A pair of guns used by famous World War I fighter, Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig, and later on was a part of the collection of Mr. Hendrikus L Visser, is now stated to go under the hammer this December. Finally completed in 1930, these guns haven’t been used much and hence remain in top working condition, a rarity for firearms of that age. What’s also adding to the novelty value is the production by J. Purdey & Sons, who had been known to produce the finest of the lot, beginning later half of the 19th century.
These pair of guns bears true testimony to the fine craftsmanship for the Purdeys. These guns are 12 bore, self opening side-lock ejector guns with foliate scroll engraving, blued cocking indicators, well figured stocks, and Whitworth steel chopper lump barrels to boast of, apart from the engraving of the name of the gun-maker below the barrels. The body created mainly out of steel, but the rear end has the classic oak wood with lacquered finishing, which was a characteristic of the J.Purdey’s classic creations. The final bidder of the auction will also have the leather and velvet casings with these guns to store them in. Looking back at the historic journey these rifles have been through, it would not be hard to believe Mr. Patrick Hawes (director of sporting guns, Bonham’s) who mentions,
“It feels as if you are holding history in your hands when hefting these shotguns”.
Like some figures from the past, Field Marshall Haig wasn’t free from controversies, surrounding his personality. Some portray him a true war hero, where as some are known to say the opposite. Whatever may be the case, it seems he and Mr.Visser had a very fine taste in guns. For the upcoming auction, estimates regarding the price peg them between $96,000-64,000.
For any of you who may have an interest in such classic firearms, we suggest glancing at our pieces on the 1836 colt revolver sale, or the James D Julia auction. Might not be as high tech, but sure were made to look beautiful.