LONDON.- Gavin Gardiner Ltd
s first auction of 2013 of Fine Modern and Vintage Sporting Guns and Rifles will include a historically and internationally significant rare "Russian" Purdey, that was presented to British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan by Russian President Nikita Krushchev on the occasion of MacMillan's Historic 1959 State Visit to Russia - one of the key points in the Cold War. The auction will take place on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at Sothebys, 34-35 New Bond Street, London. Remaining in a new unfired condition and with presentation inscription in a gold plaque, the 12-bore gun that was made to Purdey specifications by the Tula State Armoury is expected to sell for between £20,000 and £30,000.
As Gavin Gardiner explained: The gun was presented to Prime Minister Harold Macmillan by Nikita Krushchev during the historic 1959 visit to Moscow at the height of the Cold War. It is of superb quality and is exquisitely finished with a presentation gold plaque set in to the stock, and it remains unused in its original presentation case. It has remained in the family ever since.
During a period of extreme tension between the East and the West, the visit was remarkable as it was the first visit of a major Western leader to the USSR since the Second World War. Harold Macmillan was committed to curbing the arms race and played a major role in negotiating the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963, the first important treaty signed between the US, USSR and Britain since the end of the war.
"We are delighted to be offering this rare and historic piece in our forthcoming auction at Sotheby's in London, and anticipate a great deal of interest from all around the world."
Also included in Gavin Gardiners April sale will be a good selection of fine English and European sporting guns by makers such as Purdey, Holland & Holland and Boss & Co.
An exceptional pair of recently completed English over and under guns by London-maker Charles Lancaster, carry an estimate of £35,000-£45,000, while a fine pair of Boss 12-bore assisted opening sidelock ejector guns also carry an estimate of £35,000 - £45,000 and a fine pair of 12-bore self-opening sidelock ejector guns by J. Purdey & Sons estimated at £18,000 - £24,000.
The European Guns include a scarce 12-bore single trigger sidelock ejector over and under gun by the renowned Italian master, Ivo Fabbri. Estimated at £25,000-£35,000, the gun is exceptionally well-finished and engraved, and also comprises two further pairs of barrels in its original case.