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Rifle Belonging to King Edward VII to Be Sold in London Nine Days Before the Royal Wedding
Made by famous London gunmaker James Purdey & Sons, this hammer rifle was built in 1873 for the Prince of Wales (King Edward VII 1901-1911).
LONDON.- A rifle belonging to Edward, Prince of Wales, before he became King Edward VII will be offered by Gavin Gardiner (in association with Sotheby’s) in a sale of Fine Modern and Vintage Sporting Guns and Rifles on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at Sotheby’s, 34-35 New Bond Street, London.

Made by famous London gunmaker James Purdey & Sons, this hammer rifle was built in 1873 for the Prince of Wales (King Edward VII 1901-1911) and was used on numerous occasions. It was subsequently taken to India and used during the Prince’s visit in1876. Records state that Her Majesty's government placed an order with Purdey's for a number of rifles to be presented as gifts during the visit, however this was the Prince’s own example and is estimated at £7,000-9,000.

Commenting on the auction, Gavin Gardiner said: “I am delighted to be offering such a historic rifle at my forthcoming auction. Built in 1873 for Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), the rifle was given to one of his faithful Hussars following his record tiger shoot on his State visit to India in 1876. Unlike many other rifles presented on this visit as gifts, this particular rifle was the Prince's own, that he used to good effect, and was given in reward to faithful service to a member of his own regiment at the end of the months sport. It is rare that such important and historic items appear at auction, and I am very pleased to have discovered this piece”

Another example by Purdey is a fine pair of 12-bore self-opening sidelock ejector guns dating from 1937. The guns still conform to their original specification and retain much of their original finish and therefore are estimated at £35,000-45,000.

Elsewhere in the auction will be a fine and virtually unused 12-bore self-opening sidelock ejector gun by Asprey. Completed in 2009, this was one of the final batch of guns produced by the Asprey Gunroom and is estimated to fetch £18,000-24,000.

The sale will also include over 200 lots of fine sporting guns, rifles and shooting accessories including pairs and singles by all of the major makers such as Henry Atkin, J. Purdey & Sons, Holland & Holland and William Evans. Numerous single guns, as well as sporting rifles, collector’s firearms and shooting accessories.

Gavin Gardiner is the only specialist firearms auctioneer holding his auctions in the heart of London’s West End, where he holds two sales each year as well as his prestigious sale at the Gleneagles Hotel, Scotland in August.

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