Many people who collect vintage doubles think Purdey’s bar-in-wood hammerguns are the most elegant side-by-sides ever made. I don’t know about the “most” elegant — I prefer lift-up models by William Powell & Son – but Purdey’s bar-in-woods are right at the top.
The one you see here is #11090, and it was made in 1881, and it looks like it’s in excellent original condition. Purdey built their first centerfire shotgun in 1865, and by 1868 (gun #7744), or maybe even earlier, they were making centerfires with bar-in-wood style locks & actions.
Many other makers made them, too, including Westley Richards, William Powell & Son, Stephen Grant, Army & Navy. A few companiess even built them with hammerless actions, including Purdey and Edinburgh’s McNaughton.
Here’s more about #11090 from the seller:
12 gauge James Purdey & Son Bar-in-Wood Double Barrel SxS Shotgun: You are looking at the best documented and best preserved 12 bore Purdey Bar in Wood Hammer shotgun available. Built in 1881, This gun is featured in the premier book on Purdey’s by Donald Dallas published in 2000 with three photos and a copy of the “Dimension Book” page with all specifications for Purdey # 11090 ( see photos ). It is almost unbelievable that the gun and the original case is in the pristine condition as found after 133 years.
This Purdey was made for Paul Fitter and his initials are still in the silver oval in buttstock and on the outside of case. The gun remains in perfect shooting condition and I have used it quite well in Vintage Sporting Clays events with lite Winchester AA target loads. The Damascus barrels are perfect…30″ with original CYL / F chokes, 2 5/8″ chambers , Bores are .735, hidden third bite, and not a rub, scratch or dent to be found. The action is tight as new and at 6lbs 15 oz. the gun balances beautifully.
The dimensions are shown on the work sheet and remain as is. The wood has been freshened a bit to remove old oil, etc. and the original horn buttplate is in excellent condition. The original case colors are strong and the fine Purdey rose and scroll engraving is vivid.
I am interested in finding a collector / Vintage shooter who is willing to continue to preserve this fantastic piece of Purdey’s history. You will not find a better example anywhere in the U.S.A. Price: POR