Collectors from all over the world are set to descend on London for Holt's Auctioneers' sale of fine modern and antique guns this Thursday 15 September

Holt’s Auctioneers hold their next sale of fine modern and antique guns this Thursday 15 September. The third of their quarterly main auctions of the year, there are more than 700 lots available. These include shotguns, rifles, edged weapons and associated sporting ephemera. Here are the lots we’ll be watching.

For guns that aren’t just sporting weapons but works of art, read the 10 most expensive guns in the world.


Lot 1717 is a 12-bore boxlock ejector shotgun sold by top London gunmaker William Evans in 1959. It was ordered by highly esteemed English actor Sir Alec Guinness for his son Matthew. Sir Alec Guinness featured in several of the Ealing Comedies. He is known for his six collaborations with David Lean, including Col. Nicholson in The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor.

“It always adds a dash of added interest when we have a gun through with a link to the world of arts,” says Chris Beaumont. “To see the records listing one of our greatest ever actors of stage and screen is a thrill – and all the more charming to see it relating to a gift from father to son.”

Comes in its canvas and leather case with William Evans trade label. Estimate £1,000-£1,500.


Lot 1300 is a rare pair of 16-bore single-trigger over-and-under sidelock ejector shotguns made by London gunmaker J. Woodward & Sons in 1913, each with two sets of barrels.

Holt's. Pair

Pair of rare 16-bore shotguns made by J. Woodward & Sons.

Often known as the “gunmaker’s gunmaker”, James Woodward was in business until it was acquired by James Purdey & Son in 1948. Nicholas Holt said: “These guns are only one of five pairs of 16-bores ever built. They have only come up on the market because sadly the owner has died. I shot with him at Sandringham many times and they never let him down.”

The shotguns come in their re-lined brass-cornered oak and leather case (with original serial numbered striker pots) and extra barrels in their original leather barrel case. Estimate £20,000-£30,000.


Lot 1084 is a unique gold, pearl and diamond necklace in the form of a .223 cartridge. Chris Beaumont said : “This has to be one of the most unusual items we’ve had through our auction room for a long time. It is nothing less than we would expect from one of our most imaginative gunmakers – Giles Whittome.”

The necklace has an 18 carat chain, the primer is a faceted diamond and it comes in a gold cartridge case. Estimate £800-£1,200.