published by Quiller 1995, 11 ½ “ x 8”, hardback, 262 pages, 401 illustrations.
The gunmaking firm of Boss & Co. has been in existence for two centuries. Throughout this period, unlike many of its contemporaries, it has remained a family firm. Its logo “Builders of Best Guns Only” was conceived without any arrogance and perfectly describes both the firm and its founder, Thomas Boss (1790-1857), who built sporting guns and rifles of the highest quality only. This tradition was carried on after his death and today the firm produces best guns to exactly that same standard.
Not only have Boss & Co. produced “Best Guns Only”, they have also been responsible for major technical innovations in gunmaking. John Robertson, the proprietor of Boss at the turn of the century, invented the first reliable single trigger that won universal acclaim. He also invented an over and under gun that is generally agreed to be the lightest, strongest and most handsome over and under ever produced.
Donald Dallas has undertaken considerable research into the history of the family and the guns they built. He charts the changes, fortunes and misfortunes of the business throughout its history; Thomas Boss building trusses in the 1820’s, Thomas Boss contracting cholera in 1849 and John Robertson’s remarkable period of inventive ingenuity pre 1914.
Several appendices give considerable detail on the family tree, breakdown of gun production and the Boss patents. Of particular interest is the appendix on the dating of Boss guns that enables owners to date their guns precisely and to re-match pairs long since parted. Profusely illustrated with hundreds of photographs and diagrams, most of them previously unpublished, this book is the definitive story of Boss & Co. and is fully authorised by the firm.
Price £50 excluding postage