Jonathan Downs looks ahead to the summer auctions hoping to achieve the highest levels of success.
Kensington, London – 18 June 2019
This month Holts is holding its summer sale, and they have several vintage pieces worth keeping an eye out for. First on the list is an exquisite pair of 12-bore double-trigger over-and-under sidelock ejectors by J. Purdey & Sons. Purdeys informed Holts that these guns were finished in December 1977, in old silver, for a buyer in France, and were engraved by O’Brien.
I remember John Steed announcing that the o-and-u was reserved for clay pigeons and the like – but who could possibly resist these on a live shoot: these fine examples are estimated between £40,000 and £60,000, complete with maker’s brass-cornered burgundy leather double guncase and accessories.
Next up is another pair of over-and-unders, these by H&H, the ‘Sporting Model’, with sideplated detachable triggerplate action – coming with a universal motor case these are estimated at £30,000-£35,000.
The next two offerings are by EJ Churchill, the first a popular smaller calibre 16-bore ‘Premiere’ round-bodied single-trigger over-and-under (I’m detecting a pattern here) pinless sidelock ejector.
We don’t see these every day, not in 16-bore, and certainly not as beautifully engraved by Tallett either as this one, so definitely a piece to be considered; with a Guardian case, this is estimated at £18,000-£22,000.
The final specimen here is a 12-bore Churchill ‘Utility Easy-Opening Model’ boxlock ejector. We’ve mentioned the boxlock before, an old-school action rarely seen these days, and as its name suggests, it’s a solid workaday gun, and estimated accordingly at £1,000-£1,500.
A couple of months back Holts had a very rare Churchill on offer indeed: a ‘Zenith’ 12-bore over-and-under, just one of five proposed and possibly one of only two ever actually completed. This was sold for a whopping £40,000 after their March auction.
It’s been suggested the model never made it into full production because of the death of Robert Churchill in 1958 – and the company turned to the more conventional Premiere model in its over-and-unders.
Viewing days for the June sale start on Saturday 15th June, 10am-7pm, and go on to Sunday 16th, 10am–6pm and the following Monday and Tuesday until the end of the auction. For further details visit holtsauctioneers.com.
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