Holt’s Auctioneers recently sold a rare 12-bore single-barrelled self-opening sidelock ejector Trap gun made in 1928 by Purdey & Sons.
Holt’s’ Chris Beaumont was not surprised that the gun sold for £8,000, nearly £4,000 more than the estimate. He said: “While it is something that will certainly appeal to a collector, being rare often equals either a design issue or just a general lack of popularity in form and function. This was categorically not the case with this Purdey Trap gun, one of only 59 recorded as made.”
In the book James Purdey & Sons Gun & Rifle Makers – Two Hundred Years of Excellence, author Donald Dallas places Purdey building these guns following Athol Purdey’s trip to USA in 1922. The gun features a 30in Whitworth-steel nitro barrel with a raised ventilated tapering matt top-rib, high visibility bead and ivorine intermediate bead sight. The breech end is engraved “J PURDEY & SONS. AUDLEY HOUSE. SOUTH AUDLEY STREET. LONDON.” and “MADE OF SIR JOSEPH WHITWORTH’S FLUID PRESSED STEEL.”
With a 2 3/4in chamber and bored 3/4 choke, the treble-grip action has a removable striker disc, manual safety, cocking-indicator, acanthus scroll engraving with floral bouquets, the right side with a decorative sideplate to match.