Manufactured in 1896, this is a nice example of an engraved Purdey & Sons side lock assisted opening shotgun. The breech end of the smooth concave barrel rib has a small wedge of fine floral scroll engraving and ahead of the wedge is marked "J. PURDEY & SONS AUDLEY HOUSE, SOUTH AUDREY STREET LONDON. MADE OF SIR JOSEPH WHITWORTH'S FLUID PRESSED STEEL", and there is a single bead sight. The casehardened action and side locks feature fine floral scroll and rosette engraving. Each side lock is also marked "J. PURDEY & SONS" and the underside of the action is marked "PURDEY/PATENT". The trigger guard, break lever and forearm hardware are also engraved with a fine scroll design. The barrel flats are marked with numerous proofs and the water table is marked with two "crown/V" proofs. The matching serial number is marked on the lower tang, bottom of each barrel and on the forearm hardware. The barrels are chambered for 2 3/4 inch shells, choked cylinder/improved modified, and have ejectors. Double triggers, tang mounted automatic safety with gold inlaid "SAFE", cocking indicators and mounted with nice straight grain multi-point checkered splinter forearm and straight grip stock with tear drop flats, solid recoil pad and a silver initial oval monogrammed "J/L/D". Length of pull is 15 inches. Complete in a leather and oak take down case with brass corner protectors, leather straps and handle, and red velvet lining with a J. Purdey & Sons and "Charges For Gun" label affixed to the inside of the lid. The outside of the lid is embossed "J. LESLIE DAVIS" and "PHILA." in black. In the case is an ebony cleaning rod, two ebony handled screwdrivers, an ebony handled firing pin tool, a brass jag, a pull through bore brush in a leather pouch, two nickel snap caps, a square nickel oiler, bore mop, a container with a spare action screw in it, various cleaning rod attachments and a leather pouch with 4 small brushes in it. Length of pull is 15 inches, drop at comb is 1 3/8, at heel 1/3/4, no cast, 3;4 to out, bores are .732, wall thickens at .055.
Fine as period refinished, the barrels which retain 60% blue finish with some thinning on the breech end sides. The trigger guard/lower tang retains 40% original blue finish with a smooth gray patina on the balance. The break lever retains almost all of the original blue finish. The remaining metal surfaces have a smooth gray patina. The wood is also very good with crisp checkering, and a few minor dents and handling marks. The engraving and markings are clear. Mechanically excellent. The case is good with a few areas of moderate/heavy wear, numerous scuffs and scrapes on the exterior, and some minor contact wear and stains on the lining. There is some heavy verdigris on the hand brushes, otherwise the accessories are all very good.
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