A fine cased Holland & Holland No. 2. The 30″ barrels have 2 1/2″ chambers and are choked .011/.013 (approximately improved cylinder in each.) The sunken rib has a gold inlaid “1.” The weight is 6 lbs 6 oz.
This double was built for Oliver Sylvain Baliol Brett, the third Viscount Esher. Lord Esher (1881-1963) was a prominent architect and conservationist. He was the elder son of Reginald Brett (2nd Viscount Esher) and Eleanor Van de Weyer, whose father was Belgium’s ambassador to the United Kingdom.
After receiving his education at Eton, he served as private secretary to Lord Morley, the Secretary of State for India, from 1905 to 1910. In 1914 he joined the 1/16th (County of London) Battalion (Queen’s Westminster Rifles), and was attached to the War Office. For his wartime service he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (Military Division) in 1918.
Lord Esher was involved with many cultural and artistic charities, including the London Museum, the Historic Churches Trust, and the Old Vic. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. In 1955 he was promoted a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire “for services to the Arts”.
In addition to his interests in art, architecture and politics, Lord Esher was an ardent shooter his whole life. I’m certain this lovely gun has taken hundreds (thousands?) of pheasant and red grouse, but I am confident that it has dropped only a single Montana sharptail.