PRESENTED TO H.H. THE NIZAM OF THE DECCAN BY H.R.H. THE PRINCE OF WALES
A .360 BLACK POWDER EXPRESS DOUBLE-BARRELLED ROTARY-UNDERLEVER HAMMER RIFLE, serial no. 9165,
for 1875, 27in. black powder only damascus barrels, the rib engraved 'J. PURDEY 314 1/2, OXFORD STREET, LONDON. TO H.H. THE NIZAM OF THE DECCAN. FROM H.R.H. THE PRINCE OF WALES. K.G. G.C.S.I. 1876', open sights and two folding leaf sights with white metal sight lines and marked '50', '100' and '150', Jones patent rotary-underlever, carved percussion fences, non-rebounding back-action locks with carved bolted hammers, fine acanthus scroll engraving, retaining traces of original colour-hardening and finish, 14 1/2in. well-figured stock with cheekpiece, sling eyes and steel buttplate, large gold escutcheon engraved with the Prince of Wales crest, diminutive fore-end with cross-pin release and horn finial, weight 7lbs. 11oz., in its re-lined brass-cornered oak and leather case with lift-out tray and provision for cartridge storage, with assorted associated reloading tools and the lid outer marked 'H.H. THE NIZAM 360 EXPRESS'
Provenance: The makers have kindly confirmed that the rifle was ordered in 1875 on behalf of H.R.H. The Prince of Wales to be given as a gift to the Nizam on his approaching tour of India. A similar .450 Black powder express double rifle, serial no. 8603 (originally built for Walter Winans in 1871 and subsequently returned as a part exchange in 1874) was reconditioned and recased, also as a gift for the Nizam (and is currently in the collection at the Royal Armouries). A number of other rifles were ordered at the same time, also destined to be gifts for various other Princely Heads of State. The ledgers record this rifle as 'C.F. double pea rifle, 100 bore, No. 9165, in case complete, engrave on the barrels H.H. The Nizam of the Deccan, etc, fine gold oval, engraving, 200 cartridges'
The Prince of Wales' extensive tour of the Indian subcontinent was a diplomatic mission to strengthen existing or forge new relationships between the British Crown and the Indian rulers. The tour included visits to over 21 towns and cities over an eight-month period, the exchanging of gifts with the various rulers a vital part of the proceedings.
W.H. Russell, Honorary Private Secretary to H.R.H. The Prince of Wales documented the expedition in great detail in his account ''The Prince of Wales' Tour: A Diary in India; With Some Account of the Visits of His Royal Highness to the Courts of Greece, Egypt, Spain and Portugal' published in 1878.
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Sold as an exempt item under Section 58 (2) of the 1968 Firearms Act, to be held as a curiosity or ornament