Auction Alert–20g Fox Sterlingworth Skeet & Upland game…

Of all the guns A.H. Fox made the Sterlingworth Skeet and Upland Game is one of the hardest to find. For collectors, finding a Skeet & Upland Game double barrel shotgun is quite a discovery.

A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Skeet & Upland Game, 20g, double barrel, side-by-side shotgun
A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Skeet & Upland Game, 20g, double barrel, side-by-side shotgun

Well, one in 20 gauge is coming up to auction tomorrow, 4/2, at Wright’s Auction in Newport, VT. I don’t know much about the gun, but it looks solid and clean. All the pics I have of the gun are below. I’m not sure how original the gun is, though. It’s hard to tell from the pics, but the blueing looks too good and the wood awfully clean. The same auction also has a 20 gauge RBL and some Winchesters.

Introduced in 1935, the Skeet & Upland Game was basically a lightweight, straight-gripped version of the regular Sterlingworth. It was offered in 12g, 16g, and 20, and all gauges had open choked, 26″ barrels. The guns also had pretty high stock dimensions, which makes them especially nice for shooters (unlike most Sterlingworths).

If you like Winchsester M21, be sure to check out the upcoming sale at South Bay Auction in East Moriches, L.I., NY. They have  Winchester M21 Skeet gun in20 gauge coming up on Saturday, April 9th. There are also some nice decoys there, all well as some nice antiques and sporting art.

More pics of the A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Skeet & Upland Game:

A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Skeet & Upland Game, 20g, double barrel, side-by-side shotgun
A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Skeet & Upland Game, 20g, double barrel, side-by-side shotgun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Skeet & Upland Game, 20g, double barrel, side-by-side shotgun
A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Skeet & Upland Game, 20g, double barrel, side-by-side shotgun
A.H. Fox Sterlingworth Skeet & Upland Game, 20g, double barrel, side-by-side shotgun

Is one DHE more valuable…and why?

Value is an interesting concept, especially when it comes to double barrel shotguns. Why one gun is more valuable than another is sometimes hard to figure out. Here’s an an example of what I mean.

This Parker DHE side by side is online right now at Gunbroker.com:

Parker DHE 2-barrel set on Gunbroker.com
Parker DHE 2-barrel set on Gunbroker.com

This other Parker DHE double barrel shotgun is at Auctionarms.com:

Parker DHE 2-barrel set on Auctionarms.com
Parker DHE 2-barrel set on Auctionarms.com

Boths guns are pretty similiar: 12 gauge DHEs with single triggers. They’re both two barrel sets, and they’re both in excellent original condition. They even have similiar stock dimensions. So why is it that one is going to bring so much more than the other?

Their are only two big differences that I can see:

1. The DHE on Gunbroker letters as original. Of course, this is a big deal. Provable original condition is the gold-standard on old shotguns.

2. The online auction companies. Maybe Auctionarms doesn’t have the traffic that Gunbroker sees.

At auction–an 8 gauge L.C. Smith…

This 8-gauge L.C. Smith side-by-side, double barrel shotgun is on Gunbroker right now. The seller says it has 32″ barrels. From the pics, it looks like it might be a No. 1 grade.

8 gauge L.C. Smith shotgun on Gunbroker.com
8 gauge L.C. Smith shotgun on Gunbroker.com

L.C. Smith made very few 8 gauges – estimates vary from 30-35. From what I’ve been able to find out, they made them from about 1895-1898 and every one was hammerless. This guy here has several 8-gauge L.C. Smiths, at least two in No. 2 grades.

Of all the major American makers, Parker made the most 8 gauges – hammerless and hammerguns- and Lefever made the fewest. Baker made a few, and Colt made at least one. A.H. Fox never made any.

Eight gauges used to be very popular for wildfowl. They pushed a ton of lead and this made them ideal for swatting flocks of birds at a time – just what a market hunter on the Chesapeake Bay wanted to do. Eight-gauge shotguns were outlawed for use on waterfowl in the US in the early 20th century.

BTW: if you have an 8 gauge double, or you know of any out there, please let me know. I’m interested in purchasing one and will pay a finder’s fee for a nice one.

Big prices for Parkers at Julia’s Spring ’09 Auction…

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. Parker CHE 28 gauge double barrel side by side shotgun at Julia's 2009 spring auctionAlmost 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. Parker GHE 28 gauge side by side shotgunEven 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. Parker 12 gauge GH grade double barrel shotgunA 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.

Gregg@dogsanddoubles.com

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