Heritage Guns Update 21st August, 2023

I hope you and yours are all well and enjoying the summer! The weather here has been very mixed: one week it is appropriately warm and sunny with the odd shower and the next we have torrential rain or drought conditions! It is all very confusing for the wild plants and creature, let alone the humans!

As some of you may remember, back in November I rehomed a pair of labradors, mother and daughter from a farming couple whose growing family had made them two dogs too many. Having been kennelled all their lives, the transition to house dogs was fraught with difficulties as they knew no boundaries and the damage and disturbance was quite a challenge for us all. As I feared, the youngster, having never been properly socialised did have to go to a new home where she could receive the fully focused attention and socialisation she needed but the mother has settled in well and I think will be a great credit to my little picking-up team. At present she is wearing the ‘collar of shame’ having suffered a small wound to her lower front leg and refused to leave it alone! What was a 3-4mm wound quickly became 10mm and was heading for more so the collar was fitted and it is now healing nicely.

In exactly 2 weeks’ time, my partner Mandy and I will be boarding our flight to Dulles to attend the Vintage Gunners Cup at Warrington Sporting Clays in Wellsville, PA.  It runs from 7th to 9th September and we very much look forward to seeing you there.

Anyway, to guns…

So far I have four brand new stock guns looking for a good home:

Firstly, a fabulous, fully engraved .410 SLNE by FT Baker. Antique .410’s can often be of quite modest quality as they were nearly always purchased as an introduction to shooting sports for a young child or for vermin control round the estate or farm buildings. This glorious gun breaks all the norms by being of extremely high quality with 100% coverage of best foliate engraving, proper sidelever and eye popping wood! I doubt I will ever see anything as unique as this again in my lifetime.

1898 FT Baker .410 Sidelever SLNE no 7103


1898 FT Baker .410 Sidelever SLNE no 7103 in its Maker’s leather case.


Next, a simply gorgeous Alex Henry 12b SLE with the most spectacular 100% vine engraving. Laser sleeved to 28” x 2 ¾”, it would make a perfect tool for clays or game.

1895 Alexander Henry 12b SLE no 6892


1895 Alexander Henry 12b SLE no 6892 in its Oak & Leather case

Then we have two Holland & Holland 20 sidelocks:

Built on the Scott & Baker patent no 716, gun no 5854 is a really lovely little SLNE, rebarrelled by Mortimer & Son of Edinburgh in the 1930’s and possibly restocked at the same time.

Holland & Holland 20b SLNE no. 5854.

Holland & Holland 20b SLNE no 5854 in its oak lined case.

The second H&H 20b is a sleeved conversion from a 16b, completed in 2000. It may be border engraved but is a high quality piece of craftsmanship.

Holland & Holland 20 SLE no 8076

I have also been busy with some other stock items: I found a nice canvas & leather case that bore the J Blanch & Son label and have brought it together with the J Blanch & Son 12b BLE no 6135, pictured below.
And the William Powell & Son 12b SLE that had non-functioning hammers, has had a hammer-ectomy! As you will remember, these hammers were retro fitted to a brand new SLE as the customer had specified as much. Fortunately they were readily removable so, whilst retaining them for future refitment if required, they have been replaced by engraved blanking discs.

William Powell & Son 12b SLE no 9622 (with hammers replaced by engraved blanking discs)

Guns from my previous export yet to find new custodians are:

Firstly, a spectacular, true pair of James Purdey hammerguns in their original, relined case. To find a complete pair of hammerguns is very rare indeed and we restored these in parallel to maintain the true pair ethos and keep them almost exactly the same in all respects.

1871 Pair of James Purdey 12b Hammerguns no. 8521 & 8522

Next, with lots of original colour, chopperlump Whitworth steel barrels and a very smart ‘Rifle Green’ relined case. Nitro reproof 30” x 2 ½” x Cyl/IC and a 15 3/8” replacement highly figured stock.

1891 Holland & Holland 12b Royal SLE no 12860

1891 H&H no. 12860 in its Leather and Brass case.

And last but not least,

pre-1881 Baraction 20b Hammergun by Frank Hipgrave of Huntingdonshire.

Nitro reproofed Damascus 28” x 2 ½” x IC/Cyl barrels and 14 ½” well figured stock. Leather bound, canvas Brady case.

pre-1881 20b Hammergun by Frank Hipgrave in its Brady canvas & leather case

Meanwhile, Bob Nay of Macnab Fine Firearms already had several items of mine in Virginia, USA:

A very pretty J Blanch & Son 12b backaction SLE with its original 2 ½” x 28” damascus barrels and boldly figured stock.

Pre-1896 J Blanch & Son 12b Backaction SLE no 5601

Pre-1896 J Blanch & Son 12b Backaction SLE no 5601 in its leather case

Then we have another Blanch 12b, this time a BLE from around 1900, complete with interceptor sears and replacement steel barrels by the Maker. Now in a canvas & leather case with Maker’s label

1900 J Blanch & Son 12b BLE no 6135

Well, that is about it for now.

Keep safe and enjoy the last of the summer!

Very best regards,

Toby Barclay

Heritage Guns

Historic Guns For The Modern Sportsman

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