SOLD - Magnificent Kell engraved John Dickson & Son Round-Action, made in 1926
12 gauge, patent triggerplate action, side-by-side shotgun
This gun was originally delivered in 1926 to a distinguished family in Edinburgh, meaning one family ownership since new and Dickson's have been looking after the gun ever since.
The action is engraved with the fabulous Harry Kell pattern he executed for Round-Actions but with a couple of slight changes to make this gun unique amongst the ones he did, of which we estimate less than 35 Dickson guns with Kell engraving have been made.
The gun is fitted with a well-figured stock and finished with a leather-covered Silvers recoil pad. New 29in chopper lump barrels with 2 3/4in chambers have been fitted in 2022 to give the gun a new lease of life.
- Action: Dickson Patent Triggerplate with assisted-opener, top lever with Scott spindle and Purdey bolt, hidden third fastener and Anson push-rod fore-end.
- Gauge: 12
- Barrel Length : 29in
- Chambers: 2 3/4in (70mm)
- Proof: London Nitro Proof 2022
- Bores: 18.4 (R) & 18.4 (L)
- Walls: .035 (R) & .035 (L)
- Chokes : 1/4 & 1/2
- Ejectors: Yes, Dickson Patent Ejector System
- Stock dimensions: Drop at comb 1 1/2in, Drop at heel 2 1/16in, 15 1/8in at heel, 15in to centre, 15 3/8in at toe
- Cast ON: 1/8in
- Weight: 6lb 13oz
- Location: Dunkeld
Henry ‘Harry’ Albert Kell 1880 – 1958
Many names spring to mind when one thinks of the most famous, important or influential engravers to have worked in the English gun trade over the years and you could reel off a list as long as your arm, but one name which should always be near the top of that list, if not the top, is Henry ‘Harry’ Kell. He was a pioneer in game scene and animal engraving and pushed the boundaries of artistic, unusual and life like styles of engraving. For three quarters of a century the name Harry Kell, both father and son, was associated with the very best London gun making.
Considered to be possibly the most famous work Harry Kell did was three miniature guns that were presented to George V on his silver jubilee and of course the pair of Purdey guns he engraved for Queen Mary’s Doll House. He engraved for all the best London gun makers but most of his work was unsigned. His work inspired a new generation of engravers, most famously Ken Hunt, who was apprentice to Harry and was taken on by Purdey’s in 1950.
Harry Kell, born Henry Albert Kell in 1880 into a family of engravers served an apprenticeship under his father, Henry John Kell (1860 – 1929), also known as Harry. Henry learnt his trade under Thomas Sanders and worked for his engraving business, Thomas Sanders & Son, which he joined around 1875. Thomas Sanders employed a small team of engravers doing work for much of the London trade and established his engraving workshops, which were based in Soho at 13 Dean Street, in 1862, moving to 6 Greek Street in 1866 and just before the outbreak of the First World War, he moved to 142 Wardour Street where he remained until the business closed in 1919.
In 1919 Henry Kell, who was already a partner in the business, took it over and named it Henry Kell & Son. Henry kept the business at 142 Wardour Street for a few years until moving it to 38a Broad Street in 1921. The business remained there until 1937 when it was moved to 45 Broadwick Street (Broad Street renamed) where it saw out the Second World War and remained until 1957.
Harry Kell was apprenticed to his father around 1894 and took over the company when his father died in 1929. Harry changed the name of the business in 1952 to Henry Kell, but remained at 45 Broadwick Street until 1957 when failing eye sight and health forced him to move into the Purdey factory, he died a year later in 1958.