BOSS & CO.
A FINE PAIR OF 12-BORE EASY-OPENING SIDELOCK EJECTORS, serial no. 7483 / 4,
for 1928, 30in. nitro chopperlump barrels, the ribs engraved 'BOSS & CO., 13, DOVER STREET, PICCADILLY, LONDON. W.' and gold-inlaid '1' and '2' at the breech ends, 2 1/2in. chambers, bored approx. imp. cyl. and 1/4 choke, toplevers gold-inlaid '1' and '2', automatic safeties with gold-inlaid 'SAFE' details, gold-inlaid cocking-indicators, rolled-edge triggerguards, best fine acanthus scroll engraving with floral bouquets, retaining some original colour-hardening, 15 3/4in. well-figured stocks including 3/4in. wooden extensions (inked in to match), weight 6lb. 13oz., in a brass-cornered oak and leather case
Provenance: The makers have kindly supplied the following information on the pair:
"Boss Gun No. 7484
This gun was made for a Capt. A.S.G. Douglas of the Rifle Brigade. It was ordered on the 6th February 1928 and would have to be ready within a few months. There were a pair, 7483 & 4. 12-bore. 30in. barrels and two triggers. Each gun had it's own oak and leather case with cover."
The vendor has kindly informed us that he acquired the No.1 gun from the widow of a good friend in 1999, his friend having obtained it in 1985 from a dealer who had in turn purchased it at a Christies auction in 1978.
Always intending to compose a pair of guns, by remarkable coincidence, the No.2 gun was offered for sale by these Rooms in their June 2000 auction and was purchased by the vendor, re-uniting the pair after many years apart.
Research would indicate A.S.G. Douglas O.B.E. to be Brigadier Archibald Sholto George Douglas (17th March 1896 - 17th March 1981).
Educated at Eton, Archibald Douglas fought in the First World War, and the (then) Captain was appointed the British Governor of the neutral zone between Armenia and Georgia following the month-long Armeno-Georgian War of 1918. He fought in the Second World War and was mentioned in despatches. He gained the rank of Brigadier in the Rifles Brigade. He was appointed Commander, Order of the British Empire (C.B.E.) in 1942, and was awarded the Order of Kutuzof of the USSR in 1944.
Archibald Douglas was recorded in the London Gazette on several occasions:
28th April 1931 edition as relinquishing the appointment of Deputy Assistant Adjutant General to the Iraq Levies on the 1st October 1930
3rd July 1931 as restored to the establishment 10th June 1931
14th January 1933 as Lt. Col. (temp Brig.) 31st December 1943, with seniority, 19th June 1943
21st July 1944 awarded the Soviet Award, the recommendation for the award reading:
"As the British Commander in Persia, Brigadier Douglas has had the responsibility of the security against interference by the tribesmen of Persia of the aid to Russia routes, including those operated by the Americans. In addition his efforts are considered very largely to have reduced the pilfering of Russian stores to its present level"
The S.S. Neuralia was a passenger/cargo liner and troopship, launched in 1912 for the British India Steam Navigation Company (taken over by the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation company in 1914). In 1914 it was repurposed as a troopship and then as a hospital ship, seeing service in many theatres of operations in both World Wars. Her service came to an end at 02:00hrs on the 1st May 1945 when she hit a mine off the heel of Italy and sank with the loss of two crew and two passengers from a crew of 241, 24 gunners and 12 passengers.
Other Notes: The guns are supplied with the original letter from Boss & Co. relating the history of the guns and also two Customs Declarations, dated March 1929, detailing gun No. 7484 being declared for a return journey to the United Kingdom from Basrah, property of Captain A.S.G. Douglas O.B.E., by boat on the S.S. Neuralia (and valued at £140)
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S2 - Sold as a Section 2 Firearm under the 1968 Firearms Act