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Fine Modern & Antique Arms - September 2021

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Sale A0921 Lot 5

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KYNOCH LTD., BIRMINGHAM
AN EXTREMELY RARE .177 BREAK-BARREL AIR-RIFLE, MODEL 'KYNOCH SWIFT', serial no. 654,
for approximately 1908, with slightly tapering 18 1/2in. barrel, dove-tailed fore-sight, elevating notch rear-sight, plain blued air-chamber marked 'KYNOCH LIMITED PATENT' and with substantial sprung locking-jaws at breech, adjustable trigger, chequered semi-pistol grip walnut butt-stock with iron heel-plate (small crack at hand, lower guard tang fractured), the left hand side of butt stamped with 'KYNOCH LIMITED, BIRMINGHAM, PATENT' in a roundel and the right side with a depiction of a 'swift' (see notes below), moulded iron cocking link and no provision for fore-end, strong traces of finish remaining, 42 1/2in. overall, weight approx. 7lbs

Provenance: The Kynoch Swift is a hard air-rifle to obtain. With a production run believed less than a thousand pieces, it quickly found it couldn't compete economically with the Lincoln Jefferies & BSA under-levers. At the time of production, break barrel air-rifles had a reputation for poor quality construction leading to inefficient barrel lock-up. George Hookham and Edward Jones (believed Kynoch employees) set about to overturn this by completely over engineering the locking jaws. The end result certainly worked, but the slight gain in loading speed was soon overlooked by the economics and generally superior marketing of its under-lever rivals.
As an aside, the trademarks register artist seems very confused by Swifts and Swallows although the birds do not even belong to the same family! The registration entry actually says the trademark represents a Swallow rather than a Swift. In 1905, a linen thread making merchant used a similar ‘Swift' trademark and it is possibly this that prevented Kynoch using the name Swift in the register



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Estimate £500-700

Pre-1939




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