The British Shooting Show has a habit of delivering interesting items for the discerning eye. This year we were lucky enough to come across this very nice leather compact 12 bore cartridge magazine that appears to be of French manufacture.
Such aged items are always a pleasure to find as they remind us of a period of great ingenuity and quality when even the most simple items were made to the very best standard. The attention to detail is outstanding from the lovely brass latches to the quality of stitching found throughout the item. Someone clearly cared about making this item.
With a capacity capable of holding 28 cartridges, split 14 either end, this magazine was clearly never intended for big days, but rather the ‘walk up’ shooter, perhaps woodcock hunter who might only fire a handful of cartridges in a day.
Hopefully next years show will throw up another little gem!
In the new year, we will be making our annual trip to the USA to attend the Dallas Safari Club Show from the 5th to the 8th of January, the Antique Arms Show in Las Vegas from the 20th to the 22nd of January and finally Safari Club International also in Las Vegas from the 1st to the 4th of February. We will be showcasing the full range of bespoke guns and rifles available to order as well as a large selection of used guns and rifles, together with our range of W. R. & Co. leather goods. We look forward to welcoming customers old and new and hope you are able to meet us at one of the shows. Should you be unable to make it to any of the shows, my colleagues Ricky Bond and ‘LD’ will also be available at our Florida agency from the 10th to the 13th of January and on the West Coast from the 23rd to the 28th of January where appointments can be made to view our selection of new and preowned guns and rifles.
It was some months ago now that I posted the first photographs of this .470 rifle, just after it had been case colour hardened. I posed the question about leaving the colour on, or brushing the colour off, the post attracted numerous opinions. (Previous Article).
Here, at last, we see the finished rifle together with the final choice of the client, the case colour left on, the rifle ready for the bush and the natural wear that will occur over time.
In my opinion the correct choice, I always liked the big carved R.B.Rodda rifles with their case colours and I believe this rifle continues in that vein. In the opinion of Paul Lantuch the engraver, the incorrect choice as I know he wanted to see the rifle showing off the engraving at its best!
Either way this engraving work is spectacular and the rifle has, and I am sure will continue to receive many favourable comments from people who have seen it. Not a bad slab of timber also!
A Westley Richards .470 Hand Detachable Lock double rifle. Engraving by Paul Lantuch. Cased by Westley Richards leather shop in a traditional lightweight green canvas Safari style case.
For any destination you travel to shoot a gun slip is an essential piece of kit with which to protect and carry your gun or rifle during the non hunting periods. What you choose to put your gun in at this time comes in a multitude of varieties and options from very basic and cheap to exotic models made in clients own game skins.
Westley Richards has always taken the view that the gun slip should match the quality of the gun it will look after, it should also be capable of doing that job for the life of the gun. We achieve this brief by using a very expensive organic tanned leather which has deep absorption of natural fats that will keep the leather in fine condition for many years with only a small amount of annual attention to reintroduce wax to the grain. The leather we use will patinate and mature quickly becoming unique in its own way. I can always recognise my gun slips at a distance, the colour and distinct burnish marks gained over many years use of travel and use make them unique.
Hand made in our workshops using traditional saddlery skills the range of slips we offer is very comprehensive and each model can be found ‘off the shelf’ at popular lengths or made to order at specific lengths. We only use premium leathers, solid brass fittings, RiRI non scratch Swiss made zips and premium fleece lining to protect the guns. These fine components are stitched together using a combination of machine and hand sewing skills utilising strong waxed threads designed to last. The muzzle box is hand blocked for a perfect finish complete with hanging tag.
Why am I throwing this product into the pile just now? It is because each year as we approach Christmas the Deeley Slip is a very popular item and is often one that people want personalised as a gift. A variety of leather or shape or special length may be asked for and of course the initials, crest or name of the future owner. Our leather shop is a small department and we want to handle all our holiday orders in good time so this is an open hint to order early if this is a gift you may have been considering for yourself or someone else! The full range of standard gun slips can be seen here and we welcome discussing any special orders or requests you might have.
I seem to be having quite a lot of luck on the miniature item front recently, the very nice small 1890 vintage .410 cartridge magazine of a few weeks past and now a very small version of our Perfecta cartridge bag, again something I had never encountered before. I was actually very surprised and pleased when the package was opened as I thought it was just a normal size bag when I bought it online.
This will certainly now head for the leather shop and a faithful reproduction! It will make a nice ladies purse size bag too, for Christmas in crocodile!
Having my own leather department downstairs gives me the advantage of making things which I like for my own personal use, as is the case with the Sam Brown belt above. I found a very nice vintage belt but without loosing 50 lbs it was never going to fit me! So I have had one made and I think it has turned out really very nicely. I used the oak tanned leather and solid brass fittings both which will age beautifully. My 10 round open wallet fits on perfectly at right hand side. The belt is a faithful copy, with nice stitching detail and a contrast backing in binding leather.
I am really pleased with this belt and should anybody else be interested I think this is an item we will offer on a bespoke basis as getting the length correct is critical to a nice fit, some will wear intruder loops and others over shirt/jacket.
Another useful item I had made for myself was an SD card holder for my photography. I always like to carry spare SD cards with me and don’t like the bulky protective ones you buy from shops. This is a neat solution and can be initialled, numbered or referenced to camera.
I have now made a few writing pads for clients who have seen the one at my desk at Westley Richards. Crafted from 5mm thick Oak Tanned or Tarnsjo Leather these make a very nice writing space and mouse mat!
The final production of the hook swivel sling is now completed. I had great difficulty in sourcing a fully covered strong leather covered buckle so have come to a compromise as illustrated. We will be offering this limited production sling in two colours light and dark brown. Those of you who have shown an interest will now be contacted, thank you for your patience.
Last year at Christmas we were asked to make a set of luggage using a customers own game skins. The skins were of an excellent quality and produced a very very nice set of luggage which were very well received.
My message is with this post that our leather department is unique in that it will entertain bespoke commissions, not only mine!, we look forward to turning your ideas into reality and I hope this post shows the diversity of the workshop we can put at your disposal please contact me for any questions you have regarding this.
I thought that having proved so popular in the previous post, I should show the new sling we have made ‘in situ’ on a vintage rifle, another of the old nails from my safe as one of our regular readers and commentators calls them! The ‘nail’ being my signal for “I want this rifle from your safe”! When it becomes “a rusty old nail” he wants it bad!
So here is my favourite .318 from our collection, a model deluxe in really super condition, not an elaborate rifle but rather a quite plain rifle with some scroll engraving and the beautiful carved ‘Fleur de Lys” checker panels. A perfect, simple and elegant sporting rifle in the classic and most effective Westley Richards .318 calibre. A very rusty old nail I believe!
The sling swivel attachment in close up.
Thank you to all who have ordered the new sling, this will go into production next week and be despatched accordingly. We will price and confirm orders once we have details. Thank you for your patience. Please contact us if you would like to add your order to firstname.lastname@example.org
How nice is this! Ricky Bond, our gunroom manager, purchased this super little cartridge magazine a few days ago and then stupidly went on holiday for the long weekend holiday allowing me to intercept its arrival. I will of course credit him with the sale, ‘the profit’! It is now safely amongst all the previously mentioned ‘junk’ in my apartment! A fitting piece, I have never seen this Westley Richards label before and I have never noticed a vintage magazine which takes 27 boxes of 2.5″ .410 perfectly, it is a gem!
I think in all honesty, it would take of course any 2.5″ cartridge in limited numbers but the fact that our old .410 boxes fit so perfectly makes me think it was made for this job.
Another little project for our case maker and leather shop!
The cartridge magazine is photographed on the ‘blotting pad’ from my desk here, this is a piece of natural coloured leather which has aged over the last year, it starts life a very light colour and ages beautifully and I believe this is what the original case here would have been made from.
These thick leather desk pads can be made to any size required, with hand burnished edges, edging lines and branding they make a nice feature on any desk and gain character over the years as you spill your ink and of course your drink!
A few weeks ago I did a post featuring an old sling for vintage rifles with only eyelets, the sling was on an original .505 Gibbs. That post led to a kind introduction in Australia, to a source of these sprung and toughened hook eyes.
After a few days carrying a heavy rifle around as part of the “Proof Test” to ensure all is secure, Joanna in our leather shop has made me the first off sample, again a faithful reproduction of the original sling I showed. I asked for this to be in natural coloured leather which, in the sun will go the colour of the background as it takes on a tan and grease.
This beautifully hand made rifle sling with even the brass buckle covered, on this occasion, in thin leather from the same hide, (which took hours!) will be a useful sling for those hunting with old rifles with sling eye lops only.
There will be some delay in offering these but if anyone would like to order one please let me know. We will make the sling in our normal colour range.
I was really pleased to be shown and then able to buy this piece of Leather ephemera, a vintage etched mirror which was an award of some kind. It seemed an entirely appropriate and irresistible prop for the photography we do. Whilst I cannot and do not wish to take credit for the actual award, we did not make leather at that time. I do think it is appropriate for our small leather workshop and feel they would have given the competition a good run for their money, had we been making our leather goods then!