The Northamptonshire auctioneer, Southams will be holding a new sale on 14 March this year, and it will be well worth attending if the December results were anything to go by. For private and trade customers alike there is always something on offer here, at often remarkable prices. The saleroom was full to bursting, says auctioneer Nigel Croskell, with numerous bidding wars between people on the floor and those using the Southams real-time online system.
There is still a demand for period guns of all types or indeed conditions. In fact, anything completely original is wolfed down immediately, regardless of condition – witness a .577 single percussion rifle by Trulock & Son of Dublin. With a 31.5in octagonal barrel and four-leaf folding rear sight, but missing its ramrod, it was estimated at £500-£800 but went on to fetch £1,200. A 16-bore Manton percussion double sporting gun, in fitted mahogany case with inset brass ring handle and maker’s trade label, could ask only £300-£600 owing to its condition, but this was sold for £850. A Laing 15-bore percussion double sporting gun with acanthus scroll engraving in fitted mahogany case in what Southams describes as ‘dubious order’ could be estimated at a mere £400-£600, but went for double that at £1,100.
A rare immaculate .22 Mauser K98 training rifle by Anschütz went at £700, and a virtually mint 12-bore Greener GP went at £210. An early 12-bore by Henry Atkin was estimated at only £100-£150 but went on to realise £220. Quality Atkins can go for 10 times this amount, which suggests restoration is well worth considering.
Brownings are always popular, and a 12-bore Browning 425 Grade 6 engraved over-and-under ejector with scroll action and gold inlay in that hard Browning case went just above its bottom estimate at £1,250 – a bargain. Another name this time, a 12-bore hammer by Charles Lancaster, with damascus NP barrels in its canvas and leather motor case with maker’s trade label, sold for £1,500.
Slightly more valuable was a 12-bore sidelock ejector by William Ford of the famed St Mary’s Row, Birmingham, in its brass-mounted oak and leather case, maker’s trade label and instruction labels. It went for more than twice the Lancaster’s final figure, and just above its bottom estimate of £3,200. According to Southams, the large bores always cause a stir, and a 10-bore boxlock ejector by Benjamin Edwards is now heading towards the north of Scotland at a hammer price of £1,450.
To see the excellent quality images of this sale, go to www.southams.com. The website offers a mixture of services, including the sale of rural estates and property, but scroll down to the middle of the auction page and see a link that will take you to the December sporting gun sale catalogue with high-quality images. Once the March consignments are in order, the catalogue will go online, and interested buyers will be able to register as online bidders.
The next sale will be on 14 March, held at the premises of W&H Peacock Auction House, 26 Newnham St, Bedford, MK40 3JR.