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Early and rare John Dickson 1880 patent sidelever 16-bore which sold for £20,000 at the Holts auction.

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With the whole action mounted on the trigger plate, these distinctive Dickson guns are slim and sleek and very desirable.

Just how far their devotees are prepared to go was shown at Holts’ (25-20% buyer’s premium) auction in London on June 21, when this early and rare 1880 patent sidelever 16-bore sold for several times its estimate at £20,000.

It was not perfect, being cracked through the wrist of the stock, but this did not seem to deter the bidders.