James Purdey & Sons  20 with original Whitworth steel Bbls

James Purdey & Sons 20 bore Circa 1891


20 bore bar in wood hammer gun with top lever opening. 29 inch Whithworth steel barrels with 2 1/2 inch chambers measure R/L bores .632/.633; chokes .001/.029; walls .024/.024. As you may notice, the bores seem very open for a 20 bore. However this gun was originally proofed as a 19 bore (.627) as marked on the barrel flats.  The English straight stock measures 14 1/4 x 1 9/16 x 2 5/16 x 0 cast to a checkered butt. You may have noticed also a weird little appendage under the trigger guard. One can only speculate as to its purpose. Knowing that it was ordered for the Baron de Hirsch eliminates some possibilities. However we also know that he was offering his fnancial services to the Queen of England and her daughter. For more of the provenance of Purdey 14069, please look at the Historical Guns listing. More than likely the "pendent" is  vestigial to the rotary under lever, its morphological ancestor, as requested by the owner to compensate for "what ever". This has been recently verified by Donald Dallas on pages 202 and 204 in his latest Purdey book, again an important part of Purdey history. Cased in an original Purdey case with some accessories.

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