This doesn't have to do with much of anything except a sort of quest and how that turned into history and a story.
When in 2015 I finally found my first SxS an EM Reilly hammer-gun SN 34723
, later established as the last extant gun made at 16 New Oxford Street spring 1897, I looked for a case. Jan 2016 bought one from UK ebay, persuading the seller to ship it to USA. It was a little rough but perfect for the gun with an 16 New Oxford street outlier label that had the date 1886 and a Serial number 26584
. (The seller said the case was found in a recycle center in Bridgport, Dorset).
(Note details of the label - the three kings at the top Spain, Portugal, Netherlands. I dated 26584
as made in 1884. The label has rue Scribe, which was discontinued in August 1885. The gun apparently wasn't sold until 1886 per the handwriting on the label; see the Reilly line for an explanation of Reilly manufacturing at this time).
Last Spring a UK gentleman (a true gentleman of the old-school aka "Papeman" on this board) wrote that he actually owned 26584
. After a minimum of contemplation (and over his objections) I sent the case to him and asked him to distribute £100 to poor people out of work because of the virus in UK. Here is his gun with the case and he did send notice every time he gave away £20...The gun is located in North Hertfordshire.
That left me without a case for 34723
. Then this case came up two weeks ago on ebay UK. I bought it and it just arrived. The label is for 277 Oxford Street address in a format used from summer 1885 to May/June 1897. I have a 16 bore side lever made in 1886 at 277 Oxford Street but with the right-side side-lever it's an awkward fit (and besides it's a pair) - but the 12 bore hammer gun (even though made at 16 New Oxford Street) fits perfectly (note the hollowed out area on the chamber end of the barrel slot, obviously jury-rigged for a doll's head which fits perfectly with the 16 bore whitworth barrel doll's head).
Ho hum so far...I don't want to "restore" the case, just have handle, straps and locks put back on and the oak rib on the bottom side of the top resolidified. The guns are old, the case is old, I'm sort oldish (according to Diggory) so why do plastic surgery? I'm talking to Kevin McCormack (close by) to see what he could do (he does leather, not wood).
But here is the interesting part. On the top of the case is in faint letters the name "I.M. Bonham-Carter
I believe this is likely to be Air Commodore Ian Malcolm Bonham-Carter. He was born in 1882. The Reilly labels changed in 1897, when he was 15, but, the gun could have been bought for him or by his father and his name added later. Cases and labels are always fascinating...and I don't plan to change it.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Bonham-Carter