J. Purdey shotguns have always been custom made, and for the most part, if you could afford it, they would build it. It’s obvious that the gentleman who ordered James Purdey #10532 could afford an awful lot.
This 12 gauge, bar-in-wood hammergun is coming up at Sunday at this auction in Italy, and I’m sure I’m not the only person who is looking at it and wondering what the original owner was thinking when he ordered it.
It has three sets of barrels (two damascus, one fluid), two original stocks and forends, but only one set of locks. I guess you could call it a “Half a Pair, Plus One.” The case is odd, too. You don’t see a lot of Purdeys in French-fitted cases, or with such a wide array of accessories. This one even has ivory-handled tools.
Here’s more info on the gun from the auctioneer’s site:
A Purdey double-barrelled centerfire gun in its original case Provided with a set of three different pairs of barrels: the first one, damascened, with rib marked “J. PURDEY & SONS. 314 1/2, OXFORD STREET, LONDON”, stamped with Victorian marks at the lower part and the writings “13 IV”, “12 B” and “NOT FOR BALL”; the second pair, identical to the first one, but stamped “JP” at the lower part on top of the writings; the last pair, blued, with blue finishing, rib with same mark followed by “MADE OF SIR JOSEPH WHITWORTH’S FLUID-PRESSED STEEL.”, with remains of Victorian stamps and number “12” at the lower part. All smooth, 12 gauge barrels, 76 cm long. The locks and the receivers finely engraved with racemes and small floral motifs, hammers and trigger guards en suite; plates signed “J. PURDEY & SONS”, opening levers with blue blueing and mark “PATENT”. Also provided with two butts of different briarwood, both checkered at the neck and decorated with a gold plaque at the bottom, engraved with same monogram. The gun is complete with two fore-ends, one marked “STEEL BARRELS”. All components (butts included) marked with serial number “10532”. The metallic parts keep most of the original blueing. Kept in its original, wooden case, lined with red velvet and covered by leather, with transportation handle (damaged); complete with Purdey label and two more labels, one marked with the gun serial number. Complete with original tools, having ivory handles. The owner commissioned a research at the Purdry archives and found out that a double-barrelled gun cal. 12, number 10532 was made in 1879 for “Mr. Park”, with 30 inch barrels and a set of extra barrels.
dimensions: length 117,5