Remarkably, 80 per cent of the lots were sold which is a sure sign that interest in the sporting gun market has continued unabated in spite of tightening economic conditions.

There were a wide range of guns up for sale, though unsurprisingly it was best English guns that saw the greatest success.

One of the most interesting lots of the day was a 12 bore ‘Super Magnum Explora’ shot-and-ball gun by Westley Richards, which made £11,280.

This unusual gun included three sets of barrels and featured remarkable engraving of duck, gazelle, a lion and a bear on each face, all surrounded by bold foliate scroll work.

The biggest sales, however, went to a .375 Royal Holland & Holland rifle that saw £21,600 and a 12 bore single trigger side-by-side shotgun by Boss, which sold for £16,800.

A delighted Patrick Hawes, senior specialist for Bonhams, said: “The sale went extremely well, and the economic downturn appears to have had no impact on the sale at all, with many prices as strong as ever.”

Bonhams’ next sale of sporting guns will take place on July 29 at their Knightsbridge sale rooms.

To arrange a free and confidential auction valuation with a view to selling with Bonhams, telephone Patrick Hawes on 020 7393 3815 or e-mail: sportingguns@bonhams.com