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#187763 - 05/04/10 08:20 PM JW Tolley
battle Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 06/23/02
Posts: 1303
Loc: Lexington, KY.
Would appreciate any info on this maker.

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#187790 - 05/05/10 08:05 AM Re: JW Tolley [Re: battle]
bavarianbrit Offline
Sidelock
*

Registered: 02/25/10
Posts: 178
Loc: Bavaria, Germany
They made good quality guns often for those of the wildfowling persuasion.
I have a 12G hammergun by this maker and the quality and wood is very good.
Martin

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#187810 - 05/05/10 11:48 AM Re: JW Tolley [Re: bavarianbrit]
battle Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 06/23/02
Posts: 1303
Loc: Lexington, KY.
Thanks Martin!

Anyone else have any opinions good or bad?
IS this a Brit gunmaker i assume?

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#187813 - 05/05/10 12:16 PM Re: JW Tolley [Re: battle]
Birdog Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 01/22/02
Posts: 983
Loc: IRL, Calif. & The Roof of the...
Battle
They made good guns, especially their big bores which see regular use on the foreshore to this day.

From the internet gun club:

Tolley was a Birmingham maker.

James William Tolley Gun rifle and pistol manufacturers.

"James William Tolley was born in 1832. No birth date is known for William Tolley who was probably the younger brother.

The firm appears to have been established in 1858 at 22 St Mary's Row, Birmingham. They started in business by making large quantities of cheap guns, some for the African market, but were soon producing higher quality guns. An 1862 advertisement stated "Gun rifle and pistol manufacturers, Contractor for Military Arms, Breech Loading Guns, Pistols, also all guns suitable for the African markets".

In 1866 they entered a gun in the Field Gun Trials but came 32 out of 32.

In the early 1870s the firm moved 19 Loveday Street. From the late 1870s the building was named the Pioneer Works.

In 1871 James Tolley became a shareholder in Braendlin Armoury Co Ltd (see Braendlin Armoury Co Ltd).

By 1879 the firm was much more successful and started to acquire a reputation for large bore double barrelled guns and rifles which often used Henry Tolley's patented Giant Grip (see Henry Tolley of the Times Works, 65-66 Weaman Street). In that year a provisional patent (No. 5002) was registered for a breechloading action, but the description of the invention was unclear, it was not registered or used to any great extent. Tolley "Perfection" models may have used the patent.

J & W Tolley were later known for their "Altro" 12 bore sidelock or boxlock gun, about which the firm said "This new weapon is equally suitable for ordinary game, as well as for duck or for pigeon shooting. This gun will be most useful for sportsmen who do not wish to keep more than one gun for all purposes." It weighed 7 1/2 lbs and was chambered for a 3 inch cartridge. The same gun with unchoked barrels for shooting ball ammunition was named the "Ubique". Neither gun proved very popular probably because they were heavier than normal.

In about 1883 the firm opened a shop in London at 1 Conduit Street, in 1894 this moved to 59 (New) Bond Street. George Bayliss (of the large Birmingham family) was the Manager from 1883 to 1903 (when he established his own firm).

By 1894 the firm's reputation as makers of wildfowling guns was well established and the firm had been appointed gunmakers to the King of Portugal. At about this time they were also appointed Gunmakers to the Persian Royal family. It was probably at this time they opened a shop in New York.

In 1901 they became a limited liability company.

Between 1904 and 1909 no London shop was not recorded, but it probably existed because the company was recorded from 1909 at 5 Regent Place, Regent Street.

In 1914/15 the Regent Place shop closed.

James Tolley died in 1916, and it seems the firm was bought by Holloway & Naughton because in 1919 they were recorded at 10 Vesey Street. Holloway & Naughton occupied 10, 12 and 14 Vesey Street at that time.

From 1924 to 1927 the firm's address was 10, 12 and 14 Vesey Street but in 1928, and again from 1947 to 1955, it was 10 Vesey Street. In 1929 Holloway & Naughton (and J & W Tolley) were taken over by Skimmin & Wood who moved into their premises at 10, 12 and 14 Vesey Street (from 1932 to 1939 10 Vesey Street was occupied by R B Rodda & Co).

In 1955 guns ceased to be produced under the J & W Tolley name.

In 1964 the firm of Skimmin & Wood was bought by F J Wiseman & Co Ltd of Cannock, Staffordshire."
_________________________
Good Shooting
T.C.
The Green Isle

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#187833 - 05/05/10 03:44 PM Re: JW Tolley [Re: Birdog]
George L. Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 1354
Loc: South Carolina
Battle: I have a J & W Tolley 8 bore SxS and it is as well made as any London gun in my humble opinion.

Best Regards, George
_________________________
To see pics of my guns go to www.mylandco.com Select "Other Sale Items" palmettotreasure@aol.com

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#187885 - 05/06/10 12:41 AM Re: JW Tolley [Re: George L.]
Terry Lubzinski Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 805
Loc: Vancouver,British Columbia
Will attach below some pics of a J W Tolley "Altro" model 3" BLE that I have used to reduce the local waterfowl population the last few tears. Also have a large female chocolate Lab called Tolley. Sort of a "composed" pair.....



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#187886 - 05/06/10 12:49 AM Re: JW Tolley [Re: battle]
Tinker Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 01/09/05
Posts: 802
Loc: Palomino Valley, NV
Battle-

I own a J&W Tolley magnum black powder express double rifle.
It's very very nicely made and finished, with best fine scroll and lions/tigers/etc scenes on the locks and action.

It's a ripper and quite accurate, nice handling and still tight after all those years (from the 1880's).

Judge and value the gun as you see it.
Know that the maker was known for and capable of the finest work.




Cheers
Tinker

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#187906 - 05/06/10 09:10 AM Re: JW Tolley [Re: Tinker]
Dick_dup1 Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 01/09/03
Posts: 750
Loc: WI
A number of years ago I talked with Frank Wiseman about the Skimin & Woods records. Frank, 84 years old at the time, told me "You know, we had a War", in typical Brit understatement. The records were lost in the Blitz. I was inquiring about a 2" boxlock branded Abercrombie and Fitch, supposedly made by Skimin & Wood. I had to wait for Griffen & Howe to start digitizing thier records to find out the gun was made for A&F by J&W Tolley in 1939 and sold by A&F in 1941. Tolley made a few batches of 10 or so guns at a time for A&F over the years. The little 2" weighs 5# 7oz and is very nicely made. I don't know if Frank is still alive but he left sons to run his business and was still making guns under the Wiseman name when I talked to Frank.-Dick


Edited by Dick_dup1 (05/06/10 09:12 AM)

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#188010 - 05/07/10 07:33 AM Re: JW Tolley [Re: battle]
Roy Hebbes Offline
Sidelock
****

Registered: 07/19/06
Posts: 1051
Loc: Canada
FOR YOUR INTEREST,
Over the years I have owned several J.& W. Tolley guns. #1749 was a spectacular 10G Ball and shotgun bearing the following address on the rib; "Pioneer Works,St,Marys Square/Row, Birmingham."
This exhibition grade gun was displayed at the Philladelphia, World Exhibition in 1876.This gun is notable for its unusual and Exceptional engraving; featuring period, North American scenes namely; A settler in hand to hand comat with a North American Indian;Mounted plains Indian In persuit of Elk;A mounted settler with lasso in persuit of Wiid Horses.
A total of 18 British gunmakers exhibited at Philladelphia. This exhibition lasted for over a year and attracted an astonishing 30 million visitors from all parts of the world.
_________________________
Roy Hebbes

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#188016 - 05/07/10 08:18 AM Re: JW Tolley [Re: Roy Hebbes]
bavarianbrit Offline
Sidelock
*

Registered: 02/25/10
Posts: 178
Loc: Bavaria, Germany
Funny to see that name again, F J Wiseman & Co Ltd, as I have a rook rifle converted by them to .410 shot with a fresh coin finished action as was quite common in the 1980s.
Martin


Edited by bavarianbrit (05/07/10 08:19 AM)

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#190975 - 06/02/10 06:09 AM Re: JW Tolley [Re: bavarianbrit]
bavarianbrit Offline
Sidelock
*

Registered: 02/25/10
Posts: 178
Loc: Bavaria, Germany
I just found an advert in uk internet for a Tolley in the UK as shown below the price shows what the brits today think of this maker.

Tolley, J. & W. 10 gauge Hammer second hand Shotgun (R/H)
Licence: Shotgun, Barrel: 32"
Origin: English, Chamber: 3"1/2
Trigger: 2, Ejection: NO, Serial #: 6530
A Jones rotary under-lever with rebounding back-action locks. Damascus barrels. Complete with 10 re-loadable brass cartridges.

£2,899 pounds US $4,222 euros 3,473

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#190981 - 06/02/10 08:21 AM Re: JW Tolley [Re: bavarianbrit]
lagopus Offline
Sidelock
***

Registered: 06/22/08
Posts: 1734
Loc: Derbyshire, England
Nothing wrong with a Tolley; I have one of his earlier boxlock wildfowling guns (not the Altro) with 2 3/4" chambers and also one of the little 2" boxlock ejectors made in the Skimmin & Wood era but bearing the Tolley name. The earlier stuff was mainly made with the wildfowler in mind. They also made punt guns. I've never seen a bad Tolley. Lagopus.....

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