J. PURDEY & SONS
A UNIQUE, MAJESTIC PAIR OF 12-BORE TOPLEVER HAMMER EJECTOR LIVE PIGEON GUNS, serial no. 22181 / 2,
32in. Whitworth-steel nitro chopperlump barrels with broad raised matt ribs, tubes engraved 'J. PURDEY & SONS. AUDLEY HOUSE. SOUTH AUDLEY STREET. LONDON. MADE OF SIR JOSEPH WHITWORTH'S FLUID PRESSED STEEL', 2 3/4in. chambers, bored approx. extra full choke in all, treble-grip actions with hidden third bites and side-clips, carved percussion fences, rebounding sidelocks with carved low profile hammers, articulated front triggers, the actions, unsigned lockplates and furniture profusely carved in high relief with scrolling acanthus and floral motifs interspersed with the heads of mythical beasts and sirens, the undersides with a central depiction of the Green Man and all on a matted background, the action flats engraved 'J. PURDEY & SONS. LONDON.' bright finish overall,14 1/8in. highly-figured replacement stocks, weight 7lb. 10oz.
Provenance: The makers have kindle confirmed that the pair were completed in 1922, with 32in. barrels for 'Muley Hafid'.
They are listed as 'bar in iron toplever guns, 32in. barrels with matted pigeon ribs, Whitworth steel barrels, ejectors, 3rd Grip clip sides, named on flat of action, chased work & gun blued'. The Stocker is listed as 'Shackell' (Gus Shackell) and 'put together' by Packman.
The re-stocking is recorded as having been undertaken in Spain.
Donald Dallas has kindly informed us that on the basis of his extensive research through the Purdey records whilst writing his definitive history of the makers, that the very unusual specifications of this pair of guns does establish them as unique.
Abd al-Hafid of Morocco, or Mulai Abdelhafid (1975 - 1937) was the Sultan of Morocco from 1908 to 1912, and brother of Abd al-Aziz, against whom he revolted, beginning in 1907.
Appointed caliph of Marrakech by Abd al-Aziz, Abd al-Hafid had no difficulty there in rousing the Muslim community against his brother's Western ways. With Marrakech his, Abd al-Hafid routed his brother's forces and pensioned off the sultan. Recognized as sultan by the Western powers in 1909, Abd al-Hafid invoked French aid against another pretender in 1912 and then was forced to recognize a French protectorate over Morocco, and abdicated after signing the Treaty of Fez.
He signed his abdication only when on the quay in Rabat, with the ship that would take him to France already waiting.
Literature: Gun No. 22182 is illustrated in Donald Dallas's book 'James Purdey & Sons Gun & Rifle Makers Two Hundred Years of Excellence' on page 155. A copy of the original ledger entry is reproduced on the facing page. The engraving is attributed to being the likely work of Harry Kell.
Please click HERE to view Terms & Conditions.