Modern and Vintage Sporting Guns Sale at Gleneagles

GAVIN GARDINER is delighted to announce that he will be selling a gun that belonged to Lord Ripon – the greatest shot of the Edwardian era – in his annual auction of Fine Modern and Vintage Sporting Guns at the world-famous Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland on Monday, August 24, 2009. The sale will start at 6pm.

shotgunThe rare 12-bore hammer ejector gun by James Purdey & Sons was built in 1895 for Lord Ripon as Earl De Grey and is the no. 1 gun of a pair. It is expected to sell for £35,000-45,000 and is being sold by a relative of Chas. Julian, who was head game keeper at Studley Royal, Ripon’s Estate in North Yorkshire. Julian had given the gun to his son as a 21st Birthday present. The no. 2 gun of this pair was sold by Gavin Gardiner at the Gleneagles Hotel on August 30, 1999 for £40,250 and had been previously sold at Sotheby’s in 1985 for £14,300.

Lord Ripon, Earl de Grey, was born in 1852 and became the second Marquis of Ripon in 1909. He is arguably the greatest game shot of all time with a recorded lifetime’s total of 556,813 head of game. Much of his shooting was conducted with a set of three guns and with great speed of loading is known to have had seven dead birds in the air at one time. The unprecedented size of his “bag” has led to his frequent description of the greatest shot of all and his feats are unlikely to ever be repeated.

At Studley Royal, his Yorkshire estate, he entertained the royalty and nobility of England and Europe and in turn shot at the greatest sporting estates, such as Holkham, Sandringham and Elveden in the heyday of the Edwardian shooting party. It was his combination of natural ability and total commitment to his chosen sport which raised him above the level of other good shots. In the shooting field throughout his life he was repeatedly top score and despite increasing age he maintained the highest standard to the end. He died on September 22nd 1923 in the field, having killed 51 grouse on his last drive, while the last birds of the day were being picked up, he fell down dead.

Gavin Gardiner said: “I have been working as an expert within the Sporting Gun field for more than 20 years, and nothing causes more excitement among collectors than anything associated to the magnificent Lord Ripon. Over the years, I have sold other guns belonging to him as well as 53 leather-bound volumes of his Game Records in 1986 for £48,400. I am extremely pleased to have been asked to sell this gun, which has such wonderful provenance and I hope that it attracts the interest that it undoubtedly deserves.”

The sale will also include a 12-bore boxlock ejector gun by Henry Atkin, that belonged to Sir Malcolm Campbell, seven times holder of the World Land Speed Record in his car “Bluebird” which carries an estimate of £2,000-3,000.

Elsewhere an unusual 12-bore “Crocodile’ gun by David McKay Brown, that has been wonderfully engraved by highly acclaimed Goldsmith and foremost Gun Engraver Malcolm Appleby (b. 1946). The round action ejector gun, which was made in 1981, has 27- inch barrels and has been engraved and carved to give the appearance of a crocodile. It is estimated at £20,000-30,000 and appears unused.

A fine pair of 20-bore “Royal” model self-opening sidelock ejector guns by London maker Holland & Holland are expected to sell for between £50,000 and £70,000. Built in 1965 the guns remain little used and retain all of their original finish.

A rare 1 ½ bore breech-loading London pattern Punt gun by Holland & Holland, built in 1886 and remaining in a fine condition is expected to sell for between £10,000 and £15,000. With a barrel some 106-inches in length (8ft 10in, 2.7 meters) it is one of the largest Punt guns to be offered in recent years and is especially unusual as relatively few were built by Holland & Holland.

London at Sotheby’s 34-35 New Bond Street
17-18 August 2009

At Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder, Perthshire
22-24 August 2009

A fully illustrated catalogue will be available from late July
and will cost £10 (plus postage).

Next Auction: Wednesday, December 16, 2009
at Sotheby’s, New Bond Street, London

For further information please contact 01798 875300 or 07831 645551

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