Over a century ago, such guns were promoted by the company as 'Modèle de Luxe' featuring the 'highest quality and finish'. These guns compared very easily and often surpassed in both quality and price the very best guns being built in London at the time. The general demise of the gun trade post World War Two, combined with the worldwide financial ravages of war saw the rapid decline in the ordering of such guns from the Westley Richards books.
Westley Richards 1912 catalogue describing the 'Modèle de Luxe' droplock shotgun.
Fast forward to the 1990's and from the USA came a renewed interest in the British gun trade signalling what would become a renaissance in the hand made gun and the craftsmanship associated with it. A modern age of collectors started to push the gunmakers for models and a quality of product not built since the war.
At the same time a new generation of engravers were coming to the scene capable of executing some extraordinary designs. Thus saw the re-birth of high art guns and the first of a new generation of Westley Richards 'Modèle de Luxe' and 'Modèle de Grande Luxe' guns and rifles. Though originally few in number, recent years have seen a big shift in the production of these very individual guns and rifles.
The gun shown here is a 20g droplock featuring elaborate etched back scroll with carved fences and a Setter flushing two Bobwhite quail. Inlaid in gold the Setter is integrated within the scroll design so adding a realistic feel of being stood within the cover.
Neil McVeigh on January 19, 2018 at 4:51 am
Fantastic work Trigger.Its what we have come to expect from WR!
Gregg on January 19, 2018 at 8:45 am
Beautiful work. Really incredible.
But won't the gold inlays wear away once the gun is used?
My left hand is always grabs, rubs & touches the bottom of my guns' actions when I hunt and shoot with them.
And how well will the rest of the engraving stand up to a couple season of sweat, dust, and the kind of grime we all encounter in the field?
Thanks for sharing.
Trigger on January 19, 2018 at 10:51 am
Many thanks. The engraving in general will 'stand up' very well as the action goes through a hardening process which creates a surface toughness to the major metal parts. We have vintage guns and rifles here that have done a good 100 plus years of service without the hardened engraving getting any serious wear. The gold would have to take a lot of serious use to really suffer.
Jeff Seim on January 22, 2018 at 3:14 pm
Absolutely fabulous! I really like how the dog and birds are integrated into the engraving. Very finely executed.
WR 20b (Oct. 2017, Explora)
Peter Buckley. on January 23, 2018 at 6:49 am
Yet another beautiful example of work from the "Westley Richards" workshops, everyone so individual! This type of engraving as you say is definitely becoming more popular, along with the scroll back action it just seems to be the perfect marriage. Can't wait to view the finished gun, with I hope a wonderful fitted case!
Trigger if the prices have remained the same as per the advertisement at 'New Bond Street'
for the "Model De Luxe" could I order a pair along with the special case de luxe, at 170 Guineas plus the price of the case ( net cash) I don't think I'm being to extravagant, do you! ( in your dreams did I hear you say).
Best regards. Peter.