By Barnaby Dracup
Monday, 09 July 2012
Amongst other guns, the fine Heym .470 model 88b safari sidelock ejector rifle was sold at Gavin Gardiner’s sale of Fine Modern and Vintage Sporting Guns at Sotheby's, London on 18th April.
The maker confirms that the rifle was built in 2002 for exhibition at the 2003 Shot Show in Las Vegas.
The auction featured more than 270 lots of vintage sporting guns, rifles and shooting accessories.
Birmingham-maker Westley Richards and London-based Boss & Co were both represented by significant lots in the sale.
A pair of 12-bore boxlock ejector guns by Westley Richards (lot 171) featuring the maker’s signature ‘hand detachable’ locks sold for £7,500 (expected £6,000-£8,000).
The mechanism or ‘lock’ is removable by hand from the main body of the gun, allowing quick replacement in the field if the mechanism should break down [see illustration above].
A similar pair of guns (lot 172) without this feature, but presented to John Ashburner Nix in 1901, remained unsold.
Inscribed: "Presented to John Ashburner Nix Esquire by a large number of friends in remembrance of his great services to the Unionist cause in Mid Devon, together with a loving cup and an illuminated album containing the names of the subscribers.”
The presentation was made by the Hon. W. F. D. Smith, MP at the Market Hall, Newton Abbot, January 24th 1901".
John Ashburner Nix was High Sheriff of Sussex in 1911 and had been a great supporter of the Liberal Unionist Cause.
The political impact of the Liberal Unionist breakaway marked the end of the long 19th century domination of the Liberal Party of the British political scene.
His family seat was Tilgate Mansion, near Crawley and he served as a Major with the 2nd Volunteer Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment.
The Hon W.F.D. Smith MP was Conservative MP for The Strand (London) from 1891 to 1910 and was head of the family business W. H. Smith, the well-known newsagent.
Heym .470 model 88b sidelock ejector rifle
- 24-inch .470 barrels with ramp fore sight, machined short-raised rib with folding leaf sight to 100yrds.
- Crossbolt extension, gold lined and engraved breeches, the additional 24-inch 9.3x74R barrels with their own separate fore-end and numbered to the rifle, with ramp fore sight, machined short raised rib with folding leaf sights to 150yrds.
- Crossbolt extension, lined and engraved breeches, the frame, top lever and pinless locks with fine scroll engraving surrounding deeply chiselled and carved African game scenes, the left lock signed A. Scholz.
- Left lock carved with buffalo, the right lock with leaping leopard and antelope, the action base with lion and the trigger guard with a rhino, bolstered fences, the top lever in the form of an elephant's head, gold cocking studs.
- 14.3/4-inch exceptionally figured exhibition grade stock with pistol grip and leather covered recoil pad, beaver tail fore-end.
- 9lb. 9oz
- German nitro proof, in its maker's oak and leather case with outer cover, original certificates, instructions.
- Sold for £14,000
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