£96,000 pair of Purdey guns shoot to the top of collectible firearms auction

Gavin Gardiner's auction of collectible Modern and Vintage Sporting Guns has concluded in Gleneagles Hotel in Auchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland - the 43rd consecutive annual auction of its kind.

There were two key highlights in the sale: a 12-bore 'Royal' model sidelock ejector gun by Holland & Holland built for Richard Haldane in 1904 to give to James C. Kemp DSO MC as a birthday present, and two rare Purdey guns.

The Rt. Hon. Richard Haldane was elected to the Scottish seat of Haddingtonshire, later known as East Lothian in the 1885 General Election and was known as a supporter of the Boer War.

He was elected as a Liberal, but later campaigned for the Labour party after that had been formed, serving the former as Secretary of State for War and the latter as Lord Chancellor. He is perhaps most famous for founding the Territorial Army.

The fine 12-bore 'Royal' model sidelock ejector gun by Holland & Holland

The beautiful weapon, with its original case, squeaked past its listing of £10,000-15,000 to sell for £15,600, and is likely to prove its worth as an investment.

The sale was headed, however by an exceptional pair of 12-bore round body self-opening sidelock ejector guns, built by J Purdey and Sons.

Featuring 28-inch chopper-lump barrels with 2 3/4-inch chambers and 1/4 and 1/2 choke borings, the rounded frames and engravings retain virtually all their original hardening colour and the maker's name signed in gold.

They sold near the top of the estimate range of £80,000-100,000 at £96,000.


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