This rifle was sold by auction 28 May 2006, Hammer price: NZ$21000
Reproduced with permission
52 Bore Best Quality John Rigby Percussion Match Rifle of historical importance. 32¼" heavy round tapered barrel marked "John Rigby & Co Dublin and London". Under the barrel marked with the back to back "RR" trade mark, "PP" and "13137". Fitted with its original fore and rear sights. Foresight has 6 original inserts and is fitted with a spirit level. Glass appears intact but bubble missing. Rear ladder sight numbered 100 to 1000 yds and marked "13137". Lock marked "John Rigby & Co" and has the back to back "RR" trade mark. Plain Dolphin hammer, lock and trigger guard which have line border engraving. Screw heads are engraved. Barrel has been been sleeved and is 6 grooves, the repair is not visible. Barrel has been reblued with approximately 80% remaining, thinning. Some original finish on the lock, hammer and tang. Trigger guard with much original finish in sheltered areas. Very good quality walnut half stock chequered at fore-end and pistol grip. Minor bruising. Tear drops at rear of lock. Inside of stock at breech end where barrel sits is marked "13137". Horn pistol grip cap and shaped schnable which has a very minor repair. Steel insert to mount the rear sight on the heel of the stock. Chequered steel butt plate with engraved screw heads. Action strong and crisp. S/N 13137 on back of trigger tang. VGWO&C. Comes with a green baize lined oak case of about 40 years old. Professionally made but plain. The tang sight is numbered 13137 and has minutes of angle for the prone position on the left side, and when using the back position on the heel of the stock use the right side numbers. The 6 foresights with original elements and a hunting sight are contained in a contemporary mahogany box. A few brown speckles on some of the sights.
From research the vendor has done D.H.L. Back's Book "Great Irish Gun Makers 1760 - 1869 Messrs Rigby" on page 185 states "this rifle was made in 1868, best quality, 23 pounds 2 shillings for Lord Elcho". An e-mail from J. Roberts gunmakers in the United Kingdom confirms David Back's book as accurate ,"the information was copied direct from the records when we still owned them circa 1995". Lord Elcho was born Francis Richard Charteris and lived 1818 - 1914. 10th Earl of Wemyss and the 6th Earle of March. Lord Elcho was CO of the London Scottish Rifle Volunteers, Founder and President of the London Scottish Golf Club and President of the National Rifle Association. In 1859 and sponsored by the Highland Society of London and the Caledonian Society of London a group of individual Scots raised the London Scottish Rifles Volunteers under the command of Lt. Col. Lord Elcho. He decided to clothe the Regiment in Hodden Grey, the homespun cloth known throughout Scotland. He commanded the Regiment for 19 years and then became Honorary Colonel from 1878 to 1900. Lord Elcho was a past president of the NRA and presented the Elcho Shield. Rigby 13137 left the Charteris Family and surfaced in Pretoria, South Africa in the early 1970's. The rifle arrived in New Zealand in 1987 and in 2006 was purchased at auction by Lord Neidpath, a great, great grandson of Lord Elcho. It is intended that the rifle will be displayed with other Elcho items at Gosford House, near Edinburgh.