I’m a big fan of Guyot shotguns, and I’ve written about these doubles here, here, and here. Just about every Guyot side-by-side that I’ve seen has been very well made, from the lower-end boxlocks to the top-of-line sidelocks.
The sidelock here is an another example of just how much skill went into Guyot’s best double barrel shotguns. It was auctioned off last year and went for a very fair at a great price. I wish I had been the person who got it. Here’s the auctioneer’s full listing on it:
Serial #12451, 12 bore, 29 1/2″ barrels are choked improved cylinder and modified and show bright excellent bores. The shotgun features ejectors, cocking indicators, articulated front trigger, sideclips and non-automatic safety. The action and locks feature full coverage rose and scroll engraving with “N. GUYOT” on left lock and “A PARIS” on right lock. The barrel rib is engraved “Sir Joseph Whitworth’s Fluid Comressed Steel” and the barrels are marked “N. Guyot Arqr. Paris / 12 Rue de Ponthieu”.
The barrels retain 95% superb quality blued finish that appears original. The barrels feature their original French proofs and have been additionally proofed in England “12 ga / 70mm / 850 BAR”. The action and locks retain 80% original color case-hardened finish with most loss on belly where colors are blending with a pleasing smooth gray patina. The triggerguard retains about 60% thinning original blue finish. The checkered straight grip buttstock and splinter forend are of beautifully figured French walnut and rate excellent plus and may have been lightly cleaned with freshened checkering.
The shotgun locks up very tight and points beautifully with a 14 5/8″ pull over a later leather covered pad with drops of 1 1/2″ and 2 1/8″. A very fine, best quality Parisian double gun of superlative quality. (Estimate: $8000/12,000) SOLD FOR $9200.00.
Bracco Italianos are an odd breed. Big boned, and with a large heads, drooping jowls and flopping ears, Braccos looks more bloodhound than bird dog. Because they’re so rare here in the States, very few of us will ever have the experience it takes to appreciate them.
Braccos are trotters, and in the field they move in a very distinct way. Rather than pressing forward and bounding like a English Pointer, Braccos stride, head high, and back level and straight. All the action takes place in their legs, and when they get up to speed, they like they’re floating across the field. Check out the videos below to get a better sense of what I mean.
The story of pointing dogs is full of half truths, distortions, and outright lies. Craig Koshyk has dedicated thousands of hours separating fact from fiction, and he put it all together in his excellent book Pointing Dogs: Volume One, The Continentals.
Here’s the intro:
“The French revolution began in 1789. When it was Over 11 years later, Napoleon was in power and nearly every aspect of French life, including hunting and dog breeding, had changed forever. Some of the changes were positive. The revolution had given the average French citizen the right to hunt. But for the dogs kept in the kennels of aristocrats, the revolution spelled disaster. Many were slaughtered outright and others were stolen, but most were simply released to roam the countryside….”
The English Pointer lays claim to ancestors throughout Europe. Dogs from Spain are said to be the beginning of the breed, and an earlier version of the modern Portugese Pointer probably added a few bricks to the EP’s foundation.