Personal Luxuries | Need To Now

The ideal gift for country sports lovers

This hand-bound shooting book could end up as an heirloom

The ideal gift for country sports lovers

December 13 2011
Avril Groom

If the men for whom you are buying presents have the proverbial everything but are lovers of country sports, here is the perfect gift – a game book so beautiful it could end up an heirloom, passed down to record generations of family shoots, like the old estate books that inspired it.

Since he set up on his own at William & Son a decade ago, William Asprey has had a happy knack of getting accessories just right, partly because he knows his customers’ lifestyle exactly, living the same one himself. Traditional yet subtly different and the highest quality are his watchwords and this book does not disappoint. Hand-bound in either burgundy or deep green leather with hand-tooled gilt edging and details (which customers can personalise with hand-stamped initials, family crest and so on), it is much more decorative than traditional books.

Each page is illustrated with scenes of the British countryside, game and wildlife, printed from paintings specially done by artist Francis Clark, who has also sensitively illustrated each “bag” column with the bird or animal counted, and there is plenty of space for guests’ comments. The book, which should last even prolific shoots many years, costs £845, of which 15 per cent goes to Help for Heroes to support injured service people. Only 200 are being made, and are just arriving now in store and also available online.