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The Dickson Centenary Guns

July 2024
The Dickson Centenary Guns

In the limited world of Round-Actions

it does not get more unique and rarer than this

In 1938, John Dickson & Son would celebrate 100 years of gun making in Edinburgh, and although the business was established in 1820, it was not until 1838 that John Dickson & Son would open their flagship store at 63 Princes Street. Here guns were meticulously crafted in the back workshop and where thousands of customers had been greeted by a succession of John Dickson's in the front shop, welcomed by the famous lion donated from Roualeyn Gordon-Cumming's hunting exploits in Africa. One famous customer would have know this premises very well - Charles Gordon having visited the shop over and over, to take delivery of the 231 guns, rifles & pistols that he had ordered. 

To celebrate this occasion, five commemorative lightweight Round-Actions were commissioned in 1936 and being so special, they would be engraved by the master engraver, Harry Kell. The guns would be engraved with the Panoramic view of Edinburgh, a scene that adorned the early Dickson 63 Princes Street card case labels, where Dickson's shop could clearly be seen in the lower right hand corner of the label. With Dickson's temporary move to Hanover Street this panoramic card label was again introduced for gun cases in the 1930's but with the Princes Street address replaced with 'Shooting and Estate Agents'.

The first pair of the five guns, delivered in July 1937

The second pair of the five guns, delivered in July 1937

The five guns consisted of one single gun, followed by two pairs, all delivered in July 1937. The scenes engraved on each gun on each side were identical but Kell choose to engrave the single gun and first pair with a surrounding pattern of heavy flowing acanthus scroll, which was what Kell was renowned for. The second pair had a surrounding pattern of fine-scroll to the scenes. The two pairs have been noted in circulation in the last 40 years but the single gun has not been seen for most of its life, finally surfacing in 2023.

John Dickson & Son are very pleased to now offer this single gun for sale here