Here is a quick look at a gun which came in to our gun room in August 2015. It was bought locally from a private individual an bears the name ‘H. Holland’ in French style bold baroque script. Serial number 450, it pre-dates the Holland records by four years. They have one earlier gun in their ‘Brevis Room’ collection and know of no others.
Harris Holland started his business as a tobacconist but moved into gun-deealing on the back of his success as a live pigeon shooter. He initially traded as ‘H. Holland’ and his early guns bear this style on locks and ribs. We have two ‘H. Hollland’ guns in stock at the time of writing; one a back-action under-lever 12-bore gun and this 12-bore muzzle loader.
Checking with the records at Holland & Holland, we found out that to the best of their knowledge, this is the second earliest gun by the firm yet to emerge. The engraving is interesting; the gargoyle’s face between the fences reminiscent of later ‘Modele Royale de Luxe’ guns made in the hammerless era. The gun is, otherwise, quite normal in appearance, with bar-locks, set into the wood and the original ram-rod in place.
It has seen no refurbishment and has clearly been used well and eventually consigned to the wall as a decoration. It is probably shootable, though the muzzles are very thin. What it really represents is a key piece of history of one of the foremost firms in the country. It also shows that there are, still to be found, important guns out there; on walls and in safes around the country.
We are selling this one for a client, at £3,500. As a unique object, surely it is a ‘must have’ if you are in the market for important guns or a serious H&H collector.