Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3216: Silver Inlaid French Single Shot Target Rifle

Auction Date: August 28, 2022

Historic Documented Elaborately Silver Inlaid and Engraved Cased French Presentation Shooting Prize Breech-Loading Single Shot Target Rifle from the Famous Henk L. Visser Collection

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $10,000 - $15,000

Historic Documented Elaborately Silver Inlaid and Engraved Cased French Presentation Shooting Prize Breech-Loading Single Shot Target Rifle from the Famous Henk L. Visser Collection

Manufacturer: Unknown
Model: Rifle
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 11 mm
Barrel: 32 3/4 inch part octagon
Finish: blue/silver
Grip:
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 264
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 154
Class: Antique
Description:

This elaborately decorated target rifle, possibly chambered for the 11.15x42Rmm cartridge, was according to Henk Visser offered by King William III of the Netherlands as a shooting prize at Utrecht in 1869. Although previously published as a Cornish patent action (British patent no. 1828 of July 12, 1866), the action is marked “ADAMS’/PATENT/28” almost certainly referencing Robert Adams’ British patent no. 3216 of November 13, 1867, use number 28. The rifle is documented in G. de Vries and B.J. Martens, “The Visser Collection”, Vol. 1, Part 4, pp. 392-393, cat. no. 851. The barrel, action, back action lock and furniture all have a deep blue finish with silver inlaid scrolling foliage. The barrel is signed “Günther & Cie. a Paris” in Gothic script and has a block mounted front sight and a folding rear ladder sight, the latter engraved with scrollwork. The action is marked with the patent details on the left side and has a bright hinged breech block with actuates a cartridge extractor when fully opened. The hammer, trigger and cleaning rod are all bright burnished finish. The furniture includes a scrolled flat fronted trigger guard and a hooked heel plate. Liege black powder proof marks. In its original brass mounted mahogany case lined in dark green velvet, the lid signed “GÜNTHER & CIE./PARIS/46 BOUL.D DE STRASBOURG” in gilt lettering, and with some accessories comprising two gold washed brass bullet molds, a powder scoop with bone handle, a functioning case key, iron wad punch and a very large nickel oiler engraved with foliage. The exterior of the case lid with central brass plaque engraved with a crowned coat of arms with the motto “SEMPER IDEM” below, and to the sides “UTRECHT” and the date “1869”. Provenance: The H.L. Visser Collection; Property of a Gentleman

Rating Definition:

Extremely fine. The blue finish on the metal parts remains 85% intact and is a wonderful deep color with some minor loss to the hard edges from storage and some flaking on the heel plate. The silver inlay is excellent. Some loss of blue finish to the rear sight block. The stock is very fine with scattered mostly minor storage and handling blemishes and marks throughout. The edge of the right side of the butt where it meets the top of the heel plate has a worn patch. The case is fine with some rubbing to the partition lining from the rifle. The cartridge tray in the case has cracked through the middle, and the back edge of the lid of the case has a crack. The exceptional bullet molds do not look like they have been used, and the large oiler remains in excellent. Mechanically excellent.



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