DescriptionAnnie Oakley: Her 16-Gauge Parker Brothers Hammer Shotgun, Serial #30203. This beautiful Parker double is a worthy companion to Annie Oakley's Parker Brothers 12 gauge hammer shotgun sold by Heritage in June 2012 (lot #44019). That one descended through the family, finally belonging to Frank Butler's great-grandnieces. This one has also stayed in the family until now, coming down to a grandniece, the granddaughter of Annie's brother, John. This 16-gauge Parker is older than the 12-gauge gun by about a year, so it may well be the one Annie referred to as "my first real gun."
Frank, who handled all of the details and care of his and Annie's firearms - cleaning, packing, shipping, and maintenance - returned this shotgun to the Parker factory three times, evidence of its heavy use: in 1883 for cleaning and repair; in 1885 to be adjusted and restocked and to have the "new model hammers" installed; and in 1897 to be once again restocked. The final restocking resulted in a gun whose dimensions conform precisely to those of the specially-fitted shotguns built for Annie in 1887 by British gun maker Charles Lancaster, right down to its light weight.
Annie used all gauges of shotguns in the Wild West show, though she preferred the 12 gauge because of the greater volume of shot it could throw with the light charges necessary (for safety reasons) in the arena. She said her favorite field gun, however, especially for hunting birds, was a 16-gauge shotgun because it was lighter and had less recoil with fully loaded cartridges. During the early decades of the 20th century, as the ammunition became more available, she began using 20 gauge shotguns for the same field shooting.
The superb condition of this gun, despite the evidence of its being much used, shows that it has been just as much loved - by Annie Oakley herself, and then by the descendants who idolized their famous aunt. This lot is from the collection of Bess Edwards, grand-niece of Annie Oakley, and will be accompanied by a signed letter from her authenticating this item as described. For more information, please click here.
With the shotgun is its canvas field scabbard with two sleeves, one fitted for the barrels and one for the receiver and stock.
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