A 12-BORE 1863 (SECOND PATTERN) THUMBHOLE-UNDERLEVER HAMMERGUN, serial no. 7953,
31in. nitro reproved damascus barrels, rib inscription indistinct, 2 1/2in. chambers, bored approx. true cyl. in both, some heavy pitting, carved percussion fences with slight side shoulders, rebounding island back-action locks with dolphin hammers (the left a crude replacement), grip safety, fine border and acanthus scroll engraving, retaining very slight traces of original colour-hardening, 14 3/8in. figured stock including horn buttplate, fore-end with light damage, weight 6lb. 12oz.
Provenance: the makers have kindly confirmed that this gun was completed in 1869 as No. 1 of "a pair of backlock hammer guns" for Lord A. St. Maur, and later resold to a W.G. Jameson.
Research would indicate Lord A. St. Maur to be Edward Adolphus Seymour (later St. Maur), 12th Duke of Somerset (1804 - 1885), a British Whig aristocrat and politician, who served in various cabinet positions in the mid-19th century, including that of First Lord of the Admiralty.
He was made a Knight of the Garter in 1862 and in 1863 he was created Earl St. Maur, of Berry Pomeroy in the County of Devon. "St. Maur" was supposed to have been the original form of the family name and "Seymour" a later corruption. From some time in the early 19th century until 1923, "St. Maur" was used for the family name, but since 1923 the Dukes have again used the familiar "Seymour".
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