William Garden of Aberdeen, made in 1901
12 Gauge, A & D Non-Ejector, side-by-side shotgun
We are pleased to offer this clean example of a William Garden gun, a gun making business in Aberdeen that John Dickson acquired in 1968. Like many boxlock guns of its time, this gun was actually made by James Carr & Sons in Birmingham.
The gun is in good condition inside and out with border engraving and 'W. Garden' banner engraved on the sides of the action. Fitted with a well figured long stock and finished off with a Silvers type orange recoil pad.
In order to prepare the gun for sale we have given the gun a full service, strip and clean and the stock and fore-end wood has been sympathetically cleaned, re-oiled and the chequering cleaned out. The barrels have been re-browned and the furniture has been re-blacked, and all the pins re-blued.
This gun dates from 1901 and was made for a well known architect in Aberdeen,
- Action: Anson & Deeley, third bite, top lever with Scott spindle and Purdey bolt, slide safety and snap fore-end.
- Gauge: 12
- Barrel Material: Damascus
- Barrel Length : 30in
- Chambers: 2 1/2in
- Proof: London Nitro Proof in 1980 at .719
- Bores: .719 (R) & .725 (L)
- Walls: .0 (R) & .0 (L)
- Chokes : CYL (R) & 1/4 (L)
- Ejectors: No
- Stock dimensions: 1 11/16in drop at comb, 2 3/8in drop at heel, 15 3/8in at heel, 15 1/2in to centre, 15 7/8in at toe
- Cast Off: 3/8in
- Weight: 6lb 12oz
- Location: Dunkeld
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William Garden of Aberdeen
William Garden was born in 1845 in Aberdeen, one of five children to James Garden, a linen weaver, and Grace Corbett. By 1861 he was an apprentice gunsmith, perhaps with one of the established gunmakers in the Granite City, such as Charles Playfair or John Lyell.
By 1869, Garden had established his own business as a gunsmith and fishing tackle maker at 34 Summer Street, Aberdeen. In 1869, the business moved to 2 Belmont Street and then in 1872 just around the corner to Gardens most well known address, 122 1/2 Union Street, and only 100 yards from Charles Playfair’s shop at 142 Union Street. William Garden married Emma Julia Caldwell in 1874 and they went on to have five children. By 1881, the business was thriving with the employment of two men, two boys and two girls and by 1889 is reported to have had twelve people employed.
William died in 1906 and it is not clear who took over the business, perhaps one of his two sons, John Henry or Louis, who by this time were both gunmakers in the business. The business became a limited company in 1928 and by this time was a retailer of guns made in the Birmingham trade by the likes of G & S Holloway, Carr Bros., Arthur Howell and Bentley & Playfair.
In 1936 the firm moved to larger premises at 216 Union Street and then in 1955 they bought the business of Charles Playfair at 18 Union Terrace. The business closed in 1968, when it was sold to John Dickson & Son of Edinburgh, who amalgamated it into the business of Alex Martin, who Dickson’s had purchased in 1960. The Alex Martin shop at 35 Belmont street finally closed in 1985.
“William Garden, Gun Fishing Rod, Reel and Tackle maker 122 1/2 Union Street Aberdeen. This business has now been before the public since the year 1869, at which date it became established by the present proprietor. The premises consist of a handsome granite building, having a frontage of twenty-four feet, the interior covers an area of thirty by twenty feet and is fitted out in a superior style, the workshop occupying a position at the rear of the premises. This business as conducted by Mr. William Garden enjoys a first class, influential and wide spread connection, goods being forwarded to all parts of the United Kingdom and exported to India* and North America. Lovers of the sport may be very materially consulting their pleasure and interests by devoting a careful attention to the stock at all times by Mr. William Garden. Fishing rods, made of well seasoned and carefully selected wood and salmon and trout flies in great variety, or dressed to any pattern. Fishing tackle is a subject to which Mr. Garden has devoted very careful consideration. His celebrated “loch flies” are prepared from a special pattern. Mr. Garden employs a staff numbering twelve workmen. He takes the active persona superintendence of this important undertaking and his long practical experience renders Mr. Garden in a very valuable and exceptional friend”