Rarity’s the Norm in Holt’s Sale

[F]or the sporting man who has everything . . . except an investment-grade pair of miniature sterling silver Purdey sidelocks in a presentation case for his desktop . . . the Holt’s Auctioneers June 30 sale in West London has that last need covered. Falling squarely in the sale’s “Curios & Whimsies” category, the display set is one of just three made in 2014 to commemorate the bicentenary of James Purdey & Sons.

At nearly 10 inches long, each of the break-open miniatures weighs approximately 176 grams—just less than four-tenths of a pound. But given the craftsmanship and rarity, Holt’s figures it will require something on the order of £3,000 to £4,000 (plus 20% VAT and a 25% buyer’s premium) to put the pair on your desk.

Among the many other historic novelties in the sale: the Fabrique Nationale C3 over/under that British farmboy and veterinarian Bob Brathwaite (see video above) used to win the trap competition at the 1968 Olympics, in Mexico City, and a rare 28-gauge James MacNaughton round-body gun with 24-inch Damascus barrels and a crystal-cocking-indicator window in the top strap. Boss too are represented by an extremely rare double hammerless ejector .303 stalking rifle with single trigger ordered on October 17, 1898 by Major T. F. Brinckman (1862-1937.) who had a “great love of the highlands” according to his obituary and “ . . .  spent the greater part of his life in hunting, shooting, fishing, and playing cricket.” Roy Lyu at Boss told Shooting Sportsman that only 11 hammerless double rifles have been built by the prestigious firm.

Ed Carroll & Douglas Tate

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