Full Details for Lot 1305



Fine Modern & Antique Guns - December 2013

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Sale A121213 Lot 1305 - S2




27in. nitro reproved Westley Richards Special steel barrels, ribs gold-inlaid '3' and '4' and engraved 'WESTLEY RICHARDS. 23 CONDUIT ST. LONDON. GUN MAKERS BY APPOINTMENT TO H.M. THE KING.', 2 1/2in. chambers, bored approx. imp. cyl. and 1/4 choke, scroll-back treble-grip actions incorporating J. Deeley and L.B. Taylor patent hand-detachable locks with engine turned finish, patent no. 17731 of 28th July 1897, use numbers 3708 and 3704, hinged floorplates, automatic safeties with gold-inlaid 'SAFE' details, Westley Richards patent toplevers, gold-inlaid '3' and '4' and engraved 'WESTLEY RICHARDS PATENT ONE TRIGGER' , L.B. Taylor modified 'two pull' single triggers, patent no. 26,659 of November 17th 1909, use numbers 909 and 908, triggerplate mounted selector switches with gold-inlaid 'L' and 'R' details, fine acanthus scroll engraving, the makers name engraved in scrolling banners, the triggerguards engraved with a pointer on point (No.3) and a brace of pheasant (No.4), retaining some colour-hardening and finish, 14in. boldly-figured stocks with circular gold escutcheons emblazoned with the Patiala crest and including 2in. wooden extensions, fore-ends with Deeley & Edge patent release catches and horn finials, weight 5lb. 15oz., in their brass-cornered oak and leather case, the lid outer marked 'HER HIGHNESS THE MAHARANEE OF PATIALA', with canvas and leather outer marked similarly

Provenance: The vendor has kindly supplied the following information from his research regarding the history of the guns. He was informed by the makers that the guns were ordered in 1928 and delivered in 1929 for 'Patiala'. The guns were made as Nos.3 and 4. with 27in. barrels, cased with tools and with 'short stocks with extensions'.

This pair of shotguns would have been commissioned by H.H. Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, and of his 10 wives, most likely given to Her Highness Maharani Bakhtawar Kaur Sahiba, the 'official' Queen of Bhupinder Singh.

His Highness Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E., G.C.V.O., G.B.E. of Patiala was born at Moti Bagh Palace on 12th October 1891 into a noble family ruling the princely 17 gun salute state of Patiala.

He was educated at Aitchison College, Lahore and was just nine years of age when he succeeded to the title of Maharaja of Patiala following the death of his father, Maharaja Rajinder Singh in November 1900. A Council of Regency was empowered in his name and it was not until November 1910 that he assumed full power following a ceremony of investiture by the 4th Earl of Minto, Viceroy of India.

During the Great War he served honourably (as can be seen by his post-nominals) with the General Staff in several theatres of war; France, Belgium, Palestine and Italy and by the end of hostilities had risen to the rank of Honorary Major-General although he was later to be promoted to an Honorary Lieutenant-General in 1931. He was also to represent India at the 1925 League of Nations.

Bhupinder Singh also undertook the construction of many architecturally fine buildings in his region, and one of these housed his impressive collection of coins said to be the largest in existence at the time. He was also a keen and highly proficient hunter (as were many of his noble peers), as well as an avid cricketer. He had his own Patiala XI, one of the finest in India and he captained India's non-test visit to England in 1911. His proficiency is clearly demonstrated by the fact that between 1915 and 1937 he played in 27 first-class matches.

He also owned one of the largest car collections in India. This comprised of various marques but he had a real penchant for motor cars built by Rolls-Royce. In 1930, the company refused to accept an order from him for a particular specification. The Maharaja was so riled that instead, he took delivery of several standard models and put them to work as refuse collection vehicles in Patiala city. This caused much consternation with the Viceroy and other members of the British establishment and Rolls-Royce were soon persuaded to comply with the original order! He also owned and flew the first aircraft in India.

He died at the young age of 46 on 23rd March 1938. He had proved to be a popular and just ruler and had carried out many social reforms during his time as Chancellor of the Chamber of Princes. He was succeeded by his son, Maharaja Yadavindra Singh who also proved to be a popular social reformer being the first Maharaja to agree to the inclusion of their region into the newly independent India in May 1948.

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Estimate £15,000-20,000


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