Joseph Manton was one of the finest gunmakers of the 19th century and one of the most influential gunmakers in British history. His work set the standard and the course for the 180+ years of Best quality gunmaking that came after him.
A handful of men who worked for Manton– including James Purdey, Thomas Boss and William Greener–followed his standards and founded some of the most important makers in the British gun trade.
Joseph Manton work was so good that Colonel Peter Hawker, the 19th century sportsman and writer, is said to have called Manton ‘The greatest artist in firearms that ever the world produced.”
Unfortunately, other than its name and the traditions it carries on, the double you see here has no connection Joseph Manton or to the Manton family. Instead, it was made in the 1980s by a team of British craftsmen, one of whom owned the rights to the name Joseph Manton.
Regardless, it’s not the name on the gun that matters, but rather skill that went into building it. And from what I can see, a tremendous amount of skill went into building this side-by-side.
(BTW: Since this gun was made, the name Joseph Manton name passed to other owners. You can find out more about the guns they’re building here.)
Joseph Manton London 28 gauge, Sidelock, Shotgun, Purdey Action, 28″ barrels: 2-3/4″ chambers, auto-ejectors, choked tight improved cylinder and modified (.009/.016). London proof 1986. Narrow tapered raised game rib. Built on a finely scaled Purdey-type self-opening action. Extensively engraved with a bold foliate scroll and vibrant case color hardened finish. Single trigger, auto-safe. Straight hand stock of classic French walnut with contrasting grain and black and gold fiddleback measures 14-1/8″ to a checkered butt, splinter forend. The diminutive size is reflected as this little gun tips the scale at a mere 5 lbs, 3 oz. The 28″ barrels give this gun a forward bias and truly lively feel in the hand! Simply outstanding! Cased in lightweight leather trunk case. Price: $57,000