antique shotgun Edward Perry London

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Colin sanger 494
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:32 pm

antique shotgun Edward Perry London

Post by Colin sanger 494 » Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:15 pm

I am very fortunate to own a fine mid nineteenth double barrel damascus twist 12 gauge shotgun with best gun quality engraving on the hardware and dogs head hammers and first rate woodwork with inletting of the hardware. Browned barrels with inlaid gold bands. The gun is in excellent condition as one of the hammers was lost early in the guns life and it has been hanging on the wall since. I have recently had a replacement hammer made by a very talented but odd local gunsmith ( I am resident in Fort Lauderdale Florida). When I left the gun with him in October I explained that I had found no record of this gun maker( Edwrd Perry London..engraved on the lock). Six weeks later when I collected the gun he told me that as ATF registered he had access to search engines that I did not. He was specific with the following.... edward perry was a second generation london gunmaker who made 20 shotguns between 1861 and 1875, each best gun standard with an increasing number of gold bands in the barrels as years passed and the last few guns had gold filagree in the barrels. Some surviving guns are held in private collections in England and the site had pictures of these guns. !! You can understand my feelings at this news. I immediately renewed my research of this gun maker and to my surprise..nothing! websites, books, present day gun maker sources in the U.K... no records that can confirm this information. I have found a number of Perrys but they dont match. When I checked with my gunmaker he told me that the site he had viewed had been closed down ! Hmm... Can any one help with this quest for information? regards, Colin Sanger, Florida.
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John 39
Posts: 265
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 5:30 pm

Re: antique shotgun Edward Perry London

Post by John 39 » Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:41 am

Edward Perry is not a name we know, and we have never heard of anyone collecting his guns. No Edward Perry has ever been recorded in any of the historical gun books or street directories, and as regards his father no Perry in London was ever a gun maker. We have searched for all the Perrys in London in the censuses but none appears as a gun maker. We have searched for him in the German Stockel directory and he is not listed there either. There are, of course, several Perry gun makers in Birmingham and in the USA but no Edwards or any other name that could fit.

The fact that your local gunsmith is very talented, but also odd is amusing! I'd love to know what you mean by "odd"? What is an ATF registered gunsmith and how does he get access to search engines that I (and everybody else) does not? I can't help doubting the info he has provided because we cannot verify it - and this is unusual.

The gun is very nice and the engraving superb. The gold bands are reminiscent of Manton and the like. Maybe Edward (and his father) were employees of a "Best" London gunmaker, such as Manton, who made a few guns under his own name (using London outworkers) in his own time or after retirement. This happened quite a lot.

Colin sanger 494
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:32 pm

Re: antique shotgun Edward Perry London

Post by Colin sanger 494 » Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:40 am

Thank you John 39 for your response and very logical suggestions concerning the Edwrd Perry Gun. Regarding my gun maker the ATF perhaps is not quite accurate, I know that he is fully licensed to work on all guns for Alcohol, Tobacco and firearms for the the police, FBI and their like ( and does so) so that was my way of describing his status. I am also arriving at the fact that he has gone off of the rails in the last part of his life ( he is seriously ill) and that his imagination has run rampart. On a slightly different, my research on the perry gun brought to light another perry gun up for sale on an american site dated 1810. I am including my down loaded pics of the advert and I would appreciate your input on these,
Regards, Colin Sanger.
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John 39
Posts: 265
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 5:30 pm

Re: antique shotgun Edward Perry London

Post by John 39 » Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:12 am

This extra info is very interesting. This 1810 dated Edward Perry gun is a flintlock whereas your gun has percussion locks using what looks like Smith "Imperial" caps.

On 7 August 1830 Samuel Smith (son of William) patented a percussion cap and nipple (No. 5978). This cap was larger than normal and the hammer had interchangeable hammer noses to fit different sizes of nipple which were short and flat, the intention being to place the primer close to the powder charge. Samuel claimed the invention made it "impossible to clog or miss-fire".

In spite of the popularity of Imperial Caps, Samuel (son of Samuel and grandson of William) and his brother Charles made flintlock guns long after other gun makers had stopped producing them.

If I'm correct the Imperial Caps suggest a date for your gun soon after 1830, perhaps up to about 1840, but this hardly fits with the date of 1810 and the info you have of 20 guns made between 1861 and 1875.

I'm going to investigate this a little further.

John 39
Posts: 265
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 5:30 pm

Re: antique shotgun Edward Perry London

Post by John 39 » Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:16 am

I have tried to trace the Smith family in the censuses and discovered I'd tried to trace them before. William was too early to be recorded, and the first Samuel seems to have been recorded only in the 1829 Post Office directory when he was at 64 Princes Street. I haven't found the second Samuel or Charles, needless to say there were hundreds if not thousands of Smiths in London - and everywhere else !

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