Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery.

Westley Richards .410 Droplock engraved by Alan Brown.Westley Richards .410 with engraving by Alan & Paul Brown.

The Westley Richards .410 hand detachable lock shotgun pictured above has received a huge amount of compliments as well as many offers to purchase, during its travels with us at the shows in USA and UK over the past few years. If I may say so myself, it is a gun worthy of the praise, it is truly elegant.

So, I suppose it is not at all surprising that a small start up gunmaker in USA has attempted to imitate the elegance of this gun whilst launching their  own range of new guns. Flattery indeed, and my thanks to the company for the recognition. I did in fact know this gun would be copied when I spotted the owner of the gunmaker, stealthily photographing the gun with his iPhone at Safari Club a few years ago.

Another, perhaps more audacious copy of our guns was the pair of Westley Richards .410’s which went through Rock Island Auction a few years ago. These were 2 traditional scroll engraved guns which were then polished off and re-engraved in the style of the Hummingbird Gun. There was no mention that these guns were, what we call over here ‘Tarted Up’ rendering them in my opinion as totally unoriginal and junk.

What puzzles me most is how people with money to spend on this level of engraving are incapable of creating something unique and different, there are so many subjects and styles we have not tried.

The .410 CopyThe new USA made .410.

The Westley Richards Hummingbird Gun The original Westley Richards Hummingbird Gun engraved by Rashid Hadi.

The Re engraved Westley Richards .410 in style of Hummingbird gun.The re-engraved pair of Westley Richards .410 in style of Hummingbird gun. Engraver unknown.

9 thoughts on “Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery.

  1. The hummingbird pair you mentioned engendered much mirth in the Tate household. They were offered as “Maharaja Guns” yet featured new world avian species. Totally risible.

  2. This avoidance of what you might call “the whole story” is all to often the case in the best gun or rare gun market nowadays. Buyer Beware!
    How many .410 hand detachable guns do you suspect got made before WWII by WR?

    • Buyer definitely beware! It is a shame but in every market this happens I guess. Potential clients can always check with the makers and see if specifications are correct so there is a route to provenance.

      We only made 6 of these .410’s pre war and I think they are all spoiled now one way or other, they were 1-6 of a set for a Maharaja’s wife. They were fabulous guns and I was selling them for $30,000 the year I started with Westley Richards, a lot of money at the time and they went like hot cakes. Paul Roberts changed the game scenes on a couple and these 2 are now wrecked and the remaining miss handled in the Peterson collection sales. All gone!

  3. S
    Interesting blog, is it known where and by whom the “humming bird” guns were copied? We all have choices. Timex or Rolex, it all comes down to what one wants on his or her wrist. Or in the crook of his or her arm.

    • I actually have no idea, I know it was an American job and I do believe it was done by some female engraver in the USA but I don’t know who paid the bill. If someone wants to re-engrave a gun there is not really an issue with that. If someone wants to do it and then present it as original factory work that is a problem especially for the unsuspecting buyer.

      • mr.clode when was the humming bird gun made?
        which year?
        its a nice looking gun
        wish you can make them in 20,16 or 12 bore

        • It was completed in about 1998 and we do make guns like this in any bore or calibre, not the same engraving but as elaborate.

    • I know what you mean about Timex versus Rolex, but then have you seen what Robert Loomes of Stamford, Lincolnshire, has done with Timex movements?

      There’s no excuse for selling one thing as another and I can’t quite understand why someone would want a WR gun to be re-engraved, but then I own No. 2 of a Rizzini pair, tweeked by Paul Roberts to be more English. No. 1 had been bought, stock stained very dark from the lovely walnut it was, and then rejected. I got No. 2 at a good price, there’s no logic in what some folk want!

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