Henry Atkin 12 gauge spring opening sidelock made for Gough Thomas

Posted on 20th September 2016

Image of the Henry Atkin gun, owned by Goath Thomas

We were very fortunate to have the shotgun, Henry Atkin #3510 come through the workshop recently for servicing and minor alterations. This shotgun was made for the famed shooting author G.T Garwood more commonly known as Gough Thomas. Based on the ‘Beesley’ self-opening mechanism and engraved by Harry Kell the gun is still in great original condition. We hope to see it again very soon.

Gough Thomas’s 12-bore Henry Atkin Lightweight sidelock ejector shotgun, No 3510, fitted with 27-inch chopper lump barrels and a game rib, weighed 6 pounds, 2 ½ ounces. The gun was based on the Purdey-type Atkin spring-opener action, which remained very similar to the original Purdey (Beesley) action, but modified ejector work. The actioner was Bill Mealey, and Harry Kell engraved the gun with deeply chased acanthus leaf scrollwork on a matte ground. The 14 3/8-inch stock was fitted by Aurther Hodges, who also finished the gun, which was regulated with 33 grams of E/C/ powder and 1 1/16 ounces of shot. The sale price quoted was £150 (possibly negotiable) plus purchase tax. The gun was fitted into a brass-mounted leather case and was ready for delivery in September 1948. Gough Thomas later confirmed that both the fit and the balance of the gun were perfect.

Godfrey Thomas Garwood, or ‘Gough Thomas,’ was born on 2nd August 1899 and died in Devon in 1987. Later that year, his Henry Atkin, gun No.3510 was put into Sotheby’s auction and realized a record figure. In September 1999, Gough Thomas’s Atkin gun was sent to Christie’s to be auctioned, at which time the estimated bid price was £10,000 to £15,000; the gun however, was subsequently withdrawn. It was put up for auction again at Christie’s in May 2000, with an estimated bid price of between £8,000 and £12,000. The actual sale price is believed to have been £9,400.

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