J. PURDEY & SONS
A 12-BORE SELF-OPENING SIDELOCK EJECTOR, serial no. 25279,
29in. nitro chopperlump barrels, the rib gold-inlaid '1' and engraved 'J. PURDEY & SONS. AUDLEY HOUSE. SOUTH AUDLEY STREET. LONDON. ENGLAND.', 2 1/2in. chambers, bored approx. 1/4 and 3/4 choke, self-opening action, toplever gold-inlaid '1', automatic safety with gold-inlaid 'SAFE' detail, removable striker discs, cocking-indicators, fine bouquet and scroll engraving, retaining much original colour-hardening and finish, 14 3/8in. figured replacement pistolgrip stock, gold escutcheon bearing the crowned monogram of King Farouk of Egypt, weight 6lb. 9oz., in its makers lightweight leather motorcase
Provenance: Farouk 1 was born in Cairo in 1920. He developed an interest in firearms from a very early age and used to shoot his airgun out of the royal place windows. He was educated in England at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich and whist attending this institution stayed at Kenry House. He wasn't interested in study, failed his exams and became friendly with the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VIII. He attended football matches, went on shopping sprees and enjoyed the night life, the beginnings of his sybaritic lifestyle. It was during this stay in England that he became interested in game shooting, visited Purdeys and ordered this Purdey.
In April 1936 his father died and aged 16 he returned to Egypt as king. Besides inheriting the throne, he received all his father's lands amounting to one seventh of all the arable land in Egypt. Hence he acquired considerable wealth in addition to five palaces, 200 cars and various yachts.
At first he was popular with the Egyptian people but was completely unprepared for rule having experienced a sheltered, extremely privileged lifestyle, virtually uneducated and only sixteen years of age. He fully indulged in a glamourous royal lifestyle travelling to Europe on great shopping sprees spending vast amounts of money. His extravagance was insatiable and he spent his enormous wealth on gambling, women, fine dining and the like. He was also obsessed with collecting, building up large collections of firearms, Faberge eggs, coins and so on. As a very handsome teenager he was something of a sex symbol in his early years, making the front cover of Life and Time magazines. His coronation at Cairo on 20th July 1937 outdid the coronation of King George VI held earlier in May in London of that year.
Although Egypt remained neutral in World War Two, it was fought over by the Axis and the Allies. Even during the war years Farouk continued with his hedonistic lifestyle. Egypt ended the war as the richest country in the Middle East due to the vast quantities if cotton it had supplied, but the stark disparity in Egyptian society meant that the distribution of wealth was extremely unfair. Farouk's popularity began to decline with his extravagant lifestyle called into question. He was widely condemned for his corrupt and ineffectual governance and public discontent drew.
A coup was organised and in July 1952, tanks and field guns arrived outside the palace and Farouk was forced to abdicate. He went into exile in Monaco and Italy and the monarchy in Egypt was abolished. The new government auctioned off all his vast collections of valuables he had built up including one of the world's biggest coin collections. He died in Rome in 1965.
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S2 - Sold as a Section 2 Firearm under the 1968 Firearms Act