John Dickson & Sons Cased Double Rifle
John Dickson & Sons Cased Double Rifle. A superb James Dixon & Sons cased double rifle with 12 Bore shotgun barrels. The set contains 24 bore double rifle barrels, numbered to the gun, and 12 bore shot gun barrels also numbered to the gun. The rifle barrels are 26 1/2″ long and sighted 60, 100, 150, 200 and 300. The shotgun barrels are 27″ long. The set contains virtually all of its original accessories with a Hawksley powder flask and a James Dixon shot flask. The bullet mould is also numbered to the gun and marked J D & S.
John Dickson was born in Canongate, Edinburgh in 1794, the son of John Dickson and Margaret Henderson.
In 1806, at the age of 12, he was apprenticed to James Wallace, the great gunmaker who had premises on the High Street in the ‘Old Town’. Wallace made guns of the highest quality and also on the Forsythe detonating principle and was appointed sole manufacturer of these for Scotland.
Along with Wallace’s contemporaries, Francis Innes and John Thompson [Gunmaker to His Majesty], young John Dickson was working under some of the great gun making innovators of their time.
The listings of Gunmakers for 1840 show John Dickson & Son at 60 Princes Street.
John (II) married in 1842 and had nine children. The two eldest boys, John (III) and Peter, were apprenticed to their father and both became Gunmakers.
In 1848 came the move to 63 Princes Street, perhaps the best known address for Dickson’s with the lion in the window.
It is rare to find a cased double rifle in this condition. All the accessories seem to be original other than the belted ball mould which I think may have been replaced.
Founder John Dickson was born in Edinburgh’s Canongate in 1794, and was apprenticed at the age of 12 to James Wallace, an Edinburgh gunmaker. Dickson completed his apprenticeship in 1813 and by 1840 was in business in his own right at 60 Princes Street.
In 1880 Dickson won a patent dispute for his trigger plate action, and in 1859 Dickson made the first pinfire breech loader under Brazier’s patent followed by guns on Westley Richards, Thomas Horsley and later Lancaster’s patents, ultimately arriving at the first of his own ‘Round Action’ design guns in 1880.
John’s son, John Jr, followed him into the family business. Later John Jr’s sons, John and Peter, would also take up ownership of the business. Peter died at sea in 1892 and, having no heir, John sold the business to J. Hayhoe in 1923.
In 1937 the company moved to Frederick Street in Edinburgh’s New Town.
In 1999 the company was bought by investor Charles Palmer, who consolidated a number of other high end Scottish gun manufactures under the company. By 2001 the company had expanded out into a workshop in Dunkeld called The Steadings. Over time a shop and showroom were added.
In 2017 the company closed their premises on Frederick Street after 80 years, refocusing on their premises in Dunkeld.
In 2019 the company was bought by Jean-Pierre “J-P” Daeschler