Tuesday, 5 April 2011

First Anson and Deeley Patent Westley Richards' Boxlock 12 bore shotgun

I have just discovered that this is the first Westley Richards' boxlock ('hammerless') 12 bore shotgun ever made (for John Deeley),under Patent No 1756 of 1875, granted to William Anson and John Deeley, of Westley Richards; and gun number 5056 is engraved on the underside to commemorate that fact. It was sold at Bonhams in December 2010 for £7,800 which, for such an important part of gunmaking history, seems very little: let's hope that the new owner is a damned fine shot; has it serviced and takes it out, in due course, downing a couple of woodcock with a right and left and earns his Woodcock Club Tie, 137 years on.


  1. Yes. What a thing to have!

  2. Bearing in mind the influence the A&D action has had, it seems a very low price as you say.

    In the US market a 1870’s mass produced Colt pistol with just a minor ‘unusual feature’ which made it unique in the eyes of collectors would have sold for a multiple of the norm & far more than the shotgun. As it is - a handmade gun (all such are unique in some way or other) which is the forerunner of the most important break-open shotgun action invented, sold for a relative pittance.

    I noticed that it was sold with a proof exemption certificate which implies that it’s out of proof. An out of proof gun can only be sold to members of the public with such a certificate – the certificates are issued (sparingly) where an out of proof gun is of collectable/historical interest but would be unlikely to survive a re-proof. Although that doesn’t necessarily mean the gun would be dangerous to use, it would be very unwise to do so & effectively it’s sold as just a display piece which has a definite effect on its price – even so I’m surprised it didn’t attract more interest.


  3. I hadn't noticed that it was out of proof; still, as you say, an amazing article for so little (as these things go).