A massive, 8ft 6in punt gun used for shooting ducks on river estuaries fired up buyers at Bonhams
sale of Sporting Guns in Knightsbridge.
Lot 48. A fine 1½in. bore 'London' punt gun by Holland & Holland, with patent screw-breech, the barrel engraved Holland & Holland, of 98 New Bond Street, London. The makers have confirmed that the gun was completed in 1904 for an Obaidullah Khan. General Obaidullah Khan (1878-1924) was the second son of Sultan Jahan Begum (ruler of Bhopal 1901-26) He was also known as General Saab and was Commander-in-chief of the Bhopal state force and was awarded title of the Commander of the Order of the Star of India by the Indian Government.
WILLIAM WALDORF ASTORS GUN
Lot 32, a rifle completed in 1899 for a Mr W. Astor sold for £13,750 against a pre sale estimate of £6,000 to £8,000. This was a fine .360 (No. 5) 'E Quality' boxlock non-ejector rifle by James Purdey & Sons. It seems very likely that this gun was owned by William Waldorf "Willy" Astor (1848-1919), the wealthy American attorney, politician and newspaper magnate. Upon the death of his father in 1890, Astor inherited a substantial fortune. The following year he moved with his family to England where they soon took up residence in Hever Castle, Kent. William Astor is best remembered for his extensive philanthropic works, for which he was awarded a peerage in 1916
The highest price in the sale, £45,000, (estimate £20,000-30,000) was for lot 47, a fine .470 sidelock ejector rifle by J.Rigby made in 1909 for a J.H. Horlick.