J. Purdey & Sons Best Quality 12 Gauge SxS Shotgun Re-Proved Engraved Side by Side, 1887 Antique

LSB#: 120717CB01

Make: J. Purdey And Sons

Model: Side By Side. We believe this to be a “Best” Quality.

Serial Number: 12882

Year of Manufacture: 1887

Caliber: 12 gauge 2 ½”

Action Type: Side by Side Lever Actuated

Markings: The water table is marked with two crown over “V” proof marks. The bottom tang has the serial number “12882”. Both sides of the receiver are marked “J. Purdery & Sons”. The bottom of the receiver is marked “Purdey’s / Patent”. The forend metal is marked “12882”. The bottom of the barrels are marked “”12882”, and at the lug on the left “5604”, and the right “5605”. The left side is also marked “Not for Ball”. The flats are marked “Nitro Proof”, 2 ½”, “950 BAR”, crown over “GP”, crown over “V”, and “18-6”, and on the right side “12”, and the left “LP / 98”. The top of the barrel along the rib is marked very lightly “J. Purdey & Sons Audley ??. London”, and more letters which are not readable. The top of the lever is marked “Patent”. We have attempted to photograph all markings.

Barrel Length: 29 ½”

Choke: The bores at the muzzle measure; left .712”, and the right .731”.

Sights / Optics: This shotgun is mounted with a full length trough type rib with brass bead at the muzzle.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are very nicely figured and checkered wood. The checkering is sharp. There is a depression on the right side of the wrist which has been finished over. There are signs of being a “dry” stock under the finish. The finish has filled in small fissures next to the receiver. This is also obvious at the back of the forend. There are scattered light compression marks and mars. The LOP measures approx. 14 ½” from the front of the front trigger to the back of the checkered buttstock. The stock appears refinished and the checkering re-cut. The stocks rate in about Very Good overall condition. The drop at comb measures approx. 1 3/8”, and the drop at heel about 2”.

Type of Finish: Blue Barrels / Unfinished (Muted Case Colors?) Receiver

Finish Originality: The barrels were re-blued when they were re-proved. The marking “950 BAR” means the barrels were returned to Purdey in England and re-proved modern.

Bore Condition: The bores are bright, near mirror. There is no erosion.

Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 75% of its metal re-finish. The balance of the finish shows wear and loss of finish; on the breech end of the barrels on the top, and several “bald” spots on the left, top and bottom of the barrels near the muzzle. There is a small dent on the left side of the barrels about 6” back. The top of the barrel along the rib shows re-blue over scattered pitting for about 10” in front of the receiver. There is pitting and surface erosion on both sides of the receiver. There are some scratches in the underside of the receiver, ahead of the trigger guard. The trigger guard looks factory re-blued. The Screw heads are mostly sharp and undamaged except for the screw on the left side behind the barrels. This screw shows minor disfiguration. The markings are clear except for the top of barrel markings. Overall, this shotgun rates in about Good plus condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The springs are stiff. We did not shoot this fine shotgun.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None

Our Assessment: I’ll say it; Purdey makes the finest guns ever made, and while the condition is not perfect, this gun is no exception. Please go online and look at the NRA Museum “Age of Elegance”, case 55 and see the engraving. This shotgun is engraved the same. The engraving is fine and very detailed. King Edward VII granted a royal warrant to Purdey, making them “Gunmakers to the King”. They have been in business since 1814 and have continued to produce shotguns for royalty, and those with bank accounts similar to royalty. There is a reason they say “She’s awful purdey”… there may be no finer shotgun than a “Purdey Double”. The name, the condition, the history all combine into this still able side by side shotgun. The engraving is very “rich” looking.We are informed that “Lucas” did the engraving. What a classic future family heirloom.

Sold For: $10,580