Well it happened. Yesterday, this highly anticipated 12 gauge Parker AAH Pigeon Gun hit the block. When the auctioneer smacked his gavel and called “Sold!”, the winning price was a stunning $25,500.00 or about $30,000 with the buyer’s premium.
This Parker AAH was made around 1895, and I think it was the fifth AAH that Parker made. Online, the pics and description of it were pretty pathetic. I’m guessing it must have checked out as very original, and it must have been impressive in hand, to bring that kind of money. I also wonder if there was something else about it that made it special — like maybe it was the first one made with Whitworth Fluid Steel barrels.
For comparison, here’s a later Parker AAHE (a AAH with Ejectors) that sold in Julia’s March 2013 auction:
The finish on this AAH it looks pretty original. It was made in 1895, so the single trigger is a replacement. But it does look like it could be a Parker single trigger. The barrels may be replacements. In 1895, AAH Parkers came with fine Damascus steel or Whitworth fluid steel barrels. So this side-by-side may have been made with damascus barrels and then had them changed to fluid steel bbls at a later date – maybe when the single trigger was added. If you really want to know, I would reach out to the folks at the The Parker Gun Collector’s Association for more information about the shotgun.
Here’s a similar Parker AAHE (a AAH with Ejectors) that sold in Julia’s March 2013 auction:
The Grade 7 is also called the AA grade. It was intended to appeal to the pigeon shooters. A total of 243 were made. Most were hammerless…Early AAH guns were marked “Pigeon Gun” on the top barrel rib. The first AA was seen about 1895 and at that time, it was Parkers highest grade. It sold for $400 in 1895…
The engraving on early AA guns tended to be deep chisel, but later the engraving became lighter in style…the stocks were made of the finest Circassian walnut…The stocks had a gold shield and gold pistol grip cap, and they were fitted with a skeleton butt plate as standard but recoil pads were an option. The barrels were made of the finest Damascus steel or Whitworth fluid steel…