The Autumn 1996 issue of the Double Gun Journal contained an article written by my good friend Fredrik Franzén of Sweden about a fantastic set of guns once owned by the Naturalist and Sportsman Bengt Berg. It is not only a story about the guns but also about Bengt’s life. Recently Fredrik shared more pictures of those extraordinary guns and the story of where those guns have been since that article was published. After the article will be the updated information and the fantastic photographs taken by Fredrik.
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On March 10, 2021 Fredrik wrote the following update:
Since I wrote the article about Bengt Berg for the Double Gun Journal in 1996, I have learned a few more facts about him. In a Bibliografi I read that his books have been printed in more than 1 million copies are are translated into at least sixteen different languages.
When Bengt Berg died in 1967, his guns were inherited by his son Jens Berg. Like his father he was a keen hunter and naturalist. He lived first at their estate Eriksberg and made it a hunting lodge with many big Red Deer, birds and so on. however during the 1980’s he sold Eriksberg and also the Simson guns. First he sold the Simson with the three barrel set owned by his mother Inger Illum and later the big set. All were bought by Småländska Vapen which is owned by L. O. Swantesson. He offered the three barrel set to me, but it was a little too expensive for me at the time. It was sold to a hunter-collector who used it for moose hunting with the 8x60RS barrels.
A few years ago it was for sale again. A friend of mine, a well known gunsmith in Sweden bought it. He is very happy with the Simson, he says: They don’t make guns like that today.
The nine barrel set was renovated and put out for sale. The price was high, I remember at least $20,000. It was not sold so it went to Hunt’s Auction in London in June of 2008 where it sold for the hammer price of £17 000.
The interesting thing is that the buyer was the well known Swedish financial man Rune Andersson, who now also owns Bengt Berg’s old Estate Ericksberg. Click here to read and see more about the Ericksberg lodgings and nature preserve. The Simson guns have come home again! Ericksberg is now a luxurious hunting and fishing estate, with guests coming from all over the world. They are famous for their Red Deer.
Jens Berg died in 2012 but his daughter Natasha Illum Berg has followed in her fathers and grandfather’s foot steps. She is a licensed professional hunter in East Africa, she writes books and makes movies about hunting and wildlife. She follows the family tradition.
Now we have the fantastic photographs supplied by Fredrik-