A Belgian lady contacted me through Dave with questions about her Grandfather's Reilly. The pictures she sent were not the best but I summarized what it was about:
-- 12 ga SxS Shotgun
-- EM Reilly & Co., New Oxford Street, London & rue Scribe Paris; Made at 16, New Oxford Street.
-- SN 25044 - dated to May 1883.
-- Originally proofed for Black Powder in London; reproofed for Nitro in London after 1904
-- A&D Box Lock patent use #2189.
-- Action made by Joseph Brazier Ashes.
-- highly engraved in English rose & scroll
-- Westley Richards style top lever and doll's head
-- Damascus barrel in annular crolle pattern. Extractors
-- Unusual stock with half pistol grip (not seen on Reilly 12 bore shotguns) and the gun has sling swivels.. . .both very much in continental/French style.
Reilly advertised Brazier locks in the 1862 London exposition at something like £5 extra but I've never actually seen a Reilly with Brazier locks or actions. Given the amount of engraving, the Brazier Ashes action, the fine barrel, this looks like a custom best gun. The Belgian lady said it was the property of an English lord who sold to her grandfather about 1928. I know there is some controversy over whether a box lock can be a best gun but this one just might make the grade.
Would appreciate comments from anyone who is familiar with Joseph Brazier Ashes actions in the 1880's. Brazier must have been licensed to make it by Westley-Richards