F.T Baker 12 Bore

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Vernon William Ballance 736
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2021 11:26 pm

F.T Baker 12 Bore

Post by Vernon William Ballance 736 »

What Ho Chaps and Chapess's,
A year ago I was blessed vis this site with a date of manufacture of an EJ Churchill Utility I had just come by.
Then this week my eye was attracted to what I am told by the current owner, is an F.T.Baker 12 bore serial number 7901.

Questions and requests for details have not been too successful and as the gun is in the other island, ( I'm in New Zealand) not readily available for viewing. However, as I suspect E.J. would have been managing the Baker business when #7901 was made, a link of interest was created and I found that as well as having the serial number on the barrel, it also had the address, 29 Glasshouse Street, Piccadilly Circus and another number 68741.
To me, the address indicates the gun to be post 1899 but pre the bankruptcy in 1915...unless the owner has omitted to say that it is E T Baker Limited on the barrel.

Some questions if any kind person can assist with.
1..As it was Thomas Kerslake Baker, F.t's father who obtained the royal business, are there any clues about maintaining the quality required for that following the death of Thomas Kerslake and the son F.T taking over.
3.. I have no indication of any name .model of the gun and I wonder if all of Baker's guns were of the same quality or were "Trade" guns also produced?
4... Any ideas about the 68741 number on the barrel? The gun case was for only one gun and the number was not sequential to the gun's serial # 7901, so it doesn't seem to be the result of a separated pair.
3.. Finally, with the date made range being 1899 to 1915, is there any way of narrowing that?

Any opinions etc most welcome.
PS.....Oh and for the site mods / owners, the reference in Thomas Kerslake Baker's profile to EJ Churchill leaving Baker's in 1991 to start his own business could probably stand a correction. ;)
It was a confusion of ideas between him and one of the lions he was hunting in Kenya that had caused A. B. Spottsworth to make the obituary column. He thought the lion was dead, and the lion thought it wasn't.
Vernon William Ballance 736
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2021 11:26 pm

Re: F.T Baker 12 Bore

Post by Vernon William Ballance 736 »

"Bother, " said Pooh.

This "Stupid Boy" failed to search the archived forums. DUH. :oops:

Apologies as a search produced a similar post re a date for a Baker serial # 7927, only 26 away from mine,

https://tinyurl.com/4fja77vp

SO I have an answer to my last question .. and it seems I need to be more careful when numbering questions...SIGH. Been a bad day.
It was a confusion of ideas between him and one of the lions he was hunting in Kenya that had caused A. B. Spottsworth to make the obituary column. He thought the lion was dead, and the lion thought it wasn't.
John 39
Posts: 390
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 5:30 pm

Re: F.T Baker 12 Bore

Post by John 39 »

Hi Vernon,

T K Baker undoubtedly produced a line of quality guns so no surprise that he got a Royal Appointment, but I have not seen any evidence that his son F T Baker produced high quality guns. The presence of another serial number on this gun is not good news as it suggests that the gun was bought in by F T Baker from a Birmingham trade maker which would have been Webley & Scott or the Midland Gun Co whose serial numbers around the turn of the century more or less match this second serial number.

Sorry, no way of narrowing the date range.

Thanks for pointing out the 1991 error, I have corrected it to 1891.
Vernon William Ballance 736
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2021 11:26 pm

Re: F.T Baker 12 Bore

Post by Vernon William Ballance 736 »

My thanks for your reply.
Curiously, this gun comes bundled with a second set of barrels made by the Colonial Ammunition Company, Auckland, here in New Zealand. An image of both with the CAC in place is appended.

I am assured that both sets are in excellent condition so the puzzlement is as to why a second set. Until they arrive my conjecture is that the Auckland set will have 2 3/4" chambers.

At the very least, it is providing some quirks and as I paid only a "trade gun" price, no stress and time may produce some more puzzlements.
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It was a confusion of ideas between him and one of the lions he was hunting in Kenya that had caused A. B. Spottsworth to make the obituary column. He thought the lion was dead, and the lion thought it wasn't.
Vernon William Ballance 736
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2021 11:26 pm

Re: F.T Baker 12 Bore

Post by Vernon William Ballance 736 »

Having lodged two applications with Constable Plod seeking his approval to purchase the F T Baker, (Plod had failed to action the first application, just as he also failed to do with the first purchase application for another gun last year) I finally received the gun along with a second set of barrels, all being 30 inches.

One barrel, the original, I suspect is stamped “F T Baker, 29 Glasshouse St, Picadilly Circus London W.”
The other barrel, is stamped, “Colonial Ammunition Co, N. Z. Ltd” along with, “Auckland”

As there was no provision for two sets of barrels in the wooden gun case, I had suspected that an earlier owner had arranged for the second set with 2 ¾ inch chambers to be made as the original set had a 2 ½ inch chamber. However that suspicion “Poofed” after measuring the second set of chambers and finding that they were also 2 ½ inch.

Neither set appear to be damaged or having any wear of concern which could justify a replacement set.

The barrel’s images show the original set has a collection of stampings, nitro proofed to 1 ¼ shot etc whilst the Auckland sets only other stampings are, “7901,” “choke,” and a crown above an illegible impression. “7901” is also stamped on the original set of barrels and the lock.

I proffer a new suspicion for opinions; the second set is for black powder?

Secondly, I appreciate John’s reply and his suggestion, "......The presence of another serial number on this gun is not good news as it suggests that the gun was bought in by F T Baker..."

This I accept and stress that I am NOT disagreeing , just wondering how far F.T. would go in "flossying up" a ":Bought in " gun. Just seeking knowledge. I append some images of the gun .
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It was a confusion of ideas between him and one of the lions he was hunting in Kenya that had caused A. B. Spottsworth to make the obituary column. He thought the lion was dead, and the lion thought it wasn't.
Vernon William Ballance 736
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2021 11:26 pm

Re: F.T Baker 12 Bore

Post by Vernon William Ballance 736 »

more
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It was a confusion of ideas between him and one of the lions he was hunting in Kenya that had caused A. B. Spottsworth to make the obituary column. He thought the lion was dead, and the lion thought it wasn't.
Vernon William Ballance 736
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2021 11:26 pm

Re: F.T Baker 12 Bore

Post by Vernon William Ballance 736 »

more
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It was a confusion of ideas between him and one of the lions he was hunting in Kenya that had caused A. B. Spottsworth to make the obituary column. He thought the lion was dead, and the lion thought it wasn't.
Alan David 60
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:29 pm

Re: F.T Baker 12 Bore

Post by Alan David 60 »

Personally, I think the engraving is stunning. What a well made gun.

Regards

AlanD
Sydney
John 39
Posts: 390
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 5:30 pm

Re: F.T Baker 12 Bore

Post by John 39 »

You are right, exceptional engraving. Why two sets of barrels both with choke and same chambering I don't know! May be 1st set were damaged and then repaired very well !
Vernon William Ballance 736
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2021 11:26 pm

Re: F.T Baker 12 Bore

Post by Vernon William Ballance 736 »

My thanks for your comments Chaps.
I have tracked the provenance as far back as I can but had to halt at the grave, so the "two barrels' will remain for ever a mystery.
As she came to me for a trade gun price I suspect that I can force myself to live with the mystery :) and with her 30 inch barrels, she will be a useful companion for my 25 inch E J Churchill. She won't shame me, rather I fear that I will embarrass them. :oops:
It was a confusion of ideas between him and one of the lions he was hunting in Kenya that had caused A. B. Spottsworth to make the obituary column. He thought the lion was dead, and the lion thought it wasn't.
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