An exceptional Kell-engraved lightweight 12-bore 'Spring-Opener' sidelock ejector gun by Henry Atkin, no. 3510 In its brass-mounted leather case

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Lot 152S2
An exceptional Kell-engraved lightweight 12-bore 'Spring-Opener' sidelock ejector gun by Henry Atkin, no. 3510
In its brass-mounted leather case

Sold for £ 16,875 (US$ 20,716) inc. premium
An exceptional Kell-engraved lightweight 12-bore 'Spring-Opener' sidelock ejector gun by Henry Atkin, no. 3510
The action-body with best bold acanthus scrollwork on a matt ground, traces of hardening-colour, articulated front-trigger, highly-figured stock, the chopper-lump barrels engraved Henry Atkin Ltd., 88 Jermyn St., London, S.W. with game-rib
Weight 6lb. 3oz., 14 3/8in. stock, 27in. barrels, approx. I.C. & ¾ choke, 2½in. chambers, London nitro proof
In its brass-mounted leather case

Footnotes

  • The makers records confirm that the gun was completed in 1948
    Provenance:
    Christie's London Fine Sporting Guns and Vintage Firearms 17 May 2000, lot 70

    This gun was built to Gough Thomas's very particular order and completed in 1948. The case contains the writer's spectacles and pasted-in letter from Atkin's to Gough Thomas in which it says 'Wishing you the best of good health and good shooting' and details the specifications of the gun. The actioner was Mealy, the stocker and finisher A. Hodges and the engraver Harry Kell who, with Jack Sumner, was one of the greatest Victorian engravers. The specifications of the gun remain unaltered.

    Literature:
    Double Gun Journal, Frederick Franzen, 'The English Taste', 2001 p. 108
    'From the order we can read: "Please proceed to build me ... on the strict understanding ... that you guarantee that in respect of materials, workmanship, finish and shooting qualities, the gun will conform to your highest pre-war standards. In conclusion I should say that, 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."
    The answer from Atkin's is: "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."
    After some adjustments, Gough Thomas accepted the gun and wrote: "I am particularly pleased with the smoothness of opening ... and the uniformity of the effort required to close it ... there are no hard spots, which is more than one can say of some self-opening ejectors."
    Gough Thomas wrote much about Henry Atkin in his articles in the Shooting Times and in his books and he used it as the standard in his comparative analysis of the moments of inertia of balance.'
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An exceptional Kell-engraved lightweight 12-bore 'Spring-Opener' sidelock ejector gun by Henry Atkin, no. 3510 In its brass-mounted leather case
An exceptional Kell-engraved lightweight 12-bore 'Spring-Opener' sidelock ejector gun by Henry Atkin, no. 3510 In its brass-mounted leather case
An exceptional Kell-engraved lightweight 12-bore 'Spring-Opener' sidelock ejector gun by Henry Atkin, no. 3510 In its brass-mounted leather case
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S2 Section 2 firearm

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