brent, Cutler – Tatham, gun maker – Egg
Top and bottom of both barrels is inlaid in a gold rectangle “Tatham & Egg”
- Inlaid barrel band as well as flash holes
- Barrel transitions from octagon to round at approximately half way with beading and filigree with sterling silver front sight
- 14″ sliding bayonet with full fuller blood groove is affixed to stock forend on right side with delicate stepping base and deploys with the push of a engraved horned button
- Flintlock action has engraved pan, hammers, and parts with brilliant cased color hardening
- Lock springs are beautiful nitre blue
- Both hammers have delicately engraved stalking safetys as well as border engraving and coats of arms behind safetys (coat of arms appears to have weapons, shields, banners, flags, and flask)
- Upper rear tang has integral rear sight that is profusely engraved
- Behind upper tang is a monogram that appears to be engraved “EG” or “EC” with a possibly Griffin
as family crest
- This gun was made for a royal family and the griffin head normally depicts the title of Duke
- Bottom of action tang is border and rope engraved
- Double trigger with sterling silver ornate trigger guard and British proofs and Moses Brent, engraved with heavy sterling silver a sunburst, rope border, one hound dog howling and another laying down
- There are 4 forend sterling silver ovals that are engraved
- The patchbox is profusely engraved with floral patterns and leaves, border engraved with large scene depicting a bedded red stag and doe with flowers, tree and fence
- All silver has MB stamp
- Decorative sterling silver buttplate with large upper tang that is profusely engraved
- Stock and forend are deluxe fiddle back with full checkered wrist and shaddowline cheek piece
- Made approx. 1802