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Joined: Feb 2002
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I received this gun in trade for some construction work along with a leather cased full stocked Mannlicher 1908 carbine in 6.5x55 (another anomaly)...it's been pretty well reworked by Purdey several decades ago...the second set of barrels are signed J Purdey, but I believe they were made much later than the gun...the anomaly is, that the original set of barrels display a large number "3" on the rib...I'm not sure what this may mean, other than the possibility that it was part of a three gun brace...is that possible?
The son of the previous owner, says the gun is pre-1900...if in fact that's correct, then my next question is, who was wealthy enough to buy a 3 gun brace from Purdey back then?




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I believe that Lord Ripon shot a trio of Hammer Purdeys

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Yes, Purdey's supplied plenty of trios (brace implies two). Many of European aristocracy were able to afford such "toys." Also, many of the rising merchant class could afford them, but often opted for other makers. Note that Brits of that time were quite sensitive to where and from whom they bought luxury goods -gunmakers, as well as most bespoke makers of best goods, tended to be patronized by specific social circles.

A person in a social circle that shot would have had a long list of other "required" items to buy before he got to the guns.

Post the serial and we will date it for you; Purdey serials are well known. Purdey's has historically been a bit sensitive about revealing the original customer. Looks to be a nice gun.

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A trio of guns is known as a garniture. Many of the big shots had them. I have never followed up on whether in routine use they actually shot all three at once or had a spare to the pair.

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As a side note, some consider pairs and garnitures to be the best of best guns because more care was taken during their manufacture to get each aspect just so in comparison to others.

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tudurgs,
Thanks, you wouldn't happen to know where I could pick up the trail on this subject (Lord Rippon's guns) would you?...
Not that I really know what exactly a "best gun" is, but this may one. Well maybe not. ... Is there a check list for what's considered a best gun? It has chopper lumps, safety interceptors, ejectors, and bushed firing pins, but no articulated trigger. It's one of the few London guns that have ever come my way. For this reason, I suppose, I know relatively little about the English makers.

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Trio's are (were?) regularly used in Spain for partridge shooting, I have been fortunate to have seen Sir Joseph Nickerson and the late King Of Spain in full song with triples, a loader sitting in front of 'The Gun' and a loader to the side. Done well it is a sight to behold in wonderment, reminds me of a watermill or a Ferris wheel.Ah yes the good old days.

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Rocketna and Montana,
Thanks again...I wish I had the other two in the trio...can I edit the title of this thread to trio, so I don't appear so ignorant? About Montana's "comparison to others", many years ago engraver Ray Swan told me that the most expensive engraving jobs are cased pairs of pistols...

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Per the Rocketman, there were trios made in guns other than London bests. I note on the Henmore Collection website there is listed a rather interesting trio of Churchill boxlocks apparently owned by a scion of the Vickers family. They are relatively plain, but very interesting, and at a very interesting price (expensive). There is very little that can't be found in British guns, if one looks hard enough. Keith

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I know from sources such as Shooting Sportsman that Ripon had garnitures much of his shooting career. I believe his last set was of 28 bore but I have no materials that I can cite to readily.

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