Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3242: Cased Engraved Purdey Royal Presentation Double Rifle

Auction Date: August 28, 2022

Magnificent Historic Cased Finely Engraved James Purdey Double Barrel Percussion Sporting Rifle Presented by the Prince of Wales on His 1875-1876 Tour of India

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $30,000 - $45,000

Magnificent Historic Cased Finely Engraved James Purdey Double Barrel Percussion Sporting Rifle Presented by the Prince of Wales on His 1875-1876 Tour of India

Manufacturer: Purdey J & Sons Ltd
Model: Double Rifle
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 40 Bore
Barrel: 29 inch solid rib
Finish: brown/casehardened/blue
Stock: fancy checkered walnut
Item Views: 656
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 172
Class: Antique

The maker’s have kindly confirmed that this rifle was completed in 1866 for the Earl of St. Maur. The rifle was returned to Purdey and resold by them as part of a consignment of rifles for His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales to present during his tour of India in 1875-1876. Prince Albert Edward (Bertie), Queen Victoria’s eldest son and the future King Edward VII, was following in the footsteps of his younger brother, Prince Alfred, who had paved the way for this famous royal tour when he became the first member of the British Royal family to visit India in 1869-1870. The range of firearms taken by Bertie for presentation was varied and were drawn from many makers. Other firearms associated with the 1875-1876 Tour of India sold by Rock Island Auction include a Winchester 1873 saddle ring carbine (December 2016), a Dougall double barrel howdah pistol (May 2017) and a Wilkinson double barrel howdah pistol (September 2021). With browned Damascus barrels each cut with two groove rifling, signed on the raised rib “J. PURDEY, 314 1/2, OXFORD STREET, LONDON” and “FROM H.R.H. THE PRINCE OF WALES, K.G., G.C.S.L. 1876”, and with bead front sight and rear sight of one standing and three folding leaves each with platinum inlaid center line and graduated from 50 to 250 yards. Casehardened patent breeches each with pierced platinum plug engraved with a rosette and inlaid with a short platinum line. Casehardened standing breech and locks, the latter each signed “PURDEY” and with blued safety bolt. Furniture including casehardened hinged patchbox cover, trigger plate and pistol grip cap, and blued trigger guard and checkered heel plate, the latter engraved “CHARGE 4 DRMS. NO.6 POWDER.” Fine scroll engraving throughout. Finely figured walnut pistol grip stock with raised cheekpiece and checkered grip and forearm. The underside of the butt inset with a large gold escutcheon engraved with the Prince of Wales’ coat of arms. Sling eyes are present on the underside of the butt and middle ramrod pipe. Original brass mounted ramrod. London proof marks. In original brass cornered fitted oak case lined in red baize, the lid with printed Purdey trade label. With some accessories including a second ramrod, a turnscrew, percussion nipple wrench, and leather wrapped Dixon powder flask.

Rating Definition:

Extremely fine. The barrels retain 97% dark browned finish with bold Damascus twist pattern. Breeches, standing breech, locks and furniture retain 98% strong casehardened finish. The trigger guard and heel plate have 95% deep blued finish. The finish could be original to the 1866 manufacture or conceivably renewed at the factory prior to being sold as part of the consignment for presentation by the Prince of Wales in 1875. The stock has a very attractive figure pattern, well-defined checkering, and minor scattered age related storage and handling marks and blemishes. Mechanically excellent. The case is in very fine overall condition with some age wear and staining to the lining and label. A magnificent double Purdey percussion rifle with illustrious provenance.

Customer Product Questions

There are currently no customer product questions on this lot