Lot 501: J. PURDEY, LONDON A VERY FINE 16-BORE PERCUSSION SINGLE-BARRELLED SPORTING-GUN, serial no. 5203,
December 8, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
J. PURDEY, LONDON
A VERY FINE 16-BORE PERCUSSION SINGLE-BARRELLED SPORTING-GUN, serial no. 5203,
for 1855, with browned London proved triple-staged 32in. barrel, carved bands at the intersection, the top-flat signed ''J. PURDEY, 314 1/2 OXFORD STREET, LONDON'', small bead fore-sight, colour-hardened patent breech with engraved and platinum lines, fully engraved platinum vent, border and scroll engraved top-tang, borderline and scroll engraved colour hardened bar-action lock signed ''PURDEY'', en-suite dolphin-headed slab-sided hammer, chequered pistol-grip walnut half-stock with black ebonised laquered finish, raised shallow cheek-piece, clipped corner rectangular silver escutcheon to wrist, engraved iron furniture, horn fore-end cap and original brass mounted ebony ramrod, the whole retaining much finish and colour throughout
Provenance: The makers have kindly confirmed that this gun was completed on the 13th August, 1859, and sold to the Duke of Hamilton.
William Alexander Archibald Hamilton, 11th Duke of Hamilton and 8th Duke of Brandon (1811 - 1863) was a Scottish nobleman and the Premier Peer of Scotland.
William, 11th Duke of Hamilton, succeeded to the title in 1852 but spent very little time in Scotland after this and took almost no interest in his British affairs. The 10th duke was an ardent admirer of the Emperor Napoleon and persuaded his son to marry Princess Marie of Baden, the daughter of the adopted daughter of Napoleon. The couple married in 1843, spending much of their time after that at residences in Paris and Baden.
Like his father before him, William was a lavish spender. But unlike Alexander, the 11th duke lavished the family fortune not on Hamilton Palace but on a London townhouse. He bought 22 Arlington Street in St James'', London from Henry Somerset, 7th Duke of Beaufort for £60,000. That''s the equivalent of almost £3 million today. The 11th duke also developed into a major collector of old silver and other antiquities.