A 19th Century Color Lithograph of a Hunting Scene Advertising Eley’s Sporting Ammunition

Eley Brother Advertising Poster
A 19th Century Color Lithograph of a Hunting Scene Advertising Eley's Sporting Ammunition

I have not come across many advertising posters like this that mention pinfire cartridges so I jumped at the chance to buy this one when it came up for auction. This early color lithograph was printed between 1885 and 1889 and was likely provided to various gunmakers and ironmongers who sold Eley cartridges to the public.

It would have functioned as both an in-store advertisement as well as a quick reference guide to the various types of cartridges and accessories that Eley manufactured, as shown when turning it over.

Backside of Eley Advertising Poster

There are a few interesting aspects about this listing compared to other examples such as the last example shown in this earlier article on Eley advertising sheets. They start listing their metallic pinfire cartridges as being made for both revolvers and carbines. Earlier ads only mentioned their use for revolvers.

Another advertisement from this same time frame also includes the carbine wording.

Eley made many different variations of the pinfire cartridges over the years. I have maybe 100 or so different examples of the 5 sizes; 15mm, 12mm, 9mm, 7mm, and 5mm. An earlier article showed some of these variations and the factory drawings and are what the cartridges would have looked like by this time period.

In the pinfire shotshells section they stop listing the giant 4g shells that were used in punt guns and add in a .520 size. The full catalogs from the same period mention that this .520 size is actually a rifle cartridge.

The variations of how they are sold is also a bit confusing. They differentiate between a cartridge and a cartridge case which would have been loaded with the cap and pin but no powder or shot. This was probably how most were sold as there were additional carriage charges for transporting gunpowder. They mention in an earlier ad that even shipping cartridges with shot increases that weight-based gunpowder carriage fee and recommend that the gunmakers load them themself.

Eley Gas-Tight Cartridge Case

For the loaded cartridges and empty cases there was the option of the best quality which came in the green cases and the 2nd quality which came in blue cases. They previously had a 3rd quality in brown cases as well.

They could be loaded with generic powder and a wad with no shot, or with Schultze or E.C. patent powder and either shot or no shot.

They mention that they keep 12g and 16g loaded cartridges in stock with either size 5 or 6 shot. Any other loadings would be made to order.

A lot of other items and accessories are listed including their ever-popular wire cartridges which had been on the market for half a century by this point.