BOSS & CO.
A RARE MATCHED PAIR OF 12-BORE ROUNDED-BAR EASY-OPENING SIDELEVER SIDELOCK EJECTORS, serial no. 8186 / 5085,
No.1 gun (serial no. 8186) with 30in. nitro chopperlump barrels, the rib engraved 'BOSS & CO. 41. ALBERMARLE STREET, PICCADILLY, LONDON. W.' and gold-inlaid '1', 2 1/2in. chambers, bored approx. true cyl. and 1/4 choke, (extractors tight), No.2 gun (serial no. 5085) with 30in. nitro barrels, the rib engraved 'BOSS & CO. 73. ST. JAMES'S STREET. LONDON.' and gold-inlaid '2' at the breech end, 2 1/2in. chambers, bored approx. true cyl. and 1/4 choke, rounded bar actions, No.1 with removable striker discs, the top straps gold-inlaid '1' and '2', automatic safeties with gold-inlaid 'SAFE' details, gold-inlaid cocking-indicators, best fine acanthus scroll engraving with floral bouquets, No.1 with scar to left lockplate, retaining traces of colour-hardening and finish, 14 7/8in. highly-figured stock including buttplate (No.1) and 14 3/4in. highly-figured stock (No.2), fore-ends with grip-catch release levers gold-inlaid '1' and 2', weight 6lb. 13oz., in their brass-cornered oak and leather case, the case outer embossed 'M R MARTINEAU 45 ST. JAMES'S PLACE. LONDON. S.W.'
Provenance: The makers have kindly informed us that gun No. 8186 was built 'to match and make a pair with 5085', ordered on the 5th February 1934 and finished on the 30th July of the same year, for a Mr M. R. Martineau.
It is listed as 'one gun, two triggers, sidelever, 12-bore 30" barrels'
Maurice Richard Martineau MA, LLB. (1870-1943) was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. He was a barrister and JP for West Suffolk. At the time of buying the second gun, he resided at 90 Elm Park Gardens, London and The Lawn, Walsham-le-Willows, Bury St Edmunds
Other Notes: Donald Dallas, author of Boss & Co, Builders Of Best Guns Only states that: "these are extremely rare guns. In the 1890s, as part of his intention to streamline Boss guns, John Robertson introduced his round bodied design much copied by other makers since then. It is this design that gave rise to the accolade given to Boss guns "The racehorse of best guns". Only 287 round bodied Boss guns have been built since the 1890s. By far the majority of these guns have top levers and this pair with side levers are very rare indeed and the only pair I have encountered".
In Appendix 6, 'The Dating of Boss Guns' the order ledgers reveal that not only was gun no. 8186 built to match gun no. 5085 (built in the early 1900's), but that gun No. 5085 was in itself a gun built to match another - gun No. 3966, dating to the late 1880's.
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S2 - Sold as a Section 2 Firearm under the 1968 Firearms Act