Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3399: W.W. Greener Royal Grade Cape Gun with Case

Auction Date: September 12, 2021

Unique Documented Exotic Game Scene Engraved W.W. Greener 16 Bore/.450/.400 (2 3/8 Inch Black Powder Express) “Royal Grade” Double Barrel Toplever Hammer Cape Gun with Case

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $5,000 - $8,000

Unique Documented Exotic Game Scene Engraved W.W. Greener 16 Bore/.450/.400 (2 3/8 Inch Black Powder Express) “Royal Grade” Double Barrel Toplever Hammer Cape Gun with Case

Manufacturer: WW Greener
Model: Double Barrel
Type: Combination
Gauge: 16
Barrel: 28 inch solid rib
Finish: blue/casehardened
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 977
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 220
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun

The makers have kindly confirmed that this cape gun was completed on 6 December 1901 having been started on 4 April the same year and was ordered by a Mr. Lagomasimo. It is a “Treble Wedge Fast” model and is believed to be the only combination cape gun built to “Royal” grade specification. The engraving alone cost £3. 8s. 0d., eighteen shillings more than the engraving on an “Imperial” grade gun. Most combination guns built by Greener were of medium grades as they were destined for hard use. The maker’s records note that the scroll engraving was executed by Stokes and the game scenes by Perry. This possibly unique cape rifle is featured in Graham Greener, “The Greener Collections”, pp. 97-98. The blued Whitworth steel barrels are each engraved with a band of scrollwork at the breech end. The raised file cut matted rib is signed “W.W. GREENER. 68 HAYMARKET, LONDON” in gold and fitted with a bead front sight with flip-up cover, a rear express sight of one standing leaf and five folding leaves, and a ladder sight graduated to 1400 yards, the bar of the ladder sight and the leaves each with platinum inlaid center line. The breech end is finely engraved with portrait of a lion surrounded by scrollwork spreading onto the cross bolt extension. The underside of the barrels has an import mark under the forearm. The action has carved percussion fences, rebounding sidelocks and furniture each finely engraved with tight scrollwork framing a series of vignettes involving tigers, deer, a leopard, a buffalo, and a zebra. The barrels and action are struck with Birmingham proof and reproof marks. The finely figured semi-pistol grip stock has arrow shaped horn drop points and a checkered grip and forearm. The latter has a dark horn tip, and the stock has a checkered dark horn buttplate. The right side of the stock has a hinged patch box cover finely engraved en suite with a roundel depicting a lion attacking a Cape buffalo in a naturalist habitat. The underside of the stock has a blank gold initial escutcheon. The stock and barrels are fitted with sling loops. The original brass cornered oak and leather fitted case is lined in red baize, and the lid has a gilt lettered black leather W.W. Greener trade label. Inside are some accessories, including three oilers (one of them nickeled and engraved “W.W.G”), a takedown cleaning rod, and a cleaning pouch. Barrel (shotgun) and stock measurements: chamber proofed at 70 mm (2 3/4 inches); bore 9 inches from the breech reproofed at 17.1 mm (.673 inches) and measured at .675 inches; choke constriction .034 inches; minimum wall thickness .026 inches; 14 5/16 inch length of pull; cast-off; weight 9 lbs 1 oz. Provenance: The Malcolm King Collection

Rating Definition:

Fine as refinished. The barrels retaining 60% plus blued finish areas worn back to a gray-brown and clear engraving. The rib has crisp file cuts and engraving, some wear and discoloration on the sights, and excellent gold signature. The locks retain traces of original casehardened finish in sheltered areas and have clear engraving throughout, some discoloration and dried oil, and would improve with thorough professional cleaning. The stock has age related storage and handling blemishes and clear checkering that is slightly flattened on the grip and well worn on the forearm. The case is very good and has some renovation work to the handle and straps. Mechanically stiff on opening otherwise excellent.

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