Rock Island Auction Company is extremely proud to offer for sale this extraordinary cased pair of Philippe Grifnee master engraved and gold inlaid Holland & Holland Royal Deluxe over and under 28 gauge shotguns owned by noted publisher, sportsman, and firearms collector Robert E. Petersen. This is a rarity in modern shotgun collecting, noted for the engraver and owner. The frame and detachable side plates feature full coverage fantasy themed relief engraving depicting winged mythical creatures with gold inlaid eyes. These fantasy creatures are diverse in their depictions and express dragon and human like forms. Each side plate has "HOLLAND & HOLLAND" inlaid in gold. The engraving extends to the trigger guard and forearm hardware. The break lever is composed of a finely sculpted creature with gold inlaid eyes. Belgian Master Engraver Philippe Grifnee has signed his masterpiece near the single trigger. A true master of his trade, Grifnee was known for his relief engraving and was employed by Holland & Holland. He set the standard for modern day firearm art; internationally recognized as one of the world's finest engravers. This pair of shotguns definitely testifies to Grifnee's unmatched skills. Sadly, Grifnee passed away at the age of 59 in May 2012, leaving behind true works of firearm art that continue to influence the trade. The automatic safety features "SAFE" inlaid in gold. The shotguns are numbered "1" and "2" respectively, and the gold inlaid numbers are found on the break lever, solid rib and forearm hardware. The serial number is inlaid in gold on the lower tang. Matching serial numbers are on the frame, lower tang, forearm and barrels. Two British "crown/GP" proofs are stamped on the frame. Mounted on a highly figured forearm and pistol grip stock featuring fine checkering, horn grip cap and checkered bare butt. The underside of the buttstock has an initial oval marked "REP" for Robert E. Petersen. Following his World War II service with the U.S. Army Air Forces, Robert Petersen started "Hot Rod," a magazine for car enthusiasts, and went on to build Petersen Publishing. When he sold his publishing empire in 1996, Petersen Publishing printed 39 monthly periodicals which included such notables as "Hot Rod," "Guns & Ammo," "Sports Afield," and "Motor Trend." Petersen was also an avid outdoorsman and firearm collector. He hunted on nearly all seven continents, was credited for being the first person to shoot a polar bear with a .44 magnum handgun and served as Commissioner of Shooting Sports during the 1984 Olympics held in Los Angeles. His lifelong collection of 425 firearms was donated to the National Firearms Museum after his death. This impressive and broad collection of rare and historic arms fills the permanent 2,000 square foot Petersen Gallery that was opened to the public in the fall of 2010 at the NRA Museum. The gallery boasts the largest collection of double rifles and Gatling guns on public display and guns owned by notable individuals such John F. Kennedy, Annie Oakley, Robert Stack, Julian Hatcher, Hermann Goering and Elmer Keith. Although the Petersen Gallery showcases a diverse collection, there is one common theme: highest quality. In fact, the Petersen Gallery is considered to be one of the finest sporting arms collections in the world. Very few guns from Petersen's collection of this quality have made it to private hands. The factory letter and ledgers list the guns as a pair purchased by Al Sween in 2000 as 28 gauge Royal Deluxes with 28 inch barrels, Briley multi-chokes, 15 inch at center stock length, 5 lbs. 15 oz. and 5 lbs. 14 1/2 oz. weights, single triggers, 5 1/16 inch depth of butt, 1 1/2 inch width of butt, 2 5/8 inch depth across the comb, 1 1/8 width of hand, and 1 1/2 inch depth of hand. Barrel and stock measurements are: bore diameter at the muzzle .544 inches/.554 inches (past choke tubes); choke tubes full/modified (marked "D"/"B"); minimal wall thickness- .038 inches/.038 inches; bore diameter at 9 inches from breech- .554 inches/.544 inches; length of chamber- 2 3/4 inches/2 3/4 inches; length of pull- 14 1/4 inches; drop at comb- 1 5/16 inches; drop at heel- 2 inches; cast on/cast off- neutral; toe in/toe out- neutral; and overall weight- 5 lbs. 13 oz. Upper barrel: proved at 14.0mm, measuring 14.0mm, minimum wall thickness 35. Lower barrel: proved at 14.0mm, measuring 14.0mm, minimum wall thickness 35. Comes with a leather bound takedown case and canvas cover. Both the case and cover have "REP" initials. The case has a Holland & Holland label on the interior of the lid and holds both shotguns, Holland & Holland cleaning patches and cloth, two-piece cleaning rod with three attachments, two choke tube Holland & Holland pouches containing a wrench and five extra choke tubes, oiler, pair of snap caps, and case key.
Near new showing a minor ding on the buttstock, otherwise limited light handling marks overall. Mechanically excellent. The case is fine showing discoloration of the leather and some scattered minor handling/storage marks. The canvas cover is faded. Very few firearms from the Robert E. Petersen collection remain in private hands and this pair of cased shotguns have the added bonus of being signed embellished by world renowned Master Engraver Philippe Grifnee. A true work of modern firearm art that will make a grand statement to the most advanced sporting firearms collections. This is a must have pair for the serious collector!
Consecutively numbered to and described in "A" but with the following barrel and stock measurements: bore diameter at the muzzle, .555 inches/.555 inches (past tube); choke tubes full/modified (marked "D"/"B"); minimal wall thickness .033 inches/.033 inches; bore diameter at 9 inches from breech .556 inches/.556 inches; length of chamber 2 3/4 inches/2 3/4 inches; length of pull 14 1/4 inches; drop at comb 1 3/8 inches; drop at heel, 2 inches; very slight cast off; 1/8 inches toe in; and overall weight 5 lbs 13.4 oz. Upper barrel: proved at 14.0mm, measuring 14.0mm, minimum wall thickness 36. Lower barrel: proved at 14.0mm, measuring 14.0mm, minimum wall thickness 35.
Near new showing limited light handling marks overall. Mechanically excellent.
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