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Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 707
Sidelock
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Joined: Jul 2010
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I was wondering if anyone could explain the history and purpose of wax seals on gun cases? I have a best grade case that is original to my Scott Premier grade with green wax seals all over the edge of the case. (if you can't picture this, imagine a medieval message on parchment sealed by the king with a ribbon melted into the seal)

My gun was made for the American market, is it possible that these seals were to prove it was not tampered with during its initial voyage to America? To clear customs? Would this have been a seal used by railroads or shipment companies to prove your parcels were not opened in transit or during a journey to a hunt? (all purely my speculation)

Can the seals be deciphered to indicate any of the history of a gun's journeys?

I think this is a fascinating piece of history but I cannot understand where the seals may have came from and for what precise purpose.

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Your guesses are what mine would have been. Are there any marks on the seals or any other "shipping stickers" or similar on your case ? Of the many dozens of these cases I have seen, none had the seals as I think you are describing them.

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No stickers on mine, but they last crossed the pond circa 1891.

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No stickers on mine, but they last crossed the pond circa 1891.

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Rookhawk,

Are any of these 'seals' impressed with a shield or other design. If so a picture would be of considerable assistance. Green is a very unusual colour for 'Sealing Wax' in Britain, It was usually bright red or a light pink in colour. A picture of the layout of the 'seal's' on the case may give an idea as to their purpose.

Usually good quality guns were cased in brass bound leather covered wood, which was then encased in a canvas case to prevent slight damage in local transit. For overseas packing I would have thought that the item would have been enclosed in a wooden packing case addressed to the recipient. It may well be your correct in your assumption that they were there as a simple security check to see if tampering had taken place. They may also have been used by Customs Officials to indicate that the firearm had been through their offices. The green wax may have been exclusively made for Customs or other Govt' Departments.

Harry


Last edited by Harry Eales; 12/19/11 02:37 AM.

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