The makers have kindly confirmed that this shotgun was sold on February 3, 1859 as the No. 2 gun of a pair to H.R.H. The Duke of Brunswick. According to L. Patrick Unsworth in "The Early Purdeys" (p.252), the pair were sold with two best flasks at £1 8 shillings, two best pouches at £1 12 shillings, and leather and waterproof cases at £3 13 shillings & 6 pence. As the second gun from the set, the shotgun has "2" on top of the rib and upper tang. The rib is signed "J. PURDEY, 314 1/2 OXFORD STREET LONDON" and has a tiny bead front sight at the muzzles and platinum plugs and bands on the breech. The bottom of the barrels have London proofs, the serial number, and "JP." The flat locks are signed "PURDEY" and have scroll and border engraving and dolphin themed hammers. The furniture is also engraved with primarily scroll patterns, and sling swivels are fitted to the mid ramrod pipe and the front of the trigger guard bow. The lightly figured walnut half-stock has checkering on the forend and wrist and a 14 3/8 inch length of pull. The brass cornered oak case has been relined and has a reproduction Purdey trade label inside the lid, a leather shot flask, and shell pattern powder flask.
Fine with nearly all of the refinished brown remaining on the barrels, visible twist patterns, crisp markings and engraving, replaced swivels, traces of original case colors and bright blue finish, smooth gray and brown patina on the balance, minor pitting concentrated at the breech and on the buttplate, and mild overall wear. The re-oiled stock is also fine and has crisp checkering, a small chips at the edge of the forearm at the front of the lock, a small repair at the toe, and some minor scratches and dents. Mechanically fine. The shot flask is fine with mild age and storage related wear. The flask is also fine with the exception of the absent spring. The case is good with moderate age and storage related wear. Provenance: The Malcolm King Collection.
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