Premier Fine Art & Antiques Auction
August 29, 2023
Below is just a small portion of the massive selection of high quality art & antiques to be featured in our upcoming August 29th 2023 auction! This auction will span multiple genres of collectibles, including Fine Paintings & Art, Jewelry & Silver, Orientalia, Rare Glass & Lamps, Early & Victorian Furniture, Decoys, Carvings, Coin-Op, & MORE!
An Exceptionally Fine Best Quality James Purdey Self Opening Sidelock Ejector Double Rifle in Original Caliber 400 3″ Straight With Its Original Oak and Leather Case and Accessories and Retaining Nearly All Its Original Finish Throughout.
Cal. 400 3″ Straight
S# 26118 (CA 1949)
Purdey records indicate that about 440 hammerless double rifles were built between 1880 and 2014, this number includes rifles of less than “Best Quality”. The .400 straight was introduced in 1906 as a Purdey proprietary cartridge and was advertised to be excellent for deer, wild boar, etc and gained popularity in India for tiger shooting. Records indicate that a total of 120 double rifles were made in this caliber, the last was sold in 1953. Although this is the most popular cartridge found in Purdey calibers, few remain unaltered today as most were converted to 45-70 over the years.
This fine rifle has 25″ chopper lump barrels with full length rib, tapering downward toward muzzle forming front sight ramp. The rib is stippled behind one standing two folding express rear sight. Central portion is left plain and engraved with Purdey name and address. Front is stippled as is ramp holding gold bead front sight. Barrel flats are stamped with London nitro proofs for the later 47 grain cordite load and 230 grain bullet. Bottoms of barrels are stamped with S# and bottom of left barrel is stamped with barrel maker’s initials “A.H” (Alf Harvey). Tube numbers 64003 & 4 are on loop. A sling loop is soldered to bottom rib. Case hardened Beesley patent self-opening sidelock action features automatic safety (“SAFE” inlaid in gold), sliding third fastener that engages short rib extension, side clips, bushed strikers, raised rib tumbler end cocking indicators and double triggers. Action is not filed with reinforcing bolsters as Purdey’s felt they were not necessary for this cartridge. Action and lockplates are engraved with near full coverage Purdey house style rose and scroll. Maker’s name is on each lockplate and bottom of action is engraved “J. PURDEY & SONS” “London” ” England”. Blued top lever and trigger guard are also scroll engraved. S# is on trigger guard tang which extends to engraved steel grip cap. Pistol grip buttstock of well marbled and lightly figured European walnut measures 14 1/2″ over Silver pad, and features early 50’s style swept right hand cheek piece as well as the usual drop points, point pattern checkering and sling loop. Toeline is also fitted with a silver oval engraved “J.T.C.”. Matching, splinter, late style ejector forend has Anson release. (ejector springs have been removed and are stored in a bone container in case.) Iron is stamped with “B.D.” (Ben Delay).
STOCK: DAH: approx. 2 11/16″. DAC: approx. 1 7/8″. CAST: about 3/8″ off. LOP: 14 1/2″.
WEIGHT: 8 lb. 1 oz.
UNATTACHED ACCESSORIES: rifle is house in its original oak and leather case with brass corners and central medallion. Top is embossed “J.T.C.”. Case is lined in burgundy cloth and has gold embossed leather Purdey label in lid of a type not illustrated in Don Dallas’ book. Label has central device over legend “By Appointment to H.M. King George VI”. Case contains cleaning equipment, snap caps, Purdey marked square oil bottle, bone striker case with strikers, spring and front sight, tan leather carrying sling, striker key, cleaning brushes in brown leather wallet, pull through cleaning kit in black Morocco leather wallet, and the afore mentioned extra striker bottle containing ejector springs. Case also contains 3- 5 rd boxes of late Kynoch cartridges with soft nose bullets.