I have built a dedicated website (unlisted to sustain some revisions for now) about my weapons’ collection best piece, an old 120+ years Scherping hunting shotgun with the unique feature of having being pre-owned by TWO emperors!
Wilhelm II last Emperor of Prussia, deemed as responsible for the priming of WWI, firstly. His son, the heir Crown Prinz Friedrich-Wilhelm, secondly. Both were forced to abdicate and exiled in the NL – and this is where a pair of nicely adorned & engraved shotguns changed hands to subsequently enter in my family possessions.
500 pairs were ordered at the time to Scherping, Hannover to serve as diplomatic and personal gifts to any person both Emperors deemed worth receiving.
This included the close, long serving staffs and this is how one matching pair landed into the hands of a french language tutor who later splitted it forming his own gift to a close friend of my grandfather, who ended receiving the gun #1.
Later, the shotgun was meant to protect our Provence wine property, from the top of the ‘tower’ where my grandfather had his main bedroom. It seems we just fired it once, some 40 years ago, with plain hunting ammo.
From 1,000 guns of this kind ever produced, it is likely to be just a few still in circulation around the world ; I guess the #2 of « our » pair is now somwhere in Israel. This renders this collectible flavored with « romantic » as well as historical background even more regarded as a rare curiosity of a gone by era.