Shotguns and shooting paraphernalia are sound investments, according to research by a leading insurer. ‘Guns and shooting equipment were what many of our specialists said they would invest in personally if they had to choose items of value to hand down to the next generation,’ says Nicki Whittaker of NFU Mutual, which has launched Bespoke, an insurance policy for larger houses.

When asked to identify heirlooms of the future, the company’s valuers -from a panel including Pall Mall and Bonhams-said good-quality guns have risen in value during the past 10 years. ‘They won’t just hold their value, but grow considerably,’ comments one specialist. Another concurs: ‘Purdey, Boss and Holland & Holland (pictured) are valuable, but both side-by-side and over-and-under shotguns hold value even if they’re not strictly antiques, with brands such as Perazzi, Browning, Caesar Guerini and AYA all attractive.’

Vintage records and guitars are also good assets. The research also revealed that many people undervalue the paintings, jewellery, watches and antique furniture they inherit. One expert recalled a walnut bureau that the owner thought was worth perhaps £1,000, but was actually worth closer to £40,000-even more if it had been better cared for.

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