E.M.Reilly & Co. Royal Presentation Combination Gun

A name we don’t see too often these days is that of E.M.Reilly & Co, of London, another of those semi forgotten names from the golden age of British gun and rifle manufacture. It is therefore a pleasant surprise when something special by the maker passes through our factory and reminds us once again that the gun industry has a long tradition of producing magnificent guns and rifles.

This fabulous combination 12 bore rifle and shotgun was built for King Alfonso XII of Spain (1857 – 1885) and displays all the fine qualities in a firearm built for a king. True to the time, the late 1800’s, the gun focuses more on wood to metal fit, graceful lines and functionality, than it does to fancy embellishment. Surprisingly it has a piece of wood that by modern standards would be considered ‘exhibition’ grade, something uncommon at the time. Engraving wise the royal coat of arms sits nicely in gold on the action tang, whereas E.M.Reillys own business name seems to dominate the rest of the gun!

The magnificent case was manufactured and fitted out in the French style with no lack of imagination where tooling was concerned! All of the handles are made from ivory with many of the pieces engraved by hand for that extra unique finish. The interior lining is in a striking blue velvet that has been gold leaf embossed with the makers name and address. Interestingly the exterior has a fantastic brass frame, fully engraved, with the central crown of the King sitting above his monogram.

Taken as a whole, this is a package in every way fit for a King……………..

Gold inlaid coat of arms for King Alfonso XII.

Presentation case in the French style fitted with full tools and accessories.

Brass framed case exterior, unusual for a British cased gun.

6 thoughts on “E.M.Reilly & Co. Royal Presentation Combination Gun

  1. Scrummy!!! You guys seem to be spookily good at finding such gems! Speaking as a man whose firearm fantasies greatly exceed his wallet, I am so grateful just to see the pictures.

  2. Hi Trigger

    What a glorious combination of gun, timber, tools, and that case, in its time certainly ‘fit for a King’!
    The makers name and address definitely “makes a statement”!!

    Would it have used both paper and brass cases?, the crimping tool in the photo with the mould makes me assume that the rifle ball would have been crimped in place in a brass case.

    Wonderful photos, and something else ‘just’ passing through the factory!

    Best regards. Peter.

    • Hi Peter

      I think that you are probably right in that the gun barrels used paper cases and the rifled barrels brass cases. Although round ball was offered in pre-loaded paper cases (as well as brass) the tools and accessories supplied with this gun/rifle combo suggest it was for hand-loading, particularly of the rifle ammo.

      Best regards

      Trigger

  3. One thing that jumps out at me is that the writing (maker’s name) above the barrels reads from the right side. What is the norm? And does it differ for a left handed gun?

    • Hi Brian

      Good point. Under normal circumstances this lettering would be how we engrave a left handed gun. We always offer this to left handed clients, but more often than not they stick with the traditional from muzzle to breech reading.

      Best regards

      Trigger

  4. Trigger and Staff
    Can’t really comment on the E.M. Reilly. Above my knowledge base. But it is gorgeous as is virtually everything that WR touches. But I do want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! I know you Brits don’t celebrate this major American holiday, but you deserve it anyway since you and others provide many of us with a major form of entertainment in our daily lives!
    Hope to see you in Dallas!
    David Hodo

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