FORMERLY THE PROPERTY OF CAPT. JAMES ALEXANDER PURDEY WEBLEY A .455/.476 DOUBLE-ACTION SERVICE REVOLVER, MODEL 'W.G. ARMY', serial no. 19212 / A1175, for 1903, 1896 Model with blued 6in. barrel, nickel bladed fore-sight, rear-sight notch to the barrel locking catch, blued fluted cylinder with quick release and twin securing claws, blued break-open frame, brushed bright hammer and trigger, chequered walnut flared grips and lanyard ring at heel, the back-strap engraved 'J.A. PURDEY. 21ST LANCERS.', the trigger guard bow engraved with Purdey's own serial number, the whole retaining much original blued finish and complete with a period full flap leather service holster, the inside of the flap stamped 'J.A.P. 21ST LANCERS.'
Provenance: Interestingly, the Webley records state this revolver was manufactured in 1903. The Purdey records show it as: A1175: 450/455 WG Webley Revolver, with .22 fit-in barrel, .22 Long or Short rim. Note the incorrect calibre. Whilst the Purdey records also note it as sold to J.A. Purdey, that is not quite the full story. It was actually purchased by his father on 23 November 1911 along with various accessories as noted below:
A .455/.476 Webley Revolver, A1175 £4 5s Extra barrel for same 12s 6d 500 .22 Smokeless Cartridges 5s Holster & Stamping 6s 9d Lanyard 6d Bag for Barrel 2s 3d Name & regiment engraved on pistol 7s 2 Pistol rods Initials on case 6d It may also be of interest that Athol's brother, Cecil, had purchased A1179, a Webley .455 Target revolver with Morris tube insert, in April 1911.
James Alexander Purdey was born on the 30th September 1891 to Athol Purdey and his wife Mabel. His grandfather was James Purdey the Younger and Jim was the fourth generation James Purdey. After schooling at Winchester College, he decided upon a career in the army and in 1909 entered the Royal Military College at Sandhurst aged eighteen. After training he joined the 21st Lancers and in 1911 sailed to Egypt to join his regiment. By early 1914 his regiment had transferred to India and he went with them. In 1913 Jim was admitted to the Freedom Of The Gunmakers Company. His regiment was involved in fighting on the North West Frontier and in 1915 Jim was appointed ADC to the Governor of Bengal. The climate and disease affected Captain James Purdey's health and in December 1916 he had to return home. After the war he was appointed as ADC to the Governor of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanganyika in East Africa. He returned from East Africa and purchased a farm at Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders. The farm didn't work out though and it was suggested that Jim become a director of Purdey's when it became a limited company in 1925. Along with his brother Tom, Jim ran Purdey's in the difficult inter war years. He later moved to America and died there in 1963 aged seventy-two.
Literature: "The Shotgun" by T.D.S. & J.A. Purdey
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