Auction house is aiming for country house collectables

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A robust 19th century pinfire shotgun from Vienna is not something you would normally see in a workplace - but then life is never ordinary, nor typical at Hansons, writes Charles Hanson.

Sporting guns are an important part of Hansons’ regular Country Pursuits Auctions, the next one being on May 21.

So, it was no surprise to find Hansons’ gun expert Adrian Stevenson’ examining a double-barrelled shotgun, etched with nearly 200 years of character.

Adrian had his first gun licence at the age of 18 and has built up his impressive knowledge over several decades.

He assesses the array of antique sporting guns that come into the saleroom. They are collectors’ pieces and,
at times, sought
after by re-enactment societies. Many of you will have witnessed displays by re-enactors. For example, every year they recreate the 1745 battle fought by Bonnie Prince Charlie’s army at Swarkestone Bridge, near Derby.

The gun Adrian was cataloguing was made by Albert Staehle in Vienna in the 1800s. The stock barrel is made of walnut and the gun features engraved decoration of a fox and birds. This indicates that it was made for hunting.

Pinfire guns like this would have been expensive to purchase in their heyday.

This particular example has a guide price of £180-£220 which makes it affordable for anyone considering starting out as a collector.

We live in an area awash with farms and rural communities and our equestrian community is thriving. Derbyshire celebrates this heritage at events such as Ashbourne Show and Chatsworth Country Fair. I like to honour this heritage though our Country Pursuits Auction.

Entries are invited for Hansons’ Sporting Guns and Country Pursuits Auction until May 3. Email astevenson@hansonsauctioneers.co.uk to arrange a private viewing. Alternatively, free valuations of sporting guns and hunting and shooting collectables are held at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, the next one being on May 17, 10am-4pm. To find out further information, call 01283 733988.