These “Gold Name” droplock ejectors are fine guns. This 1903 example, in its maker’s case, is somewhat unusual for a Gold Name in that it is engraved. It features the A. E. Lard Patent single selective trigger, and comes in its maker’s case. The 28″ barrels have 2 1/2″ chambers, and are choked .003/.011.
The figured stock measures 1 5/8” x 2” x 14″ over solid red pad. There is slight cast off. I asked Douglas Tate (editor-at-large for Shooting Sportsman, and author of Birmingham Gunmakers and other books) to give me some background on the Gold Name. He kindly sent me the following:
“To youthful eyes it seemed a perfect blend of function and beauty, with hand-detachable scalloped locks, a stock glowing like a freshly shelled conker, and the austere colour-hardening lifted by the legend “Westley Richards” inlaid in restrained gold capitals.” Jonathan Young Editor of THE FIELD on his favourite gun; the Westley Richards “Gold Name.”
The boxlock referred to as the “Gold Name” was actually designated “Plain Quality” in Westley Richards catalogues. The popular name appears to have come from the description; “The above gun without engraving and with silver crest plate, but finished with a marble surface relieved with inlaid gold name.”
The gun initially had no engraving, though an internet search will show guns designated “gold name” that do feature modest amounts of simple scroll. Or, as the catalogue description continued: “…exceptionally attractive appearance, is the highest expression of beautiful proportion and severe line of finish, and appeals completely to all of this taste.”
As Simon D. Clode, the late Managing Director of Westley Richards has said: “The gold name gun is pure gunmaking, a naked gun with no engraving to hide the flaws. I have always admired and liked these guns very much, it is quite nice to have a rest from all the engraving and just see the gun as what it is intended, a tool for shooting birds.”