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swan40

W. Wallas. Gunmaker Wigton

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I have bought a nice 12bore sidelock with Damascus barrels  by this maker and cannot find out  much about him.

Done the usual internet search but  information is limited to where and when and not much else. Can anyone help ?

Also I am trying to put together a vintage case for it and would like a makers label or any idea of what one looks like to try and replicate, but also no luck with finding one.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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I searched "W. Wallas of Wigton and Carlisle" and found the below on http://www.carlisleshistory.co.uk/page47.htm

WALLAS Family of gunmakers first noted in Wigton in 1811; Irwin Wallas traded in Wigton and Carlisle,1857 to 1873, as did William Wallas, who by 1880 had a Saturday stall in Carlisle Market Place and then a shop in Blackfriars Street circa 1906-1914, and Danial Wallas who had a shop in Carlisle circa 1941 to 1931.

 

Might help your search a bit.

Mick

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According to British Gun Makers. William Wallace senior was based at Ludgate Lane Wigtown 1827 then moved to King Street 1835 the business was taken over by Irwin Wallace the son from 1883 - 1905 then his son Daniel from 1909-1936 the other branch opened in 50 Blackfriars Street Carlisle 1913 as for a label you may have an impossible task best of luck with you quest 

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Thanks all for your help -this one is W. Wallas not Wallace. I also found that info but wondered is it different people  or not as they seem to overlap in places

Happily I have just been speaking to the gentleman who has written a book on just this subject ( and other gunsmiths of the area) so all my questions should soon be answered I hope. 

There also are some pictures of trade labels in the book so what a result talk  about coincidence.

 

 

Edited by swan40
update

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Wallas  Thomas Wigton 1827/1825

Wallas William Wigton 127/1855

Wallas Irwin 1854/1869

Wallas William   Kemp St Wigton  1894   , which would be the period of your gun .

Wallas Henry 1901

Wallas Daniel 1934.

I suspect that some records which seem to have the same first names and dates but a different spelling of the surname are simple mistakes as it would be odd that two gunmakers of so similar names worked in the same town at the same times . Not uncommon as research into family history has shown .

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I too have a Wallas (D.H. Wallas - Wigton), a 30" barrelled boxlock 12.

Many years ago I took the wood off of the fore end iron work, to find a Westley Richards stamp, so I guess my gun was made in the white or as a complete gun by WR and bought by Wallas.

On 29/12/2019 at 09:42, swan40 said:

Thanks all for your help -this one is W. Wallas not Wallace. I also found that info but wondered is it different people  or not as they seem to overlap in places

Happily I have just been speaking to the gentleman who has written a book on just this subject ( and other gunsmiths of the area) so all my questions should soon be answered I hope. 

There also are some pictures of trade labels in the book so what a result talk  about coincidence.

 

 

Do you have the details of the book, please?

Edited by Penelope

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The book is advertised on this site in other sales  -  Gunmakers of Cumberland & Westmoreland  

Have ordered one looking forward to getting it, the author was a great help in helping me get the info I wanted. 

As regards the case label I could not find one either but there should be some in the book which I will try and replicate as best I can

as long as it looks similar it will be ok 

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4 hours ago, swan40 said:

The book is advertised on this site in other sales  -  Gunmakers of Cumberland & Westmoreland  

Have ordered one looking forward to getting it, the author was a great help in helping me get the info I wanted. 

As regards the case label I could not find one either but there should be some in the book which I will try and replicate as best I can

as long as it looks similar it will be ok 

Take the wood off of the for end iron work and see if their is anything stamped there.

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Stamps on parts of guns may refer to particular patents and not to the maker .The gun pictured looks to be a  basic sidelock gun made in Birmingham .Possibly a "Rodgers " coil spring lock [ based on the two pin bridel ] . I have owned a couple similar but not as well turned out.  What sets this gun apart is the way it has been finished, well filed up ,stocked and engraved .

Add that it is also an ejector so it is several steps above the basic barreled action it may well have started as .

As to who made it and who finished it is anyone's guess and could well have been through the hands of several workshops had the gun been "made " by Wallas as in buying the barreled action and having the work done or by ordering the gun from a specific shop in Birmingham , who may have done the  work in house , which is doubtful and would have in turn used out workers ,  this was the way the trade worked , as only the largest companies had the facilities to make a complete gun from start to finish .

 

 

Edited by Gunman

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Just got my copy of the afore mentioned book - absolutely brilliant  - obviously a lot of hard work has gone into it  and I wish the author great success with it .

It has answered a lot of my questions and has the missing trade labels nobody could find. Buy one today you never know when you might need it , highly recommended.

 

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Now just got to find out who actually make it - apparently Birmingham trade gun the quest continues not that it makes that much difference I know , just interested  - is this an affliction -am I alone - do I need help? 

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No it’s not an affliction, it’s nice to know these things. I have histories for both my Westley Richards , and my Army & Navy, which was made by Midland . Midland, Webley Scott and Westley Richards made guns for a lot of other makers. I will wish you luck with your quest 

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After the introduction of breech loaders , the vast majority of guns sold in the UK had their origins in the workshops of Birmingham , London and a small amount from Belgium . 

No Provincial "gunmaker " had the facilities ie machine shops , and men to make complete guns . Yes they may well have bought barreled actions and finished them , or had the machine shops of Birmingham , Phillipsons or more likely Joseph Asbury , machined for them  if they had the staff to do the rest . Barrels would have been bought in / ordered filed up ready for jointing .Even so this would have been beyond the capability of most names calling themselves gunmakers .Many of these were simply gunshops or more likely ironmongers who sold guns as part of their business .

I do not claim this is an absolute and there will be exceptions  but I can not think of any virtually unknown out of their area provincial "gunmaker" that falls into this category.

This as before the mass importation of guns from the continent and the east . So if ordering a gun from Birmingham why not put your name on it ? Sell it as you own rather than as a Midland , Williams etal ect.

 

 

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