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James Rosier Snr. appears in census records working as a clock and watchmaker in the mid-1830s in England, before the family moved to the township of Bedford, Bedfordshire. Here, Rosier Snr. advertised himself as a gunmaker, a line of work he pursued up until the family's immigration to Australia at the end of 1849. It was to his father that James W. Rosier was apprenticed as a gunsmith in the mid-1840s at ten years of age, and in this line of the work that he would establish his own name in Melbourne.
The untimely death of Rosier Snr. due to illness in 1852, only a few years after the family's arrival in Victoria, saw James, as the eldest son, take responsibility for the family and at the age of 21, under the terms of his father's Will, he inherited Rosier Snr.'s tools of trade.
This cased percussion shotgun is the only known example of James Rosier Snr's work as a gunmaker in Bedford before the family came to Australia. Beautifully engraved with classic English scrollwork and hunting scenes on both locks, it provides a wonderful example of the skill and craft associated with English sporting gun production during the mid-nineteenth century, even by a provincial gunmaker.
Found in Tasmania several decades ago by an earlier Rosier collector who recognised the significance of his find, it was lovingly restored back to its original condition; a fitting beginning to the telling of the Rosier family story.
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