Henry no. 4444
As with personalised number plates, some customers for new guns will give their hind teeth for certain gun numbers and when ordering a gun will often ask for a particular number. I find with my numbered books that even the strangest number can be asked for, it obviously means something to a particular individual.
In the 19th century there didn’t seem to be this egoism and even no. 10,000 in the Holland & Holland records can just be an ordinary rook rifle. The same goes for the Henry hammer gun, illustrated, no. 4444 – it was just another number for Henry and the customer was probably not even aware of it until he received the gun.
Alexander Henry no. 4444 was completed around the same time as the little 20 bore. No. 4444 was completed as a best gun on June 13, 1879, for robert e. curwen of Westerlee House, St. Andrews in Fife. It is an identical design to the 20 bore with its graceful rounded action bar, top lever and bar action locks.
One point of interest about this gun is that it is a very early example of a choke bored gun, with the left barrel being choked.
The strikers are quite unusual being referred to in the records as “gravitating pistons” meaning they were large mushroom-headed strikers.
In the Henry ledgers for this gun the initials “S&S” are recorded. This means that the gun was built by W.&c. Scott & Son of birmingham and then sent in the white to edinburgh to be finished by Alexander Henry, a common practice.
The 12 bore top lever hammer gun by Alexander Henry no. 4444 of 1879 with rounded action bar.