“The Ultimate Quail Gun” as commissioned in the late 1980s by Quail Unlimited, crafted by the famed John (Jack) Rowe and delicately engraved by Guiseppe Forte. A lively little 28 gauge worthy of the moniker, she wears 26-inch barrels with a single brass bead heading a swamped rib, M/F fixed chokes and ejectors. The action (Birmingham proofed) is a boxlock with two sets of side plates and a mechanical safety. Barrels (marked “Made In England” on the forend attachment lug) are finished in polished blue while the action, plate sets, forend furniture, opening lever, safety, tang and the scalloped heel/toe clips are a complimentary combination of color case and blue. All the screws are timed. Stocked from a perfectly-matched walnut blank set showcasing superb and consistent figure, the splinter as well as the straight butt wear 26 lines-per-inch wrap checkering with Mullered borders and additionally feature a checkered butt along with a deep hand-rubbed oil finish. ENGRAVING: The action, forend furniture, opening lever, guard, tangs and clips showcase Forte’s spectacular bordered rose and scroll to virtually full coverage. PRIMARY SIDEPLATES: The left plate is dressed with a brace of quail in flight, the right a flushing grouse and a rising woodcock graces the guard – each bird formed from gold. AUXILIARY SIDEPLATES: Numbered to the gun and bearing the initials “GF”, this set presents detailed rose bouquets surrounded by scroll and accenting borders. MARKINGS: “John F. Rowe Gunmaker No. 2” rides the rib while “Eng. By – Guiseppe Forte” hides on the underrib beneath the splinter. The initial plate set in the toe line remains blank. DIMENSIONS: Weight is just 5.8 pounds. Length-of-pull is 15.0 inches, drops are 1.5 and 2.5 inches, and cast off is approximately .25-inch. CONDITION: Seldom fired if at all, condition is at least 99 percent with minor indications of handling and storage impressions. HUEY CASE: Numbered “391”, the oak and leather masterpiece features a three-inch brass oval top plate engraved with a pair of quail rising from cover. The brass oiler is also engraved with a superb bordered rose. Both top plate and bottle are unsigned. Also included are two ebony-handled turnscrews, an ebony and brass chamber brush, brass snaps, two-piece ebony and brass cleaning rod, an extra set of sideplate screws with engraved heads and two keys. The case remains in very good condition, with some external wear and a bit of internal loosening (fabric points and cleaning rod retaining bar). CASE LABEL: The makers label on the upper lid reads “Quail Unlimited, The Ultimate Quail Gun, John F. Rowe – Gunmaker and Guiseppe Forte – Engraver”. The price is firm and layaway is available. Partial trade for a sub-gauge double will be considered. $20,000 plus shipping.
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