This breath-taking double rifle was manufactured starting in 1984. The blued steel, chopper lump barrels featuring a raised rear quarter rib mounted with three leaf express rear sights with gold inlaid center lines and a beaded blade front sight on a hooded, raised rib section as well as automatic ejectors. The rib is marked "CALIBRE .577 NITRO" ahead of the rear quarter rib, the barrels are gold inlaid with "J. Rigby & Co." and "London. England." in fancy script on the right and left respectively, and the breeches both have tasteful single band of engraving matching the doll's head rib extension. The massive, bolstered, casehardened sidelock action features beautifully executed sculpting on the fences and floral scroll engraving surrounding a multitude of gold inlaid features. The maker's mark "J. Rigby & Co./London" is found in fine gold inlay on either side of the action, the underside of the triggerguard is marked ".577/NITRO" in gold, and the serial number is in gold along the lower tang. There are three exquisite gold inlaid game scenes depicting African big game all rendered in high detail. The left shows a bull elephant standing on the savanna ready to defend against predators, the underside depicts a pair of giraffes amongst the miombo trees, and the right side features a pair of aggravated mating lions on the savanna. Both of the lockplates are signed by Master Engraver Ken Hunt with the left reading "K. C. Hunt '85" and the right "K. C. Hunt". The rifle is set up with double triggers, bushed firing pins, and a tang mounted safety switch with gold inlaid "SAFE" position. Nicely figured beavertail forend with bordered multi-point checkering, fittings engraved to match the action and an Anson button release mechanism. The stock is exhibition quality with the same bordered checkering, tear drop carved flats, horn grip cap, cheekpiece, gold inscription oval marked "W.J.F." and red rubber recoil pad. The rifle includes a leather bound Rigby takedown case with matching "W.J.F." initials on the lid, J . Rigby & Co. trade label, matching turnscrews and cleaning rod, gold oiler, cleaning tools, and a snapping block. Rigby is one of the oldest continuously operating gunmakers in the world and as they put it themselves "the oldest gunmaking firm in continuous existence in the English-speaking world." The name Rigby is synonymous with excellence, and this fine double rifle lives up to every aspect of that, from its engraving and gold inlays to its perfect fit and finish, this rifle truly is an outstanding example of the finest English gunmaker's craftsmanship. The length of pull of the rifle is 15 1/8 inches, and the rifle weighs in at an impressive 14 lbs. 9 oz.
Excellent overall, retaining 98% original blue and 99% gold and casehardened finishes with only minor handling evidence and a few scratches on the underside of the right barrel ahead of the forend. The nitre blue front sight hood shows some wear on the top. A few scattered light scratches on the stock, light red mark on the left of the pistol grip at the grip cap, some minor wear to the recoil pad, and sharp checkering. The case and accessories are very fine-excellent with some age/storage wear. Mechanically excellent. This is a scarce opportunity to own this outstanding example of the finest English gunmaker's craftsmanship, engraved and gold inlaid by Master Engraver Ken Hunt. The pinnacle of British big bore double rifles!
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