310 Pages. Hardcover with Dust jacket.
In this book, Terry Wieland shares his love of the English shotgun and his fascination with the trade as it grew through the Victorian and Edwardian eras, overcoming wars and depressions. The Edwardian age comes alive in the illustrations of Susan Norris, and the guns that survive are monuments both to a way of life and to a level of universal craftsmanship seldom seen before, and never to be seen again.
Some great British names, such as Holland & Holland and Purdey, are instantly recognizable even to non-shooters. But behind those names are hundreds of others, large and small, who, among them, produced some of the finest shotguns ever seen. Today, those guns can be found lurking in obscure gunshops as well as in the most elegant establishments in London and New York.
This authoritative guide to British-made shotguns looks at individual makers, their products, and the selling points of particular guns. In some cases Wieland also notes negative points or product limitations. While the book will be welcomed by gun collectors worldwide, it is particularly useful to those who are curious about British makers whose production was or is substantial enough that their guns would have crossed the pond into North America.
"Of all the world's great gun trades, none is more fascinating than the one that evolved in Britain beginning about 1800, kicked into high gear in the 1850s, and became the world standard by 1900," writes Michael McIntosh in his foreword to Terry Wieland's Vintage British Shotguns.
"The side-by-side shotgun as we know it today is one of mankind's greatest industrial artifacts. As a mechanism, the side-by-side (especially the London 'best' side-lock) approaches design perfection and, in its highest forms, perfection of execution as well. This is manifested not just in beauty of form and decoration (such as fine walnut, engraving, and inlay), but in the fact that these guns continue to function beautifully a century or more after they left the shop, and after firing hundreds of thousands of cartridges, often under dreadful conditions.
The purpose of this book is to provide some guidance to prospective buyers of British guns... to help double-gun lovers recognize the opportunity, when it is presented, to own a seriously good gun, and a piece of history, at a reasonable price." -Terry Wieland, from the Introduction
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