There was also a N. Guyot who an inventor with several patents to his name and a world-class pigeon shooter who won the Monaco Grand Prix du Casino in 1901. Perhaps this was the founder of the firm, or a son who carried on the name?
From what I can see, this sideplated shotgun was made between 1887-1896. It carries a full-set of London proof marks from that period (for Black Powder, not Nitro), but no Belgian or French proof marks. This is one of the mysteries of Guyot: Why would a gunmaker with a retail shop in Paris have his a shotgun proofed in London — especially if it was made back home in France or next door in Belgium?
Condition wise, the color-case hardening on this gun looks pretty original. I’m not sure about bbl blueing and wood finish, though. Both look fresher to me, and the checkering has definitely been recut. Also, this gun has some funky looking ejectorwork on it which appears to be unique to Guyots. Wonder what it is?
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.
Guyot is mysterious gunmaker. Even though the company made beautiful sidelocks and boxlocks, there’s very little information out there about its history. I know because I’ve been researching Guyot for years and all I’ve discovered is in this piece I wrote a few years ago: “Who the heck was Guyot?”