Original British Purdey of London .50 Cal Double Barrel Pea Rifle- Serial Number 4479, Sold May 31st 1850

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Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. An extremely rare staggering find from the Nepalese Cache is this double pea rifle made by James Purdey & Son, Gun & Rifle Maker to the Royal Family. When found it was in tatters but has been meticulously restored by renowned antique gunsmith Norman Sutton.

Research tell us that this very gun was sold to Jang Bahadur, then Prime Minister of Nepal, Unwin lists this Serial Number #4479 as being sold on the 31st of May 1850, officially listing it as A double pea rifle" costing 68 pounds five shillings. This type of rifle was popular for rooks and rabbits.

According to the distinguished author of The Early Purdey’s, Pat Unsworth, Purdey rifle #7151 currently belongs to the Queen of England and is safely ensconced at Sandringham Estate, Her Majesty’s much loved country retreat in Norfolk.

We believe that all steel parts are original Purdey manufacture; the stock however is most likely a Victorian era replacement. Overall this is an absolutely amazing historical rifle, in restored but worn original condition, and almost impossible to find today on the open market today. Serial number is present on the inside of both locks and the underside of barrel bears faint London proofs.

Maker: J. Purdey & Sons

Year of Mfg.: 1853

Type: Double Rifle

Model: Percussion DR-.50 CAL

Serial Number: 4478

Condition: Fair, pitted but complete, barrel rifling faint.

Engraving: Faint

Bore: .50 Cal

Barrel length: 26 3/4,

Action: Percussion Double

Trigger: Double

Weight: 5.75 lbs

History of Purdey-

Purdey was established in London in 1814, the year before the battle of Waterloo. The founder, James Purdey, had previously worked as head stocker for Joseph Manton, the foremost gunmaker of his time. Purdey set up his gun making business in Princes Street and soon moved to Manton's former premises in Oxford Street in 1826. As early as 1838, Queen Victoria is recorded as having bought a pair of Purdey pistols.

James Purdey the Younger took over the running of the company from his father in 1858. Over his lifetime there was rapid change and development in the design of guns and rifles, essentially moving from muzzle loading flintlocks in the 1820's to breech loading hammerless ejectors by the 1880's. James the Younger was always at the forefront of advances in the design and building of his guns and rifles, and took out several patents for technical innovations over the years, many of which were adopted by other gunmakers.

The company was granted its first Royal Warrant in 1868 by The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, an honour that has been bestowed on the Managing Director of James Purdey & Sons Ltd by each succeeding Monarch. Today Nigel Beaumont holds the Warrants of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, HRH Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Prince of Wales.

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