October 22-23, 2019 Extraordinary, Sporting & Collector Firearms
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 10/22/2019
(1992) James Purdey was well known for his express rifles during the percussion era, and in fact coined the term. In the breech loading era the company concentrated mostly on shotguns, and has produced fewer than 500 hammerless double rifles of all grades and calibers since 1880. Most rifles made in non-proprietary calibers have been made in the last 50 years and number fewer than 80. Because of this low production, rifles were "special" and given extra time by the best workers. This fine rifle in perhaps the best "all around" African caliber, has 24" chopper lump barrels fitted with deeply stippled quarter rib holding one standing, one folding leaf express rear sight, and claw scope bases. Mid rib is gold inlaid ".470" and front ramp stippled to match quarter rib has unique split-open sight protector covering gold bead with flip-up bronze large bead. Tops of barrels are gold inlaid "J. Purdey & Sons" and "London. England." in English script. Barrel flats are stamped with 1992 London proofs for .470. Bottoms of barrels are stamped with serial numbers and tube numbers "65895" and "65896" are on loop. A sling loop is soldered to bottom rib. Coin finished Beesley patent self-opening sidelock action with top tang extending over comb, features non-automatic safety (SAFE inlaid in gold), pivoting safety bolt (BOLTED in gold), gold plated internals, sliding third fastener engaging 3/8" wide rib extension, traditional Purdey style side bolsters, side clips, bushed strikers, gold line tumbler end cocking indicators, and double triggers. Action is engraved with near full coverage very finely cut and nicely shaded open flowing English ivy (?) acanthus. Leaves on fences and reinforcing bolsters are in well shaded and sculpted deep relief. On bottom of action ivy surrounds Bulino scene of charging bull elephant, ears out, trunk down, definitely coming for you! Lockplates depict other scenes of members of the "big five", with dramatic rendering of a group of three lioness protecting a cub from a belligerent male on left. Lions are in open savanna with trees and nicely detailed mountains and clouds in background. Right lockplate portrays a pair of cape buffalo, one, with that "money owed" stare, looking right at you. Buffalo are in waterhole with open plains in background. "J. Purdey & Sons" is in gold on scroll on each lockplate. Engravers signature "S. J. Kelley" is on trigger plate. Single beaded trigger guard with more ivy on bow has serial number in gold on tang, which extends to engraved steel trap buttplate, spare front sight in trap. Very fine, dark and dense, dark marbled and stump figured European walnut pistol grip stock measures 14 - 5/8" over Silver type pad. Stock features traditional styling with shadow line right hand cheekpiece, drop points, point pattern checkering, sling loop and gold oval engraved "GRB". Matching short beavertail ejector forend has Anson release. Rifle is fitted with Schmidt & Bender 1 - 1/4 - 4 30mm scope with crosshair and post reticle in claw rings (rear with windage). Claws are stamped with this rifles serial number. Rifle is housed in oak and tan leather case with brass corners with circular central medallion engraved "GRB". Case is lined in blue cloth, and has gold embossed black leather Purdey label in lid. Bottom compartment has spaces for action, barrels, forend, and scope. Case also contains three ebony handled turnscrews and a pair of snap caps. The wood of a SPARE SPLINTER FOREND, with hardware is under leather flap in barrel channel. Case also contains a care and instruction booklet along with a target shot by this rifle by Westley Richards in October 1999 at 50 yards "6 rounds open sights" with 5 holes inside of 2" just to the left of point of aim, with one flyer another 2" higher and a bit more left. Weight without scope: 10 lbs. 5 oz. CONDITION: Excellent, with evidence of fairly light use. Barrels retain over 95% original blue with some very minor marks, silvering on sharp edges, and a couple of scratches from removing of forend in front of Anson button. Action retains nearly all of its original coin finish, toned a bit on tangs; attractively brightening on fences. There are a few very light marks and some scratches in oil finish of stocks, most noticeable on left side of grip behind drop points. Stock is a bit dull and might need a touch of oil rubbed in, checkering possibly cleaned. Bores are excellent, although a bit dirty. Action is tight. Barrels are on face. Ejectors are in time. Scope is excellent with a few light marks in lacquer. Optically clear. Case is excellent with a few light rubs in exterior leather. Interior is excellent. A superb, wonderfully balanced quick handling, very attractive rifle. MGM66.
Barrel Length
.470 Nitro Express
Drop at Heel
approx 2 - 1/8"
FFL Status
Length of Pull
14 - 5/8" cast off about 1/2".
SXS Double Rifle
Serial Number
10 lbs 5 oz.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $25,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium:
Estimate: $50,000 - $70,000
Number Bids: 3
Auction closed on Wednesday, October 23, 2019.
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