This is a beautiful example of a "luxury" French made shotgun made in 1870. The shotgun comes with a typed letter on letterhead from the Stiegele Jagd Company in Germany. The letter is in German and translated states that the shotgun was made by Master Gunsmith Guyot of Paris in 1870 and that the shotgun was made for the Ambassador of the former German emperor, Rich Hofmann who worked in both the U.S. and in Paris. The gun was was given to an individual and remained in Paris until after World War II. The translation is a bit loose. The letter also states that there are only two shotguns of this quality that were ever built. The barrel are Damascus and feature a smooth solid concave rib with a single bead sight. The top of the rib near the breech has gold inlaid "N GUYOT A PARIS 12 RUE DE PONTHIEU" , double gold inlaid bands around the breech and a decorative gold inlaid design on top of the rib at the breech. The underside of the barrel in the rib is marked "32597 - 1887" and the flats are marked with three recessed proofs, an unrecognizable one, a "crown/LB/star" and a "EP" in an oval. The flats are also stamped "LEOPOLD BERNARD". The remaining parts are finish in a bright blue with decorative gold wire inlays on all the parts and bordering around floral bouquets. The lower left lock has gold inlaid "N GUYOT" and "A PARIS" on the right lock. Under break lever on the right side, double triggers, bar-in-wood action and mounted with a very nicely figured, extremely fine checkered English walnut splinter forearm and straight grip stock with a checkered bard butt. The chambers are 2 3/4 inch with extractor and the barrels gauge at a loose cylinder. The length of pull is 13 1/4 inches. The shotgun is complete is a leather and oak case with nickel corner protectors, a "crown/intertwined SP" inscribed disk on the lid, leather handle and royal blue velvet lining with gold "N. GUYOT/ARMURIER/12 Rue de Ponthieu/PARIS" in the inside of the lid. In the case is a nickeled tin predator/game call, oiler, ebony parts container with 5 small springs inside, a powder measurer, wooden handled nipple wrench, two wooden handled screwdrivers and one piece of a three piece contemporary wooden cleaning rod.
Extremely fine with 60% of the blue finish remaining on the barrels, with the remainder turning brown. The muzzle of the right barrel has a noticable dent at the three o'clock position. Much of the Damascus pattern remains. The remaining parts retain 85% bright blue finish with the majority of the finish loss on the lower tang which has a smooth brown patina on the exposed areas. All of the gold inlay remains. The wood remains very fine with most of the varnish remaining and a few minor handling marks and crisp checkering. Mechanically excellent. The case is very fine with some small stains on the exterior and the two leather straps are absent. The lining is very good with some contact wear and stains. All accessories are fine.
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