MADE FOR H.H. THE MAHARAJ RANA OF DHOLPUR
J. PURDEY & SONS
AN EXCEPTIONAL .450 (3 1/4IN.) BLACK POWDER EXPRESS SELF-OPENING SIDELOCK NON-EJECTOR DOUBLE RIFLE, serial no. 14742,
27in. black powder only Whitworth-steel chopperlump barrels, the tubes engraved 'J. PURDEY & SONS, AUDLEY HOUSE, SOUTH AUDLEY STREET. LONDON. SIR JOSEPH WHITWORTH'S FLUID PRESSED STEEL', the rib partially matted and engraved 'MADE FOR R.B. RODDA & CO. GUN AND RIFLE MANUFACTURERS. CALCUTTA.', open sights with bone inlaid sighting triangle, one folding leaf sight with white metal inlaid sight line and marked for 200 yards, fine bead fore-sight with flip up moonsight, self-opening action with hidden third bite, side-clips, removable striker discs, bolted automatic safety with gold-inlaid 'BOLTED' and 'SAFE' details, arrow cocking-indicators, best fine acanthus scroll engraving with floral bouquets, retaining much original colour-hardening and finish, 14 1/8in. highly-figured pistolgrip stock with cheekpiece, engraved steel pistolgrip-cap, sling swivels and including 3/4in. rubber recoil pad, the underside inset in gold with a shield with blued enamel 'NS' monogram surmounted by a coronet, fore-end with grip-catch release lever, weight 9lb., in its brass-cornered crocodile skin bound oak case, the lid outer with central blank brass circular escutcheon and marked in gold 'HIS HIGHNESS THE MAHARAJ RANA OF DHOLPUR. 45 GAUGE. RIFLE NO. 14742', the interior lined with purple velvet, the lid interior with handwritten charges label, listing: '(powder) 120 Grains Curtiss & Harveys No.6, (wadding) thin card and greased cloth, (bullet) 325 Eley Ringed bullet, (cartridge case) 3 1/4 Solid drawn taper case', Purdey trade label and containing a virtually full complement of nickel plated reloading tools, many marked Purdey and some with the rifle serial number, one compartment lid top broken, small loss to inside upper oak lining
Provenance: The makers have kindly confirmed that this gun was completed in 1893 for Maharaj Rana of Dholpur
H.H. Rana Nihal Singh, Maharaj of Dholpur was born in 1862 and began his rule on 9 February 1873, ruling over a 15-gun salute state of 1,156 square miles in Rajputana (Rajasthan), inhabited by 271,496 subjects. His mother was daughter of Maharaja Narender Singh of Patiala. An Honorary Major in the Central India Horse, he maintained a private army of 139 cavalry, 1588 infantry and 32 guns, and was actively involved in British operations on the North West Frontier in 1897-98. After his death, he was succeeded by his son, Rana Ram Singh at the tender age of 9 (born 1893) in 1902.
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