Here’s your chance to pick one of the rarest American SxS shotguns you’ll come across. This 20 gauge Parker AAHE is coming up at Gunslinger Auctions in Glendora, CA, this Sat, Feb. 1. The live auction starts at noon, west-coast time.
Parker made 238 Quality AAH-grade shotguns. Most were 12 gauges. I can’t imagine more than a couple of those were 20 gauges with 32″ barrels. Back then this gun was made, it was one gun down from Parker’s top-of-the-line Parker Quality A-1 Special. While this 20 gauge has seen better days, I bet it will hammer down for $30,000+.
Here’s more info about it from the auctioneer: Make: Parker Bros.
Model: AAHE GRADE 7
Shotgun Gauge: 20 Gauge
Barrel Length: 32in
MADE IN APPROXIMATELY 1915. FINELY ENGRAVED FLORAL PATTERN THROUGHOUT RECEIVER AND BACKS OF BARRELS, ALSO TRIGGER GUARD. SCARCE 32in BARREL. LOP 13.5in TO REAR TRIGGER. 3in DROP. BUTTSTOCK SHOWS TYPICAL HANDLING MARKS, ALL CAN BE REMOVED BY COMPETENT GUNSMITH. BEAUTIFUL CHECKERING ON WRIST. CHOKES ARE FULL AND FULL. MINT BORES.
Serial #: 207210 Low Estimate: 25000.00 High Estimate: 45000.00
Extremely Rare 12g Parker AAHE SxS Pigeon gun with very important provenance: Made in 1899 for Washington, DC-based sporting goods retailer William Wagner, this gun was given to Mr. Wagner “compliments of Parker Bros.” per the factory order. The gun is an early Pigeon gun with several special order features including the rib which is inscribed “Mfg. for Wm. Wagner”. The gun was made with 30″ Whitworth Fluid steel barrels, double triggers, splinter forend, and has had ejectors added by Parker a few years after manufacture. The gun has a straight grip buttstock and was ordered with a checkered butt per the factory order. The stocks measure 1-5/8″ DAC, 2-3/8″ DAH, and 14-1/4″ LOP over the original checkered butt. Made with 2-3/4″ chambers the barrels measure .734(rt) and .735(left) with chokes of .039(full) and .044(extra full). The gun weighs 7lbs 8oz currently. Overall the gun is in excellent condition. The barrels retain 99% of an expert restored blue finish. The action retains traces of original case color which is vivid in protected areas, toned elsewhere. The stocks retain most of an expert restored finish, comb lowered long ago, and are crisp with light checkering wear.
William Wagner & Son was an important sporting goods dealer in Washington, DC, and was responsible for selling many many Parker shotguns. Parker Bros. no doubt gave him this gun in appreciation of his many sales of fine Parker shotguns.
There is a set of 32″ Acme barrels that have been added to this gun with an original A1 Special forend. This set of barrels will be made available to the purchaser of the gun and really makes this a wonderful shoooting outfit! A very rare Parker with unique history and rib inscription. If you are looking for a historically significant Parker with great shooting qualities, and killer aesthetics, look no further. Price:$28,900
STEPHEN GRANT Jones Rotary Underlever Hammer Gun 12 gauge, 30″ bbls: SxS, Fine English scroll engraved back action hammer rotary underlever action, Professionally restored by Nick Makinson, Gun #1 of an orphaned pair, Built in 1882 for the 5th Earl of Clarendon, Edward Hyde Villiers. Lord Hyde served between 1846-1905 as Lord Chamberlain of the British Liberal Unionist party. 30″ Damascus bbls. w/ 2 1/2″ chambers, Barrels re-browned in U.K. (not nitro proofed), Concave rib, Chokes: Right .731 / .013 / IC & Left .731 / .031 / F, Double triggers, External Hammers, Extractors, Straight stock w/ checkered butt, Heel and toe plates, Splinter forearm, Stock Dimensions: DC: 1 1/2″ x DH: 2 1/4″ x Cast: 1/4″ off at 4 1/2″ x LOP: 14 1/2″, Weight: 6 lb. 13 oz., Condition: Excellent restored w/ maker’s leather-covered case, Made in England, Serial #5149. Price: $5995.
Chapuis SxS RGP round action 16 Ga. – Unfired: #56101.Made in 2012 , imported by us, this gun has never left the gun vault. 26” barrels, chrome lined bores .664 with .009” and .015” constriction (Imp Cyl and Mod) swamped rib. Ejectors. 100% inside and out. Special ordered scalloped action with no engraving, a case color harden frame and blacked furniture. Double triggers, firing pin discs, manual safety, all in like new condition. Weight is 6Lbs. Nice fiddle back walnut English stock with a 14 ¼” LOP over a ¼” wood butt plate, drop is 1 ½” and 2 5/8” with 3/8 cast off, semi beaver tail forend. The wood finish and checkering are in 99% original condition with the faintest handling marks. Light, well balanced, fast handling shotgun. Price: $3,890.
A. JOS. DEFOURNEY 16GA SXS Boxlock Shotgun: A high quality, high condition European game from one of Belgium’s finest makers. Ejectors, Articulating front trigger, Manual safe, Greener crossbolt, Purdy underbites, Brazed barrels, Horn grip cap and butt plate, Nice wood, Strong case color. Tasteful hand engraving, Well balanced and in 16ga to boot! No dents, cracks or pits. Price:$1895
Here’s a shotgun that’s a bit of a mystery to me. Even though it says PARKER on it, and the seller is saying it’s “100% brand new and unfired”, I’m pretty sure it didn’t come out of Merident, CT, or Ilion, NY, like this. And it’s not one of those Parker/Winchester Reproductions from the ’80s.
Parker Bros. introduced the AA grade around 1895 as shotgun for pigeon shooting and the company built a total of 243 of them. The first models were hammerguns (AA) and then hammerless models (the AAH) were introduced. Hammerless models with ejectors were know as AAHEs. All models were fully engraved and featured Circassion walnut stocks with fine checkering. Whitworth-Steel barrels were standard, with damascus available on request.
PARKER- AAHE 28ga. 28” barrels choked M/F: Spectacular American black walnut straight grip stock, beavertail forend, skeleton butt, double triggers, automatic ejectors, automatic safety, solid rib, spectacular Fleur-de-lis checkering, gorgeous AAHE engraving pattern executed to the highest level, a fantastic high grade Parker, 100% brand new and unfired, cased in a oak & leather case with accessories, available for immediate delivery. 16 ½” x 1 ½” x 2 1/8”, 6lbs. 4oz. Price: $49,999.00
Lot 560: Parker AAHE Grade Pigeon gun, 12 gauge 2 ¾” chambers, 32” barrels: Serial number 205648. About 240 made. Excellent as restored condition by DelGrego. Barrels show Peerless steel marking. The interior of the barrels are very good plus with 99% plus of the proper color refinish. The action has been lightly polished. The trigger guard has been refinished. The stock remains in excellent as restored. LOP 14 ½”, 1 7/8” drop at the heel, ½” drop at the comb. Wall thickness .29 right and .25 left. . Est.: $35,000- $70,000.
Lot 600:Parker CHE grade 12 gauge double barrel shotgun, 30″ barrels: Serial #118334. English style straight stock, double triggers, auto ejectors, Titanic steel marked barrels, in very good+ to near fine original condition, . The barrels show 75-85% original blue; action retains 40-60% case hardening; the trigger guard has drifted to traces of blue; the stock shows a good grain and fancy checkering, with the forend almost fully checkered. LOP 14-1/2″. The gun locks tight, the bores are bright, and this is a very nice looking collector’s grade Parker. Est.: $6,000-$12,000
Lot 197:Parker VHE grade 20 gauge, SxS shotgun: Fine original condition. Serial #210670. The barrel’s measure 26”. 14 ¼” LOP The barrel’s retain 95% plus bright original blue, action shows 50% to 70% bright original case hardening. Trigger guard shows 50% to 70% thinning original blue. The gun is completely authentic and not abused. A collectors quality Parker out of a local estate. The barrels are both choked improved modified showing 2 ½” drop at the heel and 1 ½” drop at comb. Full 2 ¾” chambers and the ejectors work well. Est.: $1,400-$2,800.
Lot 176: Parker Brothers 12 gauge GHE grade Factory Skeet, by Remington: Serial #241791. In fine to near excellent condition. 26” barrels with ventilated rib, single trigger, auto ejectors, beavertail forend, pistol grip stock, skeleton butt plate. The gun shows 95% to 98% original blue and case hardening with just some slight handling and minor use. The stocks are also fine to near excellent showing a nice burled wood grain. The barrels are both choked cylinder or skeet. 14” LOP. Est.: $7,000 -$14,000.
Lot 1463: 28 gauge Parker CHE double barrel SxS shotgun, OO frame: Serial #184814. Barrels originally 30”, now 26”. English style straight stock, skeleton steel butt plate and checkered butt, serial number 184814. Old factory or Del Greco quality refinish of which and 90% to 95% of this blue finish remains showing good sharp edges and sharp markings with just a few small scratches, slight toning and minor losses. The frame is typically Parker engraved with fancy scrolls showing hunting dog on left and right with game bird on bottom. The frame shows 65% to 85% proper and old-style case hardened colors. Select checkered walnut stocks which of also been lightly refreshed and refinished. The action is tight and the bores are near excellent . Est.: $20,000-$40,000
There were lots of nice American shotguns there, too, and I spent a while looking over the 20 gauge Parker and the 12 gauge Lefever shown below. Both guns impressed me with their crisp, original condition. Wanting to know about them, I looked them up in the auction catalog and I was shocked to see how thin the barrel walls were on both side-by-sides.
Afterwards, I went back to both guns and took a long look at the barrels. After a lot of close looking, I couldn’t find any signs of repairs to the barrels. They had to be original. That means the barrels left the factory with those thin spots.
A was down at Robin Hollow Outfitters over the weekend, trying to make the most of a miserable, rainy day. Robin Hollow had a bunch of nice double barrel shotguns in stock and they were kind enough to let me photo a few. First up is this 12 gauge Parker AAHE grade side by side.
Parker introduced the AAHE in about 1895. Priced at $400, it was their highest grade gun at the time. An even higher grade — the A-1 Special — was introduced about 1907 and priced at $500. In all, Parker made about 243 AAHEs: 5 were hammerguns, 238 were hammerless
“The early AA guns engraving tended to be deep chisel but later the engraving became lighter in style; although both were elegantly done by the best engravers of the time. The stocks were made of the finest Circassian walnut which was dense enough to allow the very fine checkering at about thirty lines per inch. The stock has a gold shield and gold pistol grip cap. Stocks 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. The hammer gun barrel bolsters have the characteristic teardrop sculpture and hammerless guns have one or two extra beads around the barrel bolsters. Ejectors were a standard option found on the AAH grade.”
The James D. Julia Auction Company started their spring 2009 firearms auction yesterday, 3/16. Even though the economy stinks, there’s still money out there for good double barrel shotguns.
Several nice Parkers brought big money, although many of them missed their pre-sale estimates. This nice 20g A-1 Special with 32″ bbls hammered down at $95,000 (plus a 15% buyer’s premium). That’s a lot, but quite a bit below the auctioneer’s $120,000 – $150,000 estimate. While the gun is one of just a few 20g A-1 Specials Parker made, it had been “restored” some (reblued barrels, refinished wood) and that hurt it’s value.
This Parker AAHE 20g was another nice gun that went for big money, but failed to reach its low end estimate. The bidding on this one ended at $55,000, just under the pre-sale estimate of $60,000 – $90,000. The bbl and wood on this one had also been refinished – something the big spenders do not like to see.
One nice Parker that did beat its low-end estimate was was this very cool 28g CHE . This gun went to a buyer for $48,000 against an estimate of $30,000 – $60,000. Why did it do well? On top of being a small bore with very unique monte-carlo-style straight gripped stock, it’s excellent original condition. Almost all of the original barrel blue and color case hardening are present and the wood looks right too. And when it comes to guns, condition is king. Auction after auction has proven that buyers will pay a fat premium for it.
That being said, this Parker GHE 28g went for $48,000, just shy of it’s low-end estimate of $50,000. This gun was in fantastic, all original condition – pretty much new all around with all its blueing, color-case hardening, and wood finish – and it had great wood and a solid provenance. Even though it’s a gun I would give my pinkies to own, I think there’s a simple reason it failed to blast past the estimate: the estimate was just too high. Prices for nice Parkers have skyrocket over the last few years. In the case of this gun, I think the auctioneer was bit too hopeful of what this gun was worth today.
On the more affordable side, a few nice Parkers did sell for under $5,000. This damascus-barreled 12g GH went for $2,750 – not a bad price considering all the original condition it had. A gun like this would be a nice place for a new Parker fan to start building a collection.
Julia’s auction continues today, with lots of Colts and other stuff coming up. I’ll report back soon with info on other American doubles along with info on some British stuff, including a Rigby .450 double rifle and beautiful set of Purdey percussion guns.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, let me know.