A very nice book of images on the people and places of Tanzania by Aernout Overbeeke
Our short run of 20g Ovundo shotguns has seen another pair completed this week, only six more guns left to deliver! It is interesting to see this engraving pattern again ‘before and after’ case colour hardening. I think so far the split is 50/50 with regards people who have seen these guns who would leave the colour on versus those who would brush it off for a coin finish. Whilst I am very much in favour of case colour hardening and leaving it on guns, (we are, I think, the only gunmaker left in UK who colour case hardens all our guns and rifles ) I think in this instance, I would actually take the colour off!
Stewart Granger had 2 Westley Richards 577’s. The rifle shown above was made originally in 1923 for Count Alfred Potocki whose uncle Joseph, was author of the very rare and desirable book ‘Sport in Somaliland’. The rifle in the picture with Granger is a 577 ‘White Hunter’ model which he bought from us on his completion of filming King Solomon’s Mines. The gold inlaid animal heads which were inlaid at Granger’s request represent the game he shot during his trips to Africa, the c represented ‘charged’!
Rashid first worked on a Westley Richards gun in 1994 when he started a commission we called “The Hummingbird Gun” a project originally destined for the Brown Brothers, but withdrawn due to a huge price hike in their work.
For Rash it was a substantial project following on from his work with Holland & Holland on the Swan Gun. Having married an Australian girl, Rash had moved to a beach house outside of Perth from where he worked. Progress was slow, actually very slow and I remember being told lots of stories on the progress but never, ever seeing any photographs! After a year or so I became concerned and asked if everything was OK. It wasn’t, he was on his own in an empty house with no money for food. At my request one of my clients who lived in Perth came to the rescue, picked him up and put him on a plane to London. Rash arrived a few days later with a small bag of engraving tools and the Hummingbird gun hardly started! This was the start of what was to become 16 years of working with Westley Richards.
After many years of taking our guns to photographers with mixed results, I decided, having had Terry Allen here for a four weeks doing the photographs for the book, to equip the space we had been using so we had a permanent facility in house. To record all the guns we produced in future seemed a sensible plan, one of the most evident and annoying things to come to light as we compiled the book, was how few of the modern guns and rifles that we made, had actually been photographed.
We now have a very nicely equipped space, with Leica S and Canon cameras and Profoto lighting. Of course what we don’t have in abundance, is the photographic skills! So this is a message to anyone with those skills who may like to share them in exchange for using our kit, space and guns for your own projects. I would be happy to learn from you!
I am not sure of the comparative value of £1 now and a Guinea in 1951 ( Guninea = 21/- shillings and 20/- = £1) but Wemmergill is one of the most productive moors in England and this lease, in hindsight looks like a deal we would all wish to jump at! In recent years, under the dedicated stewardship of owner Michael Cannon the moor has been returned to its former glory. A few years ago Cannon and his team managed once again to achieve a bag in excess of 1000 brace on the opening day of the season.
Please see For the Love of Grouse in Fieldsports Magazine for a detailed article on the moor and history.