INCREDIBLE FOUR BORE HOLLAND & HOLLAND HAMMER DOUBLE RIFLE MADE FOR THE NIZAM OF HYDERABAD WITH ORIGINAL CASE AND FULL COMPLEMENT OF ORIGINAL ACCESSORIES.
SN 8334. (1884) Cal. 4 Bore. This stupendous rifle weighing in at almost 21 pounds, is No. “2” rifle of a pair, made for the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1884. It was deaccessioned from the Holland & Holland Collection in 1983. The No. “1” rifle remains at Holland & Holland, and is pictured on page 67 of HOLLAND & HOLLAND; THE ROYAL GUNMAKER by Donald Dallas. In comparing this photograph, it appears that this particular rifle no. “2” was the pick of the litter, as a considerable amount of oxidation is visible on sides of bbls and right side of action on gun no. “1”. This rifle remains in excellent condition, and has 24″ fine Damascus bbls fitted with full length rib mounted with single standing leaf express rear sight with platinum line marked for 50 yards. Rear portion of rib is file cut behind sight. Portion in front of sight is unmatted, and slightly swamped forming slightly raised front base for silver bead and flip-up porcelain night bead, longitudinally dovetailed at muzzle. Top of left bbl is engraved “Winners of All the “Field” Rifle Trials. London. 1883″. Doll’s head rib extension is engraved “2”. There are wide bands of foliate engraving at muzzles and breech ends. Breech end is further engraved with 2-1/4″ triangles of exceptionally well cut, very large, open, shaded scroll with floral centers. Bbl flats are stamped with London black powder proofs for 6 bore. SNs are on bottoms of bbls. Massive, round bodied, Jones underlever action has long top strap, which extends over comb in “Best” H&H fashion. Rebounding peninsula back locks are fitted with large, flat faced, serpentine hammers with stylized dolphin heads. Action and locks are engraved with big game motifs as found on many of the large rifles made for the Nizam, with an excellent scene of a feeding hippo in riverine background on left side of action, and with walking elephant in savannah with palm trees and mountain in background, on right. Top of action bears fine portrait of roaring lion. “2” is also engraved at beginning of strap. These well done, but somewhat naive, scenes are accentuated by sprays of well cut shaded scroll. Lockplates portray a standing bear in open palm woodland on left lock, and a recumbent tiger in similar environment, on right. Bodies of hammers are scroll engraved and scroll flanks scenes. Case hardened trigger guard has SN and “2” on tang, which extends to large hard rubber grip cap. Nicely fiddle figured and lightly streaked, dense, European walnut capped pistol grip buttstock measures 13-3/8″ over old black pad. Stock features typical flat top point pattern checkering at grip, and a right hand shadow line cheekpiece. A large gold oval is engraved with the Nizam’s crest (large monogram of various initials surmounted by a shield device with Arabic inscription surmounted by a rampant tiger, all over riband with Arabic inscription). A very large sling eye, matching that soldered to bottom rib, is on toe line. Left side of stock, near butt, is stamped multiple times with the no. “3”, also the number “3” in silver has been inlet. This is the Nizam’s rack or inventory number. A similar 8 bore rifle belonging to the Nizam, is illustrated on page 70 of HOLLAND & HOLLAND THE ROYAL GUNMAKER, which bears number “2”. Large splinter forend has forward pivoting lever release, and is engraved “2” on interior of iron. Drop at heel: approx 2-15/16″, drop at comb: approx 1-15/16″. Weight: 20 lbs. 11 oz. LOP: 13-3/8″ (closely matching ledger page). Orig makers oak and leather case with nickel-plated brass corners and circular central medallion is enameled with the Nizam’s initials and “4 BORE” on lid. The remnants of some labels are inscribed in Arabic on top, and with label on right end for rifle “8333” is marked “STOCK”. Interior is lined in tan morocco leather, and has silver embossed dark leather H&H label in lid, also embossed with a crown, possibly a special label for the Nizam (?). A flanking paper label is inscribed in Arabic. Case is semi-french fitted for rifle and a fine array of orig nickel-plated accessories, including Davis type mold for round ball marked “Holland & Holland” and “4”, wad punch also marked “4”, mainspring vice, broken case extractor marked “4”, ebony handled striker key, pair of turnscrews, wad rammer, powder measure, and striker case with large strikers for this rifle and a spare fore sight. Also included is a heavy 2-pc German silver and ebony cleaning rod with short handle, with brush, jag, and turks head in a covered compartment. Another covered compartment holds mop and jag, turnscrew, pull through cleaning kit, pair of modern 4 bore snap caps, the original forend wood, and a key. Another open compartment (cover missing) held three loaded 4 bore brass cartridges (removed). PROVENANCE: Copy of orig ledger page. Import paper. 3 4-bore loaded cartridges. CONDITION: Exceptionally fine, as partially refurbished by factory. Bbls retain approx 90% orig Damascus finish, with excellent definition to fine pattern, slightly thinning overall, and silvering on sharp edges and at breeches. Action and locks retain 90 – 95% orig case hardening color, only silvering on top strap and tails of lockplates, with associated high edge wear. Trigger guard retains most of its orig color, silvering and flecked at grip. Stocks retain nearly all of an old very light refinish over some scratches and a few deeper dents, checkering somewhat thinned. Rubber of pad has been replaced. Backing plate appears original. Forend wood is an excellent factory quality replacement, checkering does not match, as it is much closer spaced than that at grip. (The orig forend wood is in case, and has numerous deep gouges.) Bores are excellent, brilliant throughout, with perhaps a hint of one or two very light pits, mostly in left bbl, possibly flaws in Damascus. Action is tight. Bbls are on face. Locks are crisp. Case leather is fine, with numerous scuffs and marks, and some deep rubs on edges. Nickel-plating is considerably flaked. Lettering shows rubbing through later blacking to white base. Replaced straps and handle are excellent. Interior leather is fine with numerous rubs, marks, and compressions, many areas worn through from contact with very heavy bbls and action. Label has considerable rubbing at top, with a number of dents. Accessories are very fine. It is of little doubt that this is the ultimate big bore best quality early rifle available in the world today. 49958-14 MGM89 (80,000-120,000) – Lot 2354Click here to view provenance
Auction: Firearms - March 2016
Please Note: All prices include the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium, which is paid by the buyer as part of the purchase price. The prices noted here after the auction are considered unofficial and do not become official until after the 46th day.