The business of Johann Miller and Valentin Greiss traces its lineage back to Franz Xaver Baader's shop c. 1830, but the partnership of Miller and Greiss began in the early 1870s and ended c. 1890 with the death of Valentin Greiss. During their roughly two decades of business, their shop offered some of the finest Germanic hunting guns, often lavishly gold inlaid and carved. This cape gun with a matching set of shotgun barrels is an excellent example of their quality. Both barrel sets have "Miller & Val• Greiss Munchen" in gold inlay and multi-colored gold inlaid floral scroll engraving with some classical grotesque elements among the designs. The back action locks, frame, and other metal components have relief engraved Germanic scroll work and gilded deer and dogs, and the buttplate has a rendition of Diana on the compartment lid. The underlever and trigger guard extension are horn, and the latter is finely carved with a wyvern at the rear. The forearm and buttstock have relief carving consisting of classic Germanic scroll patterns, gadrooning, a fantastic scene of St. Eustace/St. Hubertus and the stag on the right side of the butt, incised carving on the cheek rest, and a hind and fawn on the left side of the butt. The combination set is a .40 caliber rifled barrel on the right and a 16 gauge shot barrel on the left, and the other barrel set has both 16 gauge shot barrels. The shotgun barrels are Damascus on both sets, and the rifled barrel is fluid steel. The combination set has dovetailed blade and notch sights. The rifle barrel is the right barrel, and the flip-up peep sight on the upper tang has the aperture offset to the left. The underside of the rifle barrel has a "K." The right trigger is an adjustable single set trigger. The longer shotgun set has a bead front sight. A "crown/V" is marked on the right side of the water table and the rear barrel lugs. Both barrel sets are numbered "15390," the underlever hardware has "390," and the inside of the butt-trap has "5390." A leather and canvas muzzle cover is included. Barrel measurements for extra set (R/L): bore diameter nine inches from the breech .674/.663 inches; choke constriction .004/.010 inches; minimum wall thickness .024/.036 inches. Barrel and stock measurements for combination set: bore diameter nine inches from the breech .660 inches; choke constriction .003 inches; minimum wall thickness .036 inches; length of pull 13 5/8 inches; weight 7 lbs 9 oz. Provenance: The Tom Lewis Collection
Fine with bright original gold, strong twist patterns on the smoothbore barrels, strong original blue on the notch rear sight, traces of blue on the rifled barrel, mostly gray and brown patina on the balance, and mild overall wear. The wood is also fine and has crisp carving, attractive flame figure, a sliver absent on the left edge of the forearm, and minor dings and scratches. Mechanically fine.
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