Shooting Times writer’s rare gun for sale

An exceptional Kell-engraved lightweight 12-bore ‘Spring-Opener’ sidelock ejector gun by Henry Atkin, is among the eye-catching lots in Bonhams Antique Arms, Modern Sporting Guns and Exceptional Firearms sale in London on Thursday, December 3rd.

Built in 1948 to the specifications of Gough Thomas, one of the leading authorities on guns and shooting of the day and a writer in Shooting Times, the gun is estimated at £10,000-15,000.

Thomas’ order was quite particular, demanding Atkin “guarantee that in respect of materials, workmanship, finish and shooting qualities, the gun will conform to your highest pre-war standards,” before adding: “although I am very critical, I am highly appreciative of the best work, and if you succeed in pleasing me I shall be a constant advertisement for you.”

Atkin’s replied: “We guarantee that the gun will conform to our best standard of pre-war days as we will (fortunately) have our old workman with us.” Indeed, the result was a marvel.

The shotgun comes in its brass-mounted leather case, which contains a pair of spectacles belonging to Atkin and a pasted-in letter that he wrote to Thomas. The letter details the specifications of the gun and wishes its new owner good luck: “Wishing you the best of good health and good shooting.”

Other auction highlights include a very fine pair of Ken Hunt decorated 12-bore self-opening sidelock ejector guns by J. Purdey & Sons, completed in 1968 and a rare 28-bore single-barrelled lightweight child’s hammer gun by J. Purdey, no. 9691, made for Prince Duleep Singh, the last Maharaja of the Sikh Empire. He was brought to the UK when he was 15 and quickly became very close with Queen Victoria.

Share This Post!

Join Over 100,000 Fellow Attendees & Visitors

Sign up to our Newsletter today.