A brace of extraordinary shotguns are coming to market next month, presenting collectors with a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire the very best in British firearms.
The shotguns are 28 bores by Boss & Co. – a side-by-side and an over-under – and are being offered by James D. Julia Auctioneers. They were ordered in 1955 by an American visiting London and feature consecutive serial numbers and, amazingly, all of their original factory finish. Every detail on them matches the maker’s original records, from their 27” barrels and 14½” French walnut stocks to their engraved heel and toe plates.
Along with their nearly new condition there’s another factor that makes these shotgun so tremendous: their scarcity. The vast majority of shotguns Boss & Co. have made are 12 bores. Of the 10,200+ guns the company has built to date (#10,000 was completed in 1991), fewer than 50 have been 28 bores with around 20 built as over-unders and 25 as side-by-sides.
Boss & Co. was established in 1812 and they have been building best-quality, bespoke firearms ever since. The company is famous for the distinctive style and superb quality of their shotguns and for innovations like their patent ejectors and world-famous patent single trigger. In 1909 Boss & Co. revolutionised the shooting world with the Boss-patent over-under, considered by many collectors and gunmakers to be the finest shotgun ever built.
This set of 28 bores is sure to attract attention from top collectors from around the world. They should also attract top-dollar bids. Pre-auction estimates put their value between $100,000-$200,000 each, and the final hammer price could easily push much higher – especially for the over-under.
In their 1920 catalog, Boss & Co. stated: “The owner of a Boss gun has the satisfaction of knowing that he has the best gun money can buy” and the same is true today. Whoever is fortunate to cast the winning bids for these magnificent shotguns will own the very best money can buy.
The auction will be held over March 10-12.