Watson Brothers guns
Pictured above are three under-and-over single trigger sporting guns by Watson Brothers which topped Holt’s (25/20% buyer’s premium) December sale in London at £150,000.
Purdey from 1886
Rarest of the antique sporting weapons in James D Julia’s (15% buyer’s premium) October 31-November 2 Extraordinary Firearms Auction in Fairfield, Maine, was probably this Purdey 8-bore underlever double rifle of 1886.
Weighing in at just under 17lbs, this impressive and very rare big game gun shown above, in a case with accessories, sold for $60,000 (£45,455). Julia also notched up an impressive $135,000 (£102,270) for a classic pair of cased 16-bore Boss light game guns dating from the 1920s and in untouched, original condition.
Air ace connection
Though shotguns by Aguirre y Aranzabal (AYA) rarely find themselves among the top lots at London gun sales, association with Britain’s highest-scoring RAF air ace of the Second World War helped this matched pair of 20-bore No 1 model sidelock ejectors by the Spanish gunmaker reach £9000 at Gavin Gardiner’s (25% buyer’s premium) December 13 sale of sporting guns at Sotheby’s.
Air Vice Marshal JE ‘Johnnie’ Johnson CB, CBE, DSO and two bars, DFC and bar, ended the war with 34 confirmed victories and likened the demands of air combat with the skills required for game shooting. He died in 2001.