No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
THE GEOFFREY BOOTHROYD COLLECTION
Christie's are very pleased to present Geoffrey Boothroyd's fascinating collection of sporting guns and rifles for sale. Geoffrey is one of the greatest contemporary authorities on the history and development of the sporting gun and with other eminent authorities such as Christopher Brunker, David Baker an Ian Crudgington, has kept alive the spirit of academic enquiry into British gun manufacture for many years. His regular column in Shooting Times has become a continuing classic. As all avid readers of Shooting Times will know, Geoffrey Boothroyd was appointed armourer to James Bond by the author Ian Fleming and, in Geoffrey's own words 'I had been a keen reader of the Bond books. I had been critical of the guns used by Bond in these books and wrote to the author with some comments on how the guns could be improved. To my great delight, I received a charming response from Fleming. As a result of my input on guns, I was appointed armourer to Bond, as Major Boothroyd'. Christie's sold a group of Geoffrey's own handguns in September 1998, one of which, a Walther .22 'PPK' No. 113158, he had previously lent to Ian Fleming. Fleming was so taken with the weapon that he adopted it as Bond's trademark. Another pistol, a modified Smith & Wesson .38/200 'Military & Police Model K-200' was lent to Fleming at the same time as the PPK and it became the source of inspiration for the cover of 'From Russia With Love'. The pistols made £5,000 and £1,300 respectively -vastly more than their estimates of £300-500 and £300-600.
The Boothroyd association was, obviously, of major significance in this very successful sale and the same will be true of the guns and rifles to be sold in September. His collection is not large, but it contains some of the very finest examples of their respective types. It is an eclectic grouping of best guns and seems to have been assembled not so much as a progression or development of specific types but as a variety or illustration of type. One of the very best rifles in the group is an exceptional John Dickson .500 (3in. Black Powder Express) double-barrelled hammer rifle, No. 4612 (Lot 15). This rifle was completed on 7th. October 1893 as a 'best double' with 28in. barrels and an entirely unchequered stock and forend. The finish of the woodwork is a very high varnish and the rifle remains in virtually unused condition with its full colour-hardened finish. This rifle has a rather unusual specification and it was of no surprize to find that it had been built for one of the greatest collectors of Dickson's best production in the late nineteenth century - the famous eccentric, Charles Gordon. Gordon was arguably Dickson's most important customer in this period and he ordered a very large number of pieces from Edinburgh's best maker. One of the distinguishing features of the orders is that they are very largely for retrospective types - at the time of the perfection of the breechloading gun and rifle, Gordon was ordering flintlock and percussion guns. As with No. 4612, he also had a major interest in breech-loading guns but the one great uniting factor for all the Gordon guns that appear on the market - and these are very few- is that they have never, usually, been used. Gordon's interest in Dickson guns was probably an obsession and it is believed that, when he died in the early years of the last century, a great number of pieces were still with the maker. It is also quite probable that he owed Dickson's a very large sum of money.
One of the very best groupings in the Boothroyd collection is a selection of best quality percussion rifles. Three in particular, a Whitworth .451 single-barrelled target rifle (Lot 11), an Alexander Henry .451 single-barrelled target rifle (Lot 10), and a J.Purdey double-barrelled 14-bore sporting rifle (Lot 12), are exceptional in having virtually all of their original finish. In gun collecting terms they are quite simply among the very best a buyer is likely to find and they will go on for many years as beautiful, eminently usable examples of the very best of nineteenth century British rifle production.