Friday, October 19, 2012

Prettiest Purdey?

The "island lock" model below, first made in the 1870's and probably available until at least the Great War, was to my mind the prettiest of all Purdeys, matched in "Best" quality guns only by perhaps a bar- in- wood action by Dixon or McNaughton from the same time-- make mine of Damascus, please, with three barrels arranged side by side and a side lever, like the one that belonged to Lord Rothschild, an ornithologist as well as a prolific writer and scientist. Lord Walsingham and the Prince of Wales, obsessive competitive shooters, also shot very similar Purdeys.It was said that, shooting trios, on a good day either could have as many as six birds dead in the air.

It has the inherent grace and solidity of all round actions-- no complicated stuff in that solid bar makes for great strength in a small package. The new owner is delighted by the gun, and I hope he will let me write about its characteristics. Notice the band of broad Damascus at the breech...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Those were the days, huge bags, each gun shooting several days a week, and with 2 loaders, and 3 matched guns !! , no wonder they could shoot!