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It is a sidelock with some nice engraving but fairly standard woodwork and the serial number is 17091. Can you tell me anything about its origins?

SPANISH SHOTGUNS

Bill Harriman

Anonymity has always been a common factor with the Belgian, British, Spanish and Italian gun trades with jobbing gunmakers building guns that would only ever bear their clients’ names.

Consequently, asking who made an unmarked Spanish gun is the same as asking who painted an unsigned picture.

Most Spanish guns are similar in appearance and based on English models such as the Holland & Holland Royal which is a sidelock action.

Engraving offers no clue because the trade used a small number of engravers who sold their services to a variety of gunmakers.

Since 1927, Spanish proof marks often contain a date code which takes the form of letters or letters and numbers.

From 1995 the gun’s serial number contains four sets of digits which refer to the weapon type (shotgun is 03), the maker’s code (AYA is 16), the number of the gun built that year and the year of manufacture, for example 98 means 1998.

If your gun is in decent order I doubt if anyone will be deterred by the fact that it has neither a maker’s nor a retailer’s name.

Today, 20-bores are fashionable and much sought after.

In my experience, Spanish guns are value for money.