Wow – what a Purdey hammergun. But $99,500?

Alfonso XIII of Spain, pigeon shooter & owner of many Purdeys
Alfonso XIII of Spain, pigeon shooter & owner of many Purdeys

Provenance is tricky, especially when it comes to old guns. Some provenances can boost a shotgun’s value many times over, while other barely register at all with buyers.

Fo example: Would you pay $60,000 more for a shotgun made for King Alfonso XIII.

King who?

Yeah – that’s the problem. King Alfonso XIII was Spain’s monarch from 1886-1931. While he was a big deal in his day, I don’t know anyone who cares about him now. So it’s hard to say if a gun connected to him is worth a $60,000 premium.

That’s just what’s going on with the James Purdey & Sons 12g hammergun you see here. This side-by-side came up for sale in Christie’s, December 2014 sale:

JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST BARRE ENGRAVE SIDELOCK SXS HAMMER SHOTGUN 12 GAUGE KING ALFONSO OF SPAIN
JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST BARRE ENGRAVE SIDELOCK SXS HAMMER SHOTGUN 12 GAUGE KING ALFONSO OF SPAIN

A VERY RARE BARRÉ ENGRAVED 12-BORE TOPLEVER LIVE PIGEON HAMMERGUN. J. PURDEY & SONS, AUDLEY HOUSE, SOUTH AUDLEY STREET, LONDON, SERIAL NO. 19395.

The hammer price plus premium: $35,370. It looks to me like whoever has the gun now connected it to King Alfonso before or after he bought it. It certainly is a spectacular shotgun, and it appears to be in excellent condition. Regardless, though, the big question is: Is its connection to a King worth sixty large?

JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST BARRE ENGRAVE SIDELOCK SXS HAMMER SHOTGUN 12 GAUGE KING ALFONSO OF SPAIN
JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST BARRE ENGRAVE SIDELOCK SXS HAMMER SHOTGUN 12 GAUGE KING ALFONSO OF SPAIN

JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST BARRE ENGRAVE SIDELOCK SXS HAMMER SHOTGUN 12 GAUGE KING ALFONSO OF SPAIN32″ 029 AND 032 1 1/4 OZ PROOF DOUBLE TRIGGER EXTRACTORS SPLINTER FOREARM ENGLISH GRIP CHECKERED BUTT MAKERS CASE EXCELLENT CONDITION 7LBS 9 0Z X 2″ X 1 1/2″. Price: $99,500

More info from the seller:
“Purdey Hammer gun sn. 19395 came from a collection of Spanish Royal Firearms, from the household of King Alfonso XIII of Spain. The makers have confirmed that this hammergun was completed in April 1909 for the King of Spain, Alfonso XIII. The records are specific that Barre was the engraver. The gun is covered in finely chiseled low relief with foliate scrollwork illustrating monsters and masks upon a blackened background. Included is a gold inlaid escutcheon with the Spanish Royal Coat of Arms.

JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST BARRE ENGRAVE SIDELOCK SXS HAMMER SHOTGUN 12 GAUGE KING ALFONSO OF SPAIN
JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST BARRE ENGRAVE SIDELOCK SXS HAMMER SHOTGUN 12 GAUGE KING ALFONSO OF SPAIN

It is believed that the King used this gun in winning the Tiro-Pichon De Madrid in May 1921. Our provenance includes a picture of the King aside the trophy given for his win and holding what appears to be this gun. Purdey awarded the winner of the Tiro-Pichon De Madrid a prize gun that was to duplicate this piece, however Barre did not engrave the later gun as he was dead by 1921.”

BTW: A similar Purdey was also in Christie’s 12/2014 sale: #22210. You can read more about it in this post: The king of Spain’s Purdey pigeon shotgun brings $55,000…

JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST BARRE ENGRAVE SIDELOCK SXS HAMMER SHOTGUN 12 GAUGE KING ALFONSO OF SPAIN
JAMES PURDEY & SONS BEST BARRE ENGRAVE SIDELOCK SXS HAMMER SHOTGUN 12 GAUGE KING ALFONSO OF SPAIN

Here are couple other Purdeys attributed to Barre:

SPECTACULAR HIGH RELIEF 12 GAUGE BARRE ENGRAVED J. PURDEY & SONS DELUXE SIDE LOCK EJECTOR GAME GUN. SN 18218. Price realized: $50,600

James Purdey & Sons Side by Side Shotgun (Gift from King Edward VII to the Shah) Barre Engraved – 12 ga.

Good gun alert: 16g Arrieta 871 SxS shotgun…

ARRIETA MODEL 871 16GA SIDE-BY-SIDE DOUBLE SHOTGUN
ARRIETA MODEL 871 16GA SIDE-BY-SIDE DOUBLE SHOTGUN

Arrieta is one of Spain’s best known gunmakers, and they’ve been making quality side-by-sides for decades. The 871 is there version of a Boss Round Body, and it features a sleek-looking rounded action and stock. William Larkin Moore lists a new 871 at $10,500, and I doubt it would be as nice as the one you see here.

ARRIETA MODEL 871 16GA SIDE-BY-SIDE DOUBLE SHOTGUN, 28 IN BBLS. MOD/IC CHOKES: Mod/Imp. Cyl. Chokes, Double Triggers   Beautiful Wood, Straight English-style Checkered Walnut Stock, Checkered Walnut Splinter Forend. Intracately-engraved Receiver, Tang, Trigger Guard and Forend Metal. Truly Beautiful Shotgun in Excellent Condition. Price: $3,995

ARRIETA MODEL 871 16GA SIDE-BY-SIDE DOUBLE SHOTGUN
ARRIETA MODEL 871 16GA SIDE-BY-SIDE DOUBLE SHOTGUN
Model: 871
Serial Number: 57-03-191-00
Condition: Excellent
Barrels: 28 in
Barrel Type: side by side
Action: Sidelock
Triggers: Double
Gauge: 16 GA
Stock: Straight English checkered walnut
Stock Drop: 1 1/2 in. at Comb, 2 1/2 in at Heel
Stock Cast: Off
Fore End: Checkered Walnut Splinter
Butt Pad: Checkered walnut
LOP: 14 1/16 in.
Finish: Blued/Case-Colored
Weight: 6.2 lbs.
Sights: Metal Front Bead
Choke Left: Modified
Choke Right: Improved Cylinder
Engraving: On Receiver, Trigger Guard, Tang, Forend Metal
ARRIETA MODEL 871 16GA SIDE-BY-SIDE DOUBLE SHOTGUN
ARRIETA MODEL 871 16GA SIDE-BY-SIDE DOUBLE SHOTGUN
ARRIETA MODEL 871 16GA SIDE-BY-SIDE DOUBLE SHOTGUN
ARRIETA MODEL 871 16GA SIDE-BY-SIDE DOUBLE SHOTGUN
ARRIETA MODEL 871 16GA SIDE-BY-SIDE DOUBLE SHOTGUN
ARRIETA MODEL 871 16GA SIDE-BY-SIDE DOUBLE SHOTGUN
ARRIETA MODEL 871 16GA SIDE-BY-SIDE DOUBLE SHOTGUN
ARRIETA MODEL 871 16GA SIDE-BY-SIDE DOUBLE SHOTGUN
ARRIETA MODEL 871 16GA SIDE-BY-SIDE DOUBLE SHOTGUN
ARRIETA MODEL 871 16GA SIDE-BY-SIDE DOUBLE SHOTGUN

Would you pay $2,999 for this 12 gauge Arrieta SxS shotgun?

12 gauge Arrieta Double Barrel Sidelock Shotgun
12 gauge Arrieta Double Barrel Sidelock Shotgun

Do you love the idea of ordering a bespoke shotgun? A lot of people do. But there can be a downside to a having a shotgun custom made just for you: After all your anticipating and money spent, what you specified on paper may not be what arrives at your door.

That’s one reason I like used doubles. With a used shotgun, you know what you’re getting (at least once your gunsmith has had a chance to look it over). Even if you buy a side-by-side or over-under online, you should be able to get your money back in a couple of weeks if there’s a problem.

12 gauge Arrieta Double Barrel Sidelock Shotgun
12 gauge Arrieta Double Barrel Sidelock Shotgun

So you’re thinking about “bespeaking” a 12 gauge Spanish sidelock, I would take a long look at the Arrieta you see here instead.  I’m not sure if it’s 557, a 570, or something between. But whatever model it is, it sure looks like a good deal for $2,999 – especially when you consider that a brand  new 12 gauge 557 costs $4,999.

If you agree, now. This shotgun is at Gunauction.com, and the listing ends September 14, 2013 19:57:00 PT. Here’s more about it from the seller:

12 gauge Arrieta Double Barrel Sidelock Shotgun
12 gauge Arrieta Double Barrel Sidelock Shotgun

12 gauge Arrieta Double Barrel Sidelock Shotgun: This elegant gun is one of Arrieta’s best guns! It’s a 7 pin Holland & Holland style lock. It has has a case colored receiver and is beautifully engraved with ultra fine scroll engraving, gold plated removable sidelocks, double trigger (front hinged), auto ejectors and so much more. Notice all the details like N/S screws, the beautiful case color, the fit of wood to metal and so on. This particular gun is “as built” with the exception of an added pad (owner is tall), no wood was cut off. It is a 12 bore choked light modified and improved modified. 6 pounds 12 ounces. Stats: LOP 15″, BBls 27&3/4″, DAH 2&1/4″, DAT 7&1/4″, OAL 45&1/4.

12 gauge Arrieta Double Barrel Sidelock Shotgun
12 gauge Arrieta Double Barrel Sidelock Shotgun

The week’s good guns, powered by Gunsinternational.com…

CSMC A.H. Fox FE special 20 gauge double barrel shotgun
CSMC A.H. Fox FE special 20 gauge double barrel shotgun

CSMC Fox FE Special 20g side-by-side double barrel shotgun: Spectacular A.H. Fox FE special, made by Connecticut Shotgun. Near new. 28″ bbl., 14 1/4″ lop (from back trigger), 3″ chambers, xtrfull/xtrfull, exhibition wood. Cased with all accessories. Outstanding deep relief engraving by master engraver Bryson Gwinell. Priced under what it would cost to reproduce, a chance for a real beauty at a DE price. Price: $23,000

Winchester Model 21 Grade 4 .410 Vent Rib: Lovely Winchester Model 21 Grade 4 engraved .410. 26″ bbls, 3″ chambers, f/f. Gun is 100% original. Overall excellent + condition, possibly unfired. Factory Vent Rib. Price: $21,500

Arrizabalaga 16 Gauge Self Opener SLE with 30” Barrels:
Arrizabalaga 16 Gauge Self Opener SLE with 30” Barrels:

Arrizabalaga 16 Gauge Self Opener SLE with 30” Barrels: Pedro Arrizabalaga is known as the king of Spanish gunmakers and this beautiful best grade16 gauge proves it. With Woodward-style engraving and arcaded fences this gun has the looks and the handling characteristics knowledgeable shooters demand. It is fully engraved with great case coloring. *** Manufactured in 1999 it has a self-opening action, double triggers, 30” barrels with 2-3/4” chambers, automatic ejectors, and a solid concave rib. The gun has bushed strikers and the front trigger is articulated. The chokes are Improved Cylinder and Modified. The bluing is 99%. *** Stocked in a very highly figured piece of Circassian walnut with dark chocolate swirls in a caramel colored background. It has a straight hand grip and splinter forearm. The checkering is sharp and carved out to around 28 lines per inch. The length of pull is 15-1/4” over a 1” leather pad. Great shooting dimensions of 1-3/8” X 2-1/16”. Weighs 6lb 10 oz. *** Comes cased in its original oak and leather brass-cornered case with maker’s label including mahogany cleaning rod and attachments, snap caps and oil bottle. All this fits snugly in a codura outer cover to protect the leather. Replacement cost is $26,950 plus $1,550 for the case. Price: $16,750

ARMY & NAVY 12 BORE Side-by-Side Double RIFLE- FULL RIFLED
ARMY & NAVY 12 BORE Side-by-Side Double RIFLE- FULL RIFLED

ARMY & NAVY 12 BORE RIFLE- FULL RIFLED- LONDON N. P. in 2009 to 2 3/4″- EXC COND INSIDE & OUT- 80% ORIG CASE COLORS- 80% ENGRAVING: #518, Made Expressly For “The Army & Navy Cooperative Society Limited” London: A super nice Bar Action Sidelock 12 Bore Rifle with Non-Rebounding locks, Jones Screw-Grip Action Underlever; 26″ damascus barrels, London Nitro Proof in 2009 to 70mm (2 3/4″) and 18.9mm on the right barrel and 18.8mm on the left, Full length rib with 1 standing & 4 folding express sights that are platinum lined & sighted at 150 – 200 – 250 & 300 yards, Percussion style fences, Wedge forend fastener, Steel engraved grip cap, No cheekpiece, Sling eyes, 14 1/2″ LOP over a full faced checkered horn buttplate, A deep 5 1/2″ butt from heel to toe ideal for a Big Bore, 10 lbs. 1 oz., Superb wood with excellent black/brown color & contrast, 80% coverage of very fine & well cut period scroll engraving including the hammers, top strap, lever, trigger guard, forend and grip cap. This classic vintage gun still retains an honest 80% original case colors, The wood absolutely appears with original finish and remains at 88-90%, The checkering is at 90%, The barrels were re-browned in London when nitro proved, The bores are absolute excellent to near excellent plus condition with square rifling the entire way and remain bright & shiny, The breech face retains 90% case colors and totally free of any pits at the strikers, The forend inside has 100% case colors, Both locks inside & out remain in excellent plus condition and have all the trappings of being built by gun lock maker John Stanton of Wolverhampton. The internal inletting looks as clean as the day it was cut and totally free of oil soak. The gun is quite accurate plus it will shoot off the shelf Winchester 1 ounce sabot slugs. This is flat out one good looking and extremely solid rifle in every respect from metal to wood with super bores. Here is first rate quality, style, grace, workmanship, handling and romance from a great period at the pinnacle of sporting guns in the last years of the 19th century. Price: $14,750.00

Ithaca SXS, double barrel shotgun in 28 gauge
Ithaca SXS, double barrel shotgun in 28 gauge

Ithaca SXS shotgun in 28 GA: Wonderful Ithaca  SXS shotgun in 28 GA with original 2 3/4″ chambers,  LOP 14″ to an Ithaca butt plate, Choked Cyl-Mod (.000 and .014) Krupp steel barrels measuring 26″, double triggers. This is an all original shotgun with all original finish. Barrels and stock finish near 100% and CC at 50%+. Price: $5700

Good gun alert: P. Arrizabalaga 28g sidelock…

Arrizabalaga double barrel shotguns have a reputation for being some of the finest side-by-sides made in Spain. This little 28 gauge is a nice example of the kind of work they turn out. It looks like a pretty low-grade model that’s in excellent original condition. If you shoot a smaller-proportioned gun (yeah, I didn’t want to say you’re a small guy), this looks like a great deal on decent sidelock.

Arrizabalaga 28 gauge double barrel shotgun
Arrizabalaga 28 gauge double barrel shotgun

 

Fit for the friend of a King…

Say you were Juan Carlos I, King of Spain, and you wanted to give a friend a a set of four double barrel shotguns. What would you go with?

Garbi 103A 20 gauge shotgun, ordered by the King of Spain
Garbi 103A 20 gauge shotgun, ordered by the King of Spain

When Juan Carlos ordered four side-by-side for the now broke, ex-billionaire Patricia Kluge, he went with Garbis 103As. Because Mrs. Kluge has fallen on hard times, you now have a chance to buy these guns for yourself. They’re being auctioned off by the Potomack Company on June 11th.

The Model 103A is a traditional game gun with Purdey style Rose & Scroll engraving that is completely done by hand. The action also has the traditional shaping improvements of a higher quality gun with beaded fences and sculpturing. The 103A also has an improved quality of wood and checkering.. New, these gun are about $18,000 a piece. Of course, I get they give Juan Carlos a deal.

BTW: what does the King shoot? According to this article, a trio of Kemens.

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