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Serial Number 18179
J. Purdey & Sons .500/.465 NE Beesley Patent Self Opening Sidelock Non-Ejector Double Rifle with Jones Patent Sprung Rotary-Underlever
J. Purdey & Sons .500/.465 NE calibe double rifle originally built in 1908 on a Beesley patent self opening sidelock non-ejector with a sprung Jones patent rotary-underlever (a snap action version of the Jones underlever that snaps shut automatically when the barrels are closed), bolstered treble bite frame with clipped fences, two triggers, bolted automatic safety and “arrow” cocking indicators. The engraving is an early version of Extra finish engraving which is a bold acanthus type, a pattern still seen on Purdey gun and rifles today. The Maker’s name is on the leg of the lock plates.
The 26” chopper lump barrels are made of Sir Joseph Whitworth Compressed Fluid Steel featuring a stippled quarter rib with platinum lined standing “Express” sight and one folding leaf regulated for 100 and 200 yds respectively. The stippled ramp front sight features a brass beaded sight blade still retaining the original serial numbered sight hood. Barrels feature the “Audley House” address and the Whitworth steel tag line engraved down the top rib.
The nicely figured stock features a full pistol grip with steel and engraved grip cap, sling swivel, original anti-recoil rubber pad, drop points, blank stock oval, and wrap over the wrist checkering with Mullered borders on front and smooth border at the thumb flutes. The splinter forend is fitted with an Anson push rod. Original case label states there is spare foresight under the grip cap and it appears to have never been removed.
Overall, the rifle remains in very nice condition retaining much original color on the action and original hand rubbed stock finish and pad. The barrels show signs of a worn and very old re-black, the bores remain perfect. The barrels are tight on face and the venerable Jones rotating double-screw grip underlever locks up like a vault.
The rifle is housed in its original oak and leather case with brass corners. The case remains in original condition retaining its original red baize and trade labels.
The rifle was originally completed for the Earl of Landisborough, before finding its way into the hands of a Swedish businessman who regularly took it to hunting in East Africa. It is said that rather than travel back and forth from Africa with the rifle that it was left in the capable hands of Baron Bror von Blixen-Finecke ‘on permanent loan’.
Baron Bror von Blixen-Finecke (1886-1946), was a Swedish aristocrat, renowned big game hunter, author, serial womanizer and husband of famed writer Karen Blixen (author of Out of Africa under the pen name Isak Dineson). The rifle includes a letter of provenance from the previous owner stating the rifle was obtained by his uncle who was good friends of the Blixen-Finecke family.
A very rare rifle in its own right that remains in wonderful condition despite its age of 111 years. Not only is it a very fine rifle from one of England's most famous and revered makers, it has a very interesting history and provenance linking it to one of the most colorful characters from the golden age of African Safari.
|Make||J. Purdey & Sons|
|Action||Beesley Patent Self Opener SLE|
|Case||Oak & Leather|