FORMERLY THE PROPERTY OF THE DUKE OF PORTLAND
DANL. FRASER & CO.
A FINE .303 'VELOX' BOXLOCK EJECTOR DOUBLE RIFLE, serial no. 3224,
circa 1900, 27in. nitro chopperlump barrels, raised partially matted sighting rib with open sights and one folding leaf sight, ramp-mounted bead fore-sight, the sighting rib engraved 'DANL FRASER & CO. GUN & RIFLE MANUFACTURERS. 4 LEITH ST. TERRACE. EDINBURGH.', the tubes engraved '303 BORE 180 GRN BULLET. REGULATED FOR 100 YDS.', treble-grip action with side-clips and carved serpentine fences, slender toplever, bolted automatic safety with white metal 'BOLTED' detail and gold-inlaid 'SAFE' detail, fine bouquet and acanthus scroll engraving, brushed finish, pins reblued, 14 1/2in. figured pistolgrip stock including buttplate, pistolgrip cap, with cheekpiece, flip-up peep sight mounted at the wrist, recessed sling eye, weight 9lb. 2oz.
Provenance: This Lot is accompanied by 'Fifty Years and More of Sport in Scotland' by the Duke of Portland, and an ornately framed print recording the Duke of Portland's 1,000th stag shot on 23rd September, 1921.
William Cavendish-Bentinck, 6th Duke of Portland (1857 - 1943) was a British landowner, courtier and Conservative politician. He served in the Coldstream Guards and gained the rank of Lieutenant in 1877. He then served as Lieutenant-Colonel of the part-time Honourable Artillery Company from 1881 to 1889. The Duke inherited the Cavendish-Bentinck estates, based around Welbeck Abbey in Nottinghamshire, from his cousin William Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck, 5th Duke of Portland, in 1879. He was a substantial landowner owning 183,200 acres. His properties were 3 Grosvenor Square, London, Welbeck Abbey, Worksop, Fullarton House, Ayrshire, Castle Cessnock, Ayrshire and Langwell, Caithness.
The Portlands received Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria at Welbeck Abbey for a week in 1913 when the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne visited England. During the stay he took the Archduke shooting on the estate when, according to Portland's memoirs, Men, Women and Things:
"One of the loaders fell down. This caused both barrels of the gun he was carrying to be discharged, the shot passing within a few feet of the Archduke and myself. I have often wondered whether the Great War might not have been averted, or at least postponed, had the Archduke met his death there and not at Sarajevo the following year."
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S1 - Sold as a Section 1 Firearm under the 1968 Firearms Act