EX W. KEITH NEAL: SIKES (sic), SHEFFIELD
A FINE 28-BORE SINGLE-BARRELLED SPORTING-GUN, no visible serial number,
circa 1775, with rebrowned octagonal to sixteen-sided to round 32 1/2in. barrel, the round stage with a further step, each separated by a carved and moulded band, applied silvered boat-shaped fore-sight, the top-flat at breech signed 'SHEFFIELD', gold set London proofs and 'T.S.' maker's stamp, engraved top-tang with shallow sighting groove, flat lock with carved bevel edge and stepped pointed tail, signed below the pan in script 'SIKES', plain pan, engraved swan-necked cock, walnut half-stock (possibly reduced from full) with inlet wire scrolls around the top-tang, dot and checkerboard chequering to the handrail wrist, iron furniture including border engraved skeletal 'horseshoe' heel-plate with acorn finial to the top-spur and separate escutcheon for the top-screw, finely carved and moulded delicate lower tang terminating in carved acorn finials and separate applied trigger guard bow also with carved acorn finial, engraved moulded iron fore-end nose-cap, two ramrod thimbles with rolled ends applied directly to the barrel and applied moulded iron ramrod tip support, complete with its horn tipped slender wood ramrod and retaining its W. Keith Neal collection medallion numbered 'G7'
Provenance: Previously sold Christies, 'The W. Keith Neal Collection', Lot 51, 9-10-2000.
This shotgun is almost certainly the work of Robert Sykes who traded in Sheffield between 1774-1786, often spelling his name 'Sikes'.
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