See this week’s 5 doubles you don’t want to miss …

John Rigby SxS Double Rifle Underlever 500 BPE
John Rigby SxS Double Rifle Underlever 500 BPE

John Rigby SxS Double Rifle Underlever 500 BPE: Jones Underlever. All original, Original finish. This gun has blued barrels engraved with a band of stylized foliage at each breech. Broad file cut matted sighting rib with rear sight with single folding leaf and bead front sight. Border and scroll engraved casehardened action with Jones Patent rotary underlever and carved percussion fences. Border and scroll engraved casehardened non-rebounding back action locks each with blued safety catch and signed “JNO. RIGBY & Co.”. Very well figured pistol grip stock with checkered grip and forearm. Price: $13,995

Merkel 203E 20 Gauge – LUXUS SIDELOCK, 1952, 99%, GAME SCENE, Vintage Firearms Inc
Merkel 203E 20 Gauge – LUXUS SIDELOCK, 1952, 99%, GAME SCENE, Vintage Firearms Inc

Merkel 203E 20 Gauge – LUXUS SIDELOCK, 1952, 99%, GAME SCENE, Vintage Firearms Inc: Year 1952, 20 Gauge, 6lbs 3oz, Chokes IC/IM, LOP 14 1/2″, DAH 2 11/16″, DAC 1 1/2″ Serial Number: 36585 Merkel over/under shotguns have been dominating the European market since 1924.  Of the various grades offered by this famed manufacturer, the 203E was the first grade in the lineup with full sidelock action, hand-detachable locks, Kirsten cross-bolts, double underlug barrels, beautifully figured European walnut stocks finely checkered, horn grip cap and butt plate, and slender three-piece forend wood.  This gun, sn36585 built in 1952, is the LUXUS MODEL POSSESSING DEEPLY CHISELED GAME SCENE ENGRAVING, ORNATE CARVINGS AT THE WRIST ON THE BUTTSTOCK, AND ARTICULATED FRONT TRIGGER.  Most gunners are aware that the earlier Merkel guns are superior to any put out in the 21rst century.  This Merkel 203E Luxus is in perfect mechanical condition with super-strong ejectors, the triggers are crisp, the barrels are tight on the hinge pin and breech face like a new gun.  This gun has barely been fired and shows no signs of wear anywhere.  ALL FINISHES ARE AT LEAST 99% AND ARE FACTORY FINISHES…NO RESTORATIONS ANYWHERE ON THE GUN.  The deeply chiseled engraving is profuse and fully covers the action, showing fine foliate and oak leaf engraving surrounding encapsulating game scenes.  The barrels at the breech are adorned with finely cut oak leaf engraving, as is the trigger guard.  The hand-detachable locks are easily removed allowing easy access for cleaning, inspection, and repair.  The inletting in the beautifully figured French walnut is done to perfection without a flaw or split anywhere.  The wood-to-metal fit is superb and masterfully done.  This is a BEST GUN in the way of beauty and workmanship.  The modern steel barrels are of the highest quality and able to handle any of the modern factory loads, including any of the soft non-toxic shot readily available today.  The 26” barrels are choked Improved Cylinder and Light Modifed…the perfect upland chokes.  Using RST spreader loads in the top barrel and you have an incredible grouse gun.  The bores are perfect mirror without flaw.  The stock dimensions are modern and will fit most.  See the specifications below.  We can install a fine leather covered pad for those who may need a longer LOP.  This gun weighs 6lbs. 3oz.  and balances dead on the hinge pin and handles like a much lighter gun.  She is amazing in looks and dynamics.  There are few of these guns to be found and one in this condition is usually priced at well over $15,000. Price: $13,750

JOHN WILKES BEST BOXLOCK EJECTOR 16 GA / 28" BBLS
JOHN WILKES BEST BOXLOCK EJECTOR 16 GA / 28″ BBLS

JOHN WILKES BEST BOXLOCK EJECTOR 16 GA / 28″ BBLS: Chambers: 2 1/2″, Rib Design: CONCAVE, Weight: 5lbs 14oz Bore/Chokes, Right/Bottom:.661/ .000 CYL., Left/Top:.661/ .010 SKEET 2 Stock Dimensions Drop At Comb: 1 5/8″, Drop At Heel: 2″ Special Features: ROSE & SCROLL ENGRAVED CASE HARDENED ACTION EJECTORS WELL FIGURED STRAIGHT GRIP STOCK PIGSKIN LEATHER COVERED RECOIL PAD SPLINTER FOREARM AUTO SAFETY CONDITION: EXCELLENT Circa:1926/ SERIAL # 9811. Price: $8495

Parker Reproduction 20 GA 2 Barrel Set - DHE 28", 26" Double Triggers:
Parker Reproduction 20 GA 2 Barrel Set – DHE 28″, 26″ Double Triggers:

Parker Reproduction 20 GA 2 Barrel Set – DHE 28″, 26″ Double Triggers: 14.25″ 1st Barrel – 28″ Mod & Full 2nd Barrel -26″ S&S In wonderful condition. Soft case included. Price: $6995

Henry Holland 12 Gauge SxS Underlever
Henry Holland 12 Gauge SxS Underlever

Henry Holland 12 Gauge SxS Underlever: 30″ barrels C/C. Beautiful damascus pattern on barrels. Great bores.  Finely engraved action, locks and hammers. 90% case colored action, locks and hammers. Tiger striped stock with original butt plate.
1 1/2″ X 2″ X 14 3/8″. Price: $5300    

This week’s 5 doubles you don’t want to miss…

 

Parker Brothers ~ A-1 Special ~ 20 Ga. 
Parker Brothers ~ A-1 Special ~ 20 Ga.

Parker Brothers ~ A-1 Special ~ 20 Ga: S/N 158XXX – Circa 1912, Chambers: 2 3/4″ with Ejectors, Barrels: 28″, Stock Dimensions: 14″ LOP – DAC 1 11/16″ – DAH 2 1/4″, Butt Pad: Engraved Skeleton, Weight: 6 LB. Wood shows a bit of age cracking with a couple of small storage marks and a bit of moisture damage to the right side of the buttstock. Blue remains at 100% with mint bores. Receiver shows 100% rose and scroll engraving coverage that remains excellent. Truly a remarkable example of the gunmakers art! Complete with a Parker Collectors “Letter of Originality”. Price: $79,999.99 

BOSS & Co Best SLE 20ga 26" IC&M Original 2 3/4" chambers, Makers leather case, Mfg 1947, rare and very nice
BOSS & Co Best SLE 20ga 26″ IC&M Original 2 3/4″ chambers, Makers leather case, Mfg 1947, rare and very nice

BOSS & Co Best SLE 20ga 26″ IC&M Original 2 3/4″ chambers, Makers leather case, Mfg 1947, rare and very nice: Serial #  8764, Barrel Length: 26″, Choke R  IC(.005), Choke L  M(.011), Trigger  ST (Single), Rib Type  Smooth Concave Rib, Receiver Finish:  Casehardened with most colors remaining, Engraving Type:  Boss style Fine Scroll & Rosette Engraving, Other Options:  Makers case with label, Original 2 3/4″ chambers, Condition  EXC. Plus Condition. Weight  5lbs 7oz. Dimensions  1 3/8 x 2 3/8 x 14 3/4 with 1/4 cast off. Other Details  Mfg 1947, Very high condition  Very hard to find in 20ga. Price: $59,000

J. Purdey & Sons - 12ga - SLE - Self Opener - 25” Barrels - .732/.729 Chokes - 2 3/4” Shells - 15 1/8” x 1 5/8” x 2 3/4” - 6 lbs 2 ozs - Lightweight!! 
J. Purdey & Sons – 12ga – SLE – Self Opener – 25” Barrels – .732/.729 Chokes – 2 3/4” Shells – 15 1/8” x 1 5/8” x 2 3/4” – 6 lbs 2 ozs – Lightweight!!

J. Purdey & Sons – 12ga – SLE – Self Opener – 25” Barrels – .732/.729 Chokes – 2 3/4” Shells – 15 1/8” x 1 5/8” x 2 3/4” – 6 lbs 2 ozs – Lightweight!! Self Opener – Great Quail & Grouse Gun – Fast Action Gun!  Original case and proof label – “WTC” on leather case and on stock – “Blue” Pins and hightlights on the Action – lever is plum.  This Purdey is Tight and handles gracefully in high-pressure shooting situations. The gun was a 2 1/2” gun and was sent back to Purdey to be Re-Proofed and opened up to 2 3/4” – performs beautifully! Price: $34,995

John Wilkes, 20ga. Sidelock Ejector 27" Barrels:
John Wilkes, 20ga. Sidelock Ejector 27″ Barrels:

John Wilkes, 20ga. Sidelock Ejector 27″ Barrels Ic/Mod: A custom stocked gun in England with an extremely high quality Turkish Circassian walnut with a straight grip, splinter forend, highest quality full sidelock gun double triggers, automatic ejector, checkered butt, full coverage miniature rose bouquet and scroll engraving Cast for a lefthanded shooter (we can adjust it back to neutral), gold oval, gun remains in pristine condition throughout, includes leather makers’ case with canvas cover, available for immediate delivery. LOP – 15 1/8” x 1 ½” x 2 3/8”. 5 lb., 12 oz. Price: $19,999

Magnificent Remington Parker VHE 16ga 1 frame with Condition
Magnificent Remington Parker VHE 16ga 1 frame with Condition

Magnificent Remington Parker VHE 16ga 1 frame with Condition: 28″ Mod/full and factory marked — incredible original wood and finishes — perfect screws — double triggers — 2 3/4 ” factory chambers — ejectors — 80% original color that is vibrant — 99% blue and varnish — late single line DHBP — splinter forend — Just a wonderful Remington era gun that has all of the zing you expect from Parker — A perfect gun for all occasions afield with the right dimensions and weight.
14 1/4″  1 1/2″ x 2 3/8″  7lb 3oz. Price: $6,950.00 

This week’s 5 good guns…

 

JOHN WILKES PAIR BEST LONDON SIDELOCKS SXS .410
JOHN WILKES PAIR BEST LONDON SIDELOCKS SXS .410

JOHN WILKES PAIR BEST LONDON SIDELOCKS SXS .410: Price: $79,500
KEN HUNT ENGRAVED
CONSECUTIVE NUMBERED
BOTH ARE 26″ MOD AND FULL 3″ CHAMBERS
DOUBLE TRIGGER
EJECTORS
SPLINTER FOREARM
ENGLISH GRIP
CHECKERED BUTT
4LBS 14 OZ X 2 X 1 1/2 X 15
BOTH GUNS ARE NEW UNFIRED IN MAKERS CASE

Westley Richards 20 bore  Hand Detachable (drop lock) Ejector, Side-by-Side Shotgun
Westley Richards 20 bore  Hand Detachable (drop lock) Ejector, Side-by-Side Shotgun

Westley Richards 20 bore  Hand Detachable (drop lock) Ejector, Side-by-Side Shotgun: Single Trigger, with a modern leather case. Circa 1931, Barrels are 28 inches with original 2 3/4 chambers proofed for 1 oz. Scalloped backed action 80 % coverage large scroll. Original Westley Richards Patent one trigger. Nicely fiddle figured European walnut stock measures 13 7/8 over a thin checkered horn plate, Deluxe checkering. Bore diameter left .619 right .620. Min. wall thickness right .030 left .032  choke is full and full both barrels .031. Dimensions are 1 5/8″ X 2 1/2″ with cast approx 1/4″ on. Weight 6 lbs. Barrels, Whitworth Steel, chopper lump, retain 90% of what looks to be original black. Action retains 70% to 80% case color. Floor plate retains 50% A lovely small bore upland or game gun. Price: $26,500

Chas. Lancaster .450/400 3 1/4" Side-by-Side Doxlock Non-Ejector Double Rifle, Super Condition
Chas. Lancaster .450/400 3 1/4″ Side-by-Side Doxlock Non-Ejector Double Rifle, Super Condition

Chas. Lancaster .450/400 3 1/4″ Side-by-Side Doxlock Non-Ejector Double Rifle, Super Condition: This is another one of those double rifles that are in exceptional condition without having been run through the refinishing mill. Barrels retain 98% original black. Frame has 90-95% vivid case color.  Wood is in very good condition, showing some handling marks.  The only alteration to the rifle is on the wood.  At one time a tang sight was added to the rifle which has been removed and new wood filled in its place; evidenced in one of the pictures.  Just a pleasure to find something this nice. Bores Are absolutely Mint!!!! 28″ barrels. 1/4 rib with 1S &2 F Scroll – 80% coverage. French Walnut stock. Solid Red Recoil Pad. 14 5/8″ LOP. 11 lbs. 2 oz. Price: $24,500

Lefever EE Grade 12ga. SxS Shotgun – BEAUTIFUL DAMASCUS, GREAT DIMENSIONS
Lefever EE Grade 12ga. SxS Shotgun – BEAUTIFUL DAMASCUS, GREAT DIMENSIONS

Lefever EE Grade 12ga. SxS Shotgun – BEAUTIFUL DAMASCUS, GREAT DIMENSIONS: 1901, 12 Gauge, 7lbs 10oz, SxS Serial Number: 35307E. Most who pursue American doubles are aware that Lefever Arms Co. of Syracuse, N.Y. produced very elegant shotguns.  The engraving is better than most in its tasteful application, the frames were ornately sculpted and shaped, and the workmanship overall was superior to the competition of the day.  With the last Lefever being produced in 1919, Lefever produced relatively few guns; in the range of 50.000 or so in all grades and gauges, most being lower grade guns.  Mr. Elliot’s book “Uncle Dan Lefever—Master Gunmaker” notes few high-grade Lefevers were produced, and most gunners that search for fine American vintage double guns are aware that there are few Lefever EE Grade guns ever seen for sale, especially in great original condition.  MOST IMPORTANTLY, THIS LEFEVER, SN35307 MADE IN 1901, RETAINS PLENTY OF  FACTORY ORIGINAL CASE COLORS. Price: $4,450

Ruger Red Label. 28 ga. 28" choke tubes, with extra straight stock
Ruger Red Label. 28 ga. 28″ choke tubes, with extra straight stock

Ruger Red Label. 28 ga. 28″ choke tubes, with extra straight stockHere is a nice, lightweight 28 ga. that is both light, petite, and in a great gauge. Also with this gun come with an extra straight stock that has been shortened for a lady, youngster or a gentleman with shorter arms. The wood has lots of figure and would rate about 95% with some surface marks. The action of this gun has a few buff marks at the top. 1 1/2 x 2 3/8 x 14 1/2 * 6 lb 4 oz. Price: $1595.

That 20g Fox XE brought how much? Plus, a pair of Wilkes does real well…

1921 A.H. Fox 20 gauge XE double barrel shotgun
1921 A.H. Fox 20 gauge XE double barrel shotgun

It’s confirmed: Fox collectors are nuts. The auction for this 20g A.H. Fox XE ended Monday, and the final price was $24,002. That’s a lot for a gun with almost no original color-case hardening and a stubby stock. At least its provenance is sound. That must be what drove the price so high.

For the same money,  the winning bidder could have bought this 20 gauge Westley Richards droplock. Much nicer gun, but it doesn’t come with as nice a story.

1921 A.H. Fox 20 gauge XE double barrel shotgun: According to J.T. Callahan, the Fox records indicate that this gun, SN 201509, a 20 gauge XE, was shipped on August 7, 1921 from Philadelphia to Abercrombie & Fitch of NYC, the original consignee. The gun was made with 26” barrels, choked IC (r) and M (l) with a LOP of 13 ½” and DOH of 2 5/8”. Weight, 5 lbs., 12 oz. — FINAL HAMMER: $24,002

Over in Scotland, Gavin Gardiner held his annual Gleneagles Sale on the same day (Monday). This pair of 12g sidelock Wilkes shotguns did extremely well – pricey, but possibly worth it.

JOHN WILKES PAIR OF KELL-ENGRAVED 12-BORE SIDELOCK EJECTOR GUNS, NOS. 13802/3
JOHN WILKES PAIR OF KELL-ENGRAVED 12-BORE SIDELOCK EJECTOR GUNS, NOS. 13802/3

JOHN WILKES A MAGNIFICENT PAIR OF KELL-ENGRAVED 12-BORE SIDELOCK EJECTOR GUNS, NOS. 13802/3: 28-inch barrels with 2 1/2-inch chambers, about 1/4 and 3/4 choke borings, matted top ribs, the frames, locks and gold numbered top levers with best bouquet and scroll engraving and retaining virtually all of their original hardening colour, the inside of the fore-end irons with further bouquet and scroll engraving, gold washed lockwork, rolled edge trigger guards, 14 1/2-inch highly figured exhibition quality stocks, inlaid in gold with the entwined initials “W.D.”, 6lb. 9oz., nitro proof, in their maker’s presentation case with engraved fittings and canvas outer cover. ESTIMATE: £25000-35000 SALE PRICE: £53,900

The maker confirms that the guns were completed on 24th August 1935 for W. W. Dowding. The guns were engraved by Harry Kell with special flower and scroll work and the guns remain as originally built. The original cost was £220 with the case costing £13 15s and the matching outer cover a further £5 12s 6d.

W. W. Dowding

William W. Dowding, for whom these guns were made, was one of the Wilkes’ largest retail customers in the 1930s. He started to buy guns from them in 1931 and in the course of the next five years ordered a total of ten new guns as well as buying others and a wide variety of shooting requisites. The story passed down the family was that in 1933 Dowding challenged Jack Wilkes to make for him a pair of guns that were on a par with the best the London trade could offer. Guns 13802/3 were Jack’s response to that challenge. Many years later his sons viewed this pair of guns as his masterpiece.

To make them, Wilkes went to many of the best outworkers in the the London trade. George Lane and Bolter normally worked for Woodward; Mealey at the time was on Wilkes’ payroll, but had worked for Grant & Lang and several others in a very long career; and Willie Lane was shortly to join Grant & Lang’s payroll. The engraver Harry Kell is probably the only outworker now widely known.

Check out this real nice 28 gauge by John Wilkes…

28 gauge John Wilkes Boxlock Side-by-Side Double Barrel Shotgun
28 gauge John Wilkes Boxlock Side-by-Side Double Barrel Shotgun

Nice British 28 gauge side-by-sides are hard to find.  So when I saw this one by John Wilkes, I had to check it out. It’s special for a couple reasons: First there’s the 28″ barrels. Then there’s the longish stock (14 1/2″ LOP over a leather pad). Coming in third is the shotgun’s beautiful wood and excellent overall condition.

Here’s more about the shotgun from the dealer’s listing:

John Wilkes Boxlock, 28 bore, 2 1/2″ chambers, 28″ original fluid steel barrels with original London Nitro proof of 5/8 oz., choked IC and Mod.,  5 lbs. 1 oz., 14 1/2″ LOP over a leather pad, 1 1/2″ DAC, 2 1/8″ DAH, neutral cast, English scroll engraving with the maker’s name in banner on the sides of the action, straight grip, splinter forend, double triggers, rib engraved “John Wilkes, 1 Lower St. James St., Golden Square, London”, concave game rib, automatic safety with “SAFE” in silver, Greener crossbolt, highly figured walnut. Completed in 1912. Excellent condition showing about 60% case color remaining. Comes with a high quality leather luggage case and a maker’s label. Price: $10,950.00

28 gauge John Wilkes Boxlock Side-by-Side Double Barrel Shotgun
28 gauge John Wilkes Boxlock Side-by-Side Double Barrel Shotgun
28 gauge John Wilkes Boxlock Side-by-Side Double Barrel Shotgun
28 gauge John Wilkes Boxlock Side-by-Side Double Barrel Shotgun
28 gauge John Wilkes Boxlock Side-by-Side Double Barrel Shotgun
28 gauge John Wilkes Boxlock Side-by-Side Double Barrel Shotgun
28 gauge John Wilkes Boxlock Side-by-Side Double Barrel Shotgun
28 gauge John Wilkes Boxlock Side-by-Side Double Barrel Shotgun
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