This is a handsome label, in leather with gold embossed lettering, proclaiming ‘Breechloading Gun & Rifle Manufacturer’. This suggests that breech-loaders were still a relative novelty and required de-markating from muzzle-loaders, which is something of an oddity, as by the time it came into use, breech-loading centre-fires were very much the norm.
The address ‘126 Strand’ is a prestigious one in London’s West End and it was occupied by Charles Boswell from 1883 until 1921, probably Boswell’s most prosperous years. As a specialist in live pigeon trap shooting guns, he would have suffered after the 1921 Act banning the shooting of captive birds in Britain.
The term ‘Practical’ prefixes ‘Manufacturer’ as, at the time, a number of gun shops were primarily retailers of other makers’ wares (William Evans, Army & Navy etc). It became quite common for firms headed by time-served gunmakers, who actually made and finished guns on their own account to stress they were ‘Practical Gun-Makers’ on their labels and shop fronts.
This label would suit guns of hammer or hammerless type, as Boswell made both during the period it covers.
Published by Vintage Guns Ltd on