Holland & Holland is one of the world’s great shotgun makers, with offices in London, England, since 1835. New H&H sidelock shotguns are only made by special order, with current prices of more than $100,000. The shotgun pictured here is a vintage H&H that has seen decades of careful use. It’s a fairly basic gun with little engraving, and the metal finish is mostly gone. The extended stock also reduces value, but I’d still expect this gun to fetch at least $15,000 at a Canadian auction.
The shooter holding the gun is my friend, outdoor writer Wayne Van Zwoll, with whom I’ve shared hunting camps in Europe, Africa and the U.S. In 2013, we decided we owed our wives a vacation in return for their patience with our hunting trips, so we travelled to Scotland and saw castles, lakes and all the tourist sites. Wayne and I figured we’d also earned a little treat, so we arranged to hunt red grouse on a Scottish estate on the “Glorious Twelfth,” the centuries-old name for the August 12 grouse opener. We were each offered a gun, and since Wayne is four inches taller than me at six-foot-three, he got the H&H with its long stock. I had to “make do” with a Purdey.