Banking, unlike blogging, is a great way to make money. Henry Graves, Jr. was born into a family of bankers, and he made huge coin through the early parts of the 20th century in oil and railroads.
Rich got richer, and with all this money, Henry Graves, Jr, did rich guy things: Buying European art, building big houses, etc. One of his things was commissioning fancy watches from exclusive makers — like this pocketwatch from Patek Phillippe. It just sold for $24.4 million dollars, a new world’s record for a watch.
Henry Graves, Jr, was also into shotguns, and for many years he was one of Von Lengerke & Detmold’s (later Abercrombie & Fitch) best customers. Graves preferred the top British makers and the guns he ordered were always the best of the best: Holland & Hollands Modele DeLuxes, pairs of small bore Kell-engraved Purdeys, and his favorites, Boss O/Us. On one day in May of 1922, Graves ordered three of them: A pair of 10 gauges and the 28g pictured here.
The 28g is the Boss O/U pictured here. It popped up on the market in April, 2013. The asking price: $500,000. From what I can see, it’s about as original as they come. In fact, it looks like it was never used. When Graves guns pop up on the market, they’re usually in this kind of condition. So while Graves like ordering doubles, it looks like he like he didn’t use them One thing to note about this 28g: Check out the gold cipher inlaid onto the toplever. It reads H G Jr. Graves had this cipher added to a number of his guns.
I’ve never heard a thing about Graves’s the pair of 10 gauge Boss O/Us ordered on that day in May. If you have them, or if you own any other Graves shotguns, please reach out to me. I would love to learn more about the gun.