Holland & Holland is a firm known the world around for their excellence and production of some of the finest guns and rifles ever built, and this rifle surely lives up to the reputation so rightfully earned. Blued steel barrels with a ramped blade front sight with flip-up high visibility white bead, two-position (one standing, one folding) rear sight on the raised rear quarter rib, ".458 WINCHESTER MAGNUM." marked on the rib ahead of the rear sight, chambers with automatic ejectors, and "HOLLAND & HOLLAND" and "33 BRUTON STREET, LONDON." marked on the right and left barrels respectively. The barrels also displays highly attractive game scenes at either breech, showing a lion and lioness on the savanna on the left and a trio of elephants on the right walking the savanna. The bush bright sidelock action displays exceptional game and hunting scene engraving with "HOLLAND/&/HOLLAND" signed on both of the bolsters. The scenes consist of a multitude of animals with human hunters in the major three, starting with the fences, each shows a resplendent lion in deep relief with a lioness atop the action between the two and another on the toplever. Beneath that there is a scene showing a trio of vultures awaiting their next meal, a lioness with a stenbok in her mouth, and an egret at the rear. On the receiver ahead of the attractive step there is a cheetah on the left lying in wait and a hyena opposite it on the right. The right lockplate shows an African hunter with spear and shield prepared for combat with a magnificent relief gold inlaid bull elephant while the birds look on from the tall grass. The underside of the action shows another African hunter boldly taking on a bull elephant preparing to throw his spear. The left lockplate has a third hunter who, it seems is having a bad day, having lost his weapons and is now fleeing from a bull rhinoceros. The triggerguard displays a sable bull, and the lower tang shows an egret. The piece is signed "K. E. PREATER" on the triggerplate to the right of the triggerguard as well as "KP" at the bottom of the lockplate scenes and "P" below the scene on the underside. Ken Preater was the chief engraver for Holland & Holland at the time this rifle was created, and one can see how he earned that title with the exceptional level of skill and detail that the rifle exudes. The rifle features bushed firing pins, a right hand rolled triggerguard, double triggers, and a tang mounted automatic safety switch with gold inlaid "SAFE" marking. Stunning, beautifully figured, multi-point checkered forend with engraved fittings showing monkeys and an Anson button release, and a pistol grip stock with teardrop carved flats, shadowline cheekpiece, engraved coin finished trapdoor grip cap showing a bull elephant, gold inscription oval with the initials "G.E.R.", and a leather covered recoil pad. Includes a factory oak and leather takedown case with canvas cover containing a full compliment of accessories. The rifle is pictured and discussed on pages 88-90 of "The Best of Holland & Holland: England's Premier Gunmaker" by Michael McIntosh & Jan Roosenburg where it is noted as part of the Petersen Museum Collection. Length of pull 14 1/2 inches. Weight 9 lbs. 15 oz. Provenance: The Petersen Museum Collection; Property of a Gentleman
Excellent overall, retaining 98% plus original blue, coin, and gold finishes with minor handling evidence, some minor areas of discoloration in the coin of the locks and action, and a few very minor scuffs in the blue. The stock and forend show a few scattered very minor scratches, some light rubbing on the toe of the recoil pad, and sharp checkering. The case is excellent. Mechanically excellent. Do not miss this chance to own this absolute beauty.
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