CHARLES LANCASTER, LONDON
A FINE CASED 40-BORE PERCUSSION OVAL-BORED DOUBLE-RIFLE, serial no. 3063,
for 1858-59, with browned 31in. damascus barrels, blade fore-sight, dove-tailed rear-sight with three folding blades, platinum line and engraved rib-end to the colour hardened breech, vented platinum plugs, borderline and scroll engraved colour hardened bar-action locks signed in banners 'C. LANCASTER, LONDON', sliding safes forwards of the engraved dolphin headed hammers, chequered walnut half-stock with inlet colour hardened iron patch-box to rear of right hand side of butt, the lid engraved with a herd of deer led by a stag, the hinge engraved with scrolls, chequered iron heel-plate with scroll engraved top-spur also featuring a standing gundog, trigger-guard tang with chequered pistol-grip spur, rutting stags engraved to the trigger-guard bow, pineapple finial and ramrod throat and original brass-mounted ebony ramrod, the whole retaining much apparently original finish and colour, complete with its original oak storage case lined and compartmented in green baize, original parchment trade-label attached to inner lid and containing a number of period accessories including the original numbered mould, shaped wad-punch and leather covered powder-flask, leather sling, caps and a ball-starter
Provenance: This rifle was built originally for the 4th Earl of Sefton, William Molyneux KG (14 October 1835-27 June 1897). Born Viscount Molyneux, he was the eldest son of Charles Molyneux, 3rd Earl of Sefton and his wife, Mary. He was educated at Eton. In 1854, William became an Ensign in the Grenadier Guards and inherited his father's earldom the following year. He was promoted to Captain in 1857, retiring a year later when he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire. He was to have five children with his wife, The Hon. Cecile Emily Jolliffe and was made a Knight of the Garter in 1885. In 1886 he built Abbeystead House in the forest of Wyresdale, Lancashire, described as a 'private shooting lodge on a grand scale but also had family seats at Croxteth hall, Lancashire and Sefton House in Belgravia Square, London.
Also included in the lot is the last will and testament of a John Edward Willan V.D. which bequeaths this gun (amongst other items such as a painting by Goya and other sporting guns) to a certain Mr Thomas Wilson Helme.
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