Gavin Gardiner – Sotheby’s

Gleneagles Hotel, Scotland, 27 August 2018

Sotheby’s has been holding auctions at the prestigious Gleneagles Hotel in Auchterarder, Scotland, since 1967. Gavin Gardiner himself has been associated with the auctions of Fine Modern and Vintage Sporting guns since 1985, and took over the sale in 2009. This year marked his tenth event and with a grand total of just over a quarter of a million, (£270,699) the annual Scottish sale can once again be declared a success.


Top prize went to lot 077, the pick of British guns, by none other than J Purdey & Sons, a fine pair of 12-bore self-opening sidelock ejectors, estimated between £30-40,000, which sold for £42,500. This was a good price for guns of some age, built in 1937 – but adding to their flavour was their provenance: they were the former property of William S. Paley, the man who created ‘Columbia Recording Systems’, otherwise known to the USA as that gigantic radio and TV colossus CBS.

Coming up next was lot 158, a pair of 12-bore ‘creative art’-engraved single-trigger round- action over-and-under ejector guns, built by David McKay Brown in 2003. Also estimated between £30-40,000, they sold for £36,250. Lot 042 was an unusual 10-bore hammer-rifle by respected maker WW Greener from 1888-92. estimated at £12-18,000, it sold for £20,000 on the nose.

Lot 074 was also antique, from 1896, a pair of 12-bore sidelock ejectors by F. Beesley, estimated at £6000-8000, and sold for £9375. Lot 060 was another glimpse of Purdey & Sons, this time from 1894, a 12-bore self-opening SLE, built for a J. Cowper Esq., with the original invoice in its case – estimated at only £5000-7000, it sold for £8750. Lot 129 was an interbella specimen by J. Dickson & Sons, a 12-bore round-action ejector built in 1926 – estimated at £6000-8000 it sold for £7500.

Lot 069 was still older, from gothic 1887, but also by J. Purdey & Sons, with an unusual twist: a 12-bore single-trigger self-opening SLE, it was the no 1 of a pair built for Sir Ralph Payne- Gallwey, later converted to an ejector by Boss & Co, and fitted with a boss single trigger. Gavin Gardiner had this to say: “It is well documented that Payne-Gallwey had a disagreement with Purdey over a game-counter he invented, so it is likely that when it was time to re-barrel the gun he chose to approach Boss instead.” Estimated at £5000-7000 it sold for £7500.

Lot 076 was another old English name, a pair of 12-bore SLE’s by William Powell & Sons, built in 1906 for the Marquess of Normanby. For those who know their stately homes of Lincolnshire, this one is near sunny Scunny, (Scunthorpe to you foreigners) and is no less the home of the Sheffield family, whose most famous son became the Duke of Buckingham, and built a rather grand place for himself in London – that big one, with the flag on the roof. this little piece of Normanby was estimated at £7000-9000 and sold for £7500.

Bringing up the rear was lot 087, a 12-bore assisted-opening single-trigger SLE by Boss & Co., the no 3 of a trio built in 1898, but re-barrelled in 1976 by the makers themselves – estimated at £5000-7000, it sold for £6250. Last but not least, a pair of 12-bore sidelever sidelock ejectors by Henry Atkin was estimated at £3000-5000 but sold for a bargain £6250 to a north american buyer.

For further details on lots sold please see, and leave an opening in the diary for the Christmas sale in Mayfair in a few months’ time.


Comments are closed