Can you tell me about my Bayfield and Needham shotgun?
I enclose some photographs (below)
Bayfield and Needham is only listed for 1861 in the Birmingham Trade Directories, where it is described as a “gun and pistol maker”.
The words “From Westley Richards” meant that one or both of the partners had worked for that famous company and was clearly seeking to capitalise on the association.
Joseph Vernon Needham was one of the partners of this short-lived venture.
He remained at 108 New Street from 1861 to 1886.
Thereafter, he moved to the Damascus Works in Loveday Street, in the traditional Gun Quarter.
He was granted seven patents between 1872 and 1884 for dagger handles, a lever-operated magazine gun and various features of shotguns.
He is best known for his single-bite, snap-action breech-loading shotgun of 1862.
W. W. Greener took over his business in 1874.
This is a good-quality shotgun with fine scroll engraving, as well as nicely executed vignettes of gundogs and game.
The engraving of the dogs and the gamebirds is somewhat naive, and is typical of the period, which pre-dated a more realistic style.
The barrels are marked with the bore size, which was a requirement introduced by the 1855 Gun Barrel Proof Act.
Bayfield and Needham shotgun