With Holt’s moving out of London, there remains the opportunity for gun aficionados in the capital to get their fix of interesting historical firearms before Christmas. Bonhams hold their winter sale in Knightsbridge and Gavin Gardiner will be tempting collectors with his Bond Street sale in December.
Among Gavin’s more interesting lots is a rare James Purdey & Sons .360 double barrel hammer rifle, built in 1875 for the Prince of Wales’ Indian tour of 1875/6.
The rifle was presented to the Nizam of the Decan, the ruler of the state of Hydrabad, in South Central India, by the Prince of Wales on the tour, and is engraved on the rib “H.H. The Nizam of the Decan from H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, KG, GCSI 1876”. It carries a gold oval engraved with the Royal crest and the Order of the Star of India. It is in its original makers case with the Nizam’s name on the lid and carries an estimate of £10,000 - 15,000.
As Gavin explains: “In October 1875, Albert Edward Prince of Wales, the eldest son of Queen Victoria, embarked on an extensive tour of the Indian subcontinent. Here the Prince visited more than 21 towns and cities before returning to England in May 1876.”
“British monarchs and members of the Royal Family undertook lengthy tours to strengthen ties with other countries, and also to learn more about the culture and history of those regions. The Prince of Wales’ tour of India was envisaged as a way of forging diplomatic links between the Indian rulers and the British Crown. The Prince exchanged gifts with each ruler he met and a number of rifles were ordered from Purdey as well as Alexander Henry to be given as gifts during the tour.
Purdey’s records indicate that two rifles were presented to the Nizam. The other one is now in the collection of the Royal Armouries.”
Elsewhere the sale includes guns and rifles by all the major makers and includes pairs by Purdey, Holland & Holland and Henry Atkin.
Gavin’s sale, which comprises over 200 lots of fine sporting guns and rifles, will also include a strong section of accessories and more curious items. Viewing is in New Bond Street for two days, ahead of the sale on December 11th.
Gavin can be contacted via his website, where the catalogue can be viewed in full. www.gavingardiner.com
Published by Vintage Guns Ltd on (modified )