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Very interesting. This looks to be a pinfire shotgun either modified to central fire, or perhaps made that way as a transitional piece. The under bolting with the forward snap, the hammers, and the trigger guard are all typical continental pinfire style. The John Taylor of San Francisco is definitely of US provenance. Perhaps someone has heard of him, maybe an early one off maker, or perhaps a modifying gunsmith from the era immediately following the pinfire period 1860-70? Notice the head of the left firing pin in the vertical center of the breech ball struck by the breast of the hammer in picture 4. This is typical of a Westley Richards conversion I spotted online. This is a unique one.
 

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Seems like you have found something rare and old. Looks great as for me. Unfortunately I am just amateur and I can't say you for sure what it is, though I visited a lot of exhibitions and fairs. Who is John Taylor, huh...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
As far as I know there was a journalist named John taylor. Who wrote in hunting and gaming magazines. But thats as much as I found. I haven't seen anything else quite like it. I'd really like to figure out what its worth? Thank you all for your help!
 

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I suspect John Taylor was an importer/dealer in SF. 18.8 is .740 which would seem to indicate a 12 gauge; are there any other proof marks on the gun? Barrels appear to be Damascus.
 
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