Antique guns help sporting auction go with a bang

A PAIR of shotguns ensured a sale of antiques on a sporting theme went with a bang.

The 16 bore shotguns by London’s oldest continuous gunsmiths, Cogswell & Harrison, sold for £4,000 at Moore Allen & Innocent's Sporting Sale in Cirencester on Friday, February 2.

The guns were numbered 1 and 2 with consecutive serial numbers: 44847 and 44848, and were housed in a fitted motor case bearing the Cogswell & Harrison to the inside of the lid.

The were the highlight of not just the firearms section, but of the entire sale, where they achieved the top price of the day.

In the taxidermy section, a cast of a 50½lb salmon, caught by Peter Louden on the River Annan Length, achieved the top price, with a winning bid of £780.

The cast was one of two made by George Wright for the family of Mr Louden, manager of Hardy Brothers' Edinburgh fishing tackle shop, who was drowned in the River Earn near Crieff in the 1930s while reeling in a large fish.

Also from Scotland – Carn nan Gabhar, the highest and remotest summit of Beinn a'Ghlo, to be precise – a circa 1909 Golden Eagle stuffed and mounted in naturalistic setting by taxidermists MacPhearson, saw bidding soar to £600.

An iron bear trap, measuring more than a metre across, snared a winning bid of £580, while a stuffed and mounted brown trout in a bow fronted case, landed by A M Cummings on the Upper Thames on 15 June 1871 weighing 10lb 3oz, and prepared by G Little & Co London, made £420.

A stuffed and mounted boar's head on Black Forest type carved oak branch and leaf decorated mount attracted a winning bid of £380, as did stuffed and mounted perch, and a pair of brown trout in a bow-fronted case, caught in 1914.

Elsewhere in the sale, memorabilia collected by a television researcher who rubbed shoulders with the biggest sporting names of the 1980s achieved a total of £575.

Sold over five lots, the star of the collection was an album of photographs and postcards signed by guests on the TV quiz Question of Sport, including David Vine, David Gower, Barry Sheen, Willie Carson, Bill Beaumont, David Coleman, Barry McGuigan, Daley Thompson, Emlyn Hughes, and Suzanne Dando, along with the autographs of stars from the televised broadcasts of the World Snooker Championships including Alex Higgins, Steve Davis, and Terry Griffiths. The lot achieved £320.

And the sleeper of the sale was a Victorian club lawn tennis racquet press with tightening wheel, carved from mahogany and designed to stop up to 12 wooden racquets from bowing, together with a set of four vintage wooden racquets, which exceeded the £100 to £150 estimate to sell for £720.

For more information about selling sporting memorabilia at auction, visit