Issue 14 August 2020

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Gavin Gardiner Goes Ahead

The April sale is on - with some restrictions.

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Auctions & Markets|April 2020

Gavin Gardiner is the first auctioneer to have a sale after the official ‘lock-down’. Most businesses are running on a skeleton staff or have had the doors closed entirely and auctioneers have been specified as businesses that have been told to close.

Holt’s made the deadline by a day and concluded their last sale before the government announcement placed further restrictions on trade. Gavin is going ahead, with printed catalogues now delivered and the website fully illustrated.

Special measures include viewing times restricted to one hour time slots and one viewer per hour. To book a slot - contact Gavin on 01798 875 300. Bidding will be live but no attendees will be permitted so bids must be bade on-line through Invaluable, by commission bid form or telephone. Telephone biding and absentee bids will be provided free of charge.

The date of the auction is 22nd April at 14.00.

The catalogue contains 331 lots, covering the usual range of rifles, shotguns and accessories. At the top end there is a 1991 Purdey 12-bore over & under, which would cost £165,000 to order new. It has been very little used and is estimated at £50,000 - £60,000.

A Purdey .360 hammer rifle that appeared i a previous sale is now listed at £8,000 - £12,000. Made as a gift for the Nizam of Deccan from H.R.H The prince of Wales in 1875, it is a rare and beautiful thing.

A Stephen Grant 16-bore side-lever, on the Grant & Hodges patent caught my eye. I shoot with a bar-action Grant 16-bore and have a great deal of admiration for the wares of the firm of which I was briefly in charge. Grant guns of the late 19th century cede quality to nobody and epitomise the understated taste, quality and functionality that marks the London gun of the day.

Horsley hammer guns are valued by a small, yet dedicated band of collectors and a well-matched pair of 12-bores, estimated at £5,000 - £7,000, cased and re-proofed to 2 3/4” nitro offer an unusual opportunity to shoot a pair of best quality hammer guns.

The practical nature of hammer guns in particular and other 2 1/2” chambered English game guns in general has never been an issue but we now have to consider the potential impact of the recently declared voluntary withdrawal of lead for game shooting purposes, by many shooting organisations. If it is manifested, or indeed, made law, then it will mean we have to swap lead for bismuth, going from 35p per shot to £1.00 per shot.

For the low volume shooter, that won’t be a deal breaker but for those shooting bigger days it may steer them away from vintage British guns. any effect o the market has yet to be seen and it may be that overseas buyers keep demand and prices respectable.

To see Gavin Gardiner's catalogue, click HERE.

Published by Vintage Guns Ltd on (modified )

Auctions & Markets|April 2020

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