EXCEPTIONALLY FINE GOLD INLAID TEN BORE HOLLAND & HOLLAND HAMMER RIFLE MADE FOR THE NIZAM OF HYDERABAD WITH ORIGINAL CASE AND SPECTACULAR NEW DISPLAY CASE WITH IVORY ACCESSORIES.
SN 8243. (1876) Cal. 10 bore. (.780 groove diameter, 9 groove Enfield type rifling) 3-1/4″ Chambers. This truly exceptional rifle, made by Holland & Holland for the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1876, was sold to the consignor by Holland & Holland in December 1982. This rifle, in its orig case, is pictured on page 158 of THE SHOOTING FIELD, 150 YEARS WITH HOLLAND & HOLLAND. This rifle is complete with the Nizam’s crest on large gold oval on toe line, and with rack number “6” inlet in silver and stamped on left side of stock near butt. It has 24″ dovetailed steel bbls with dolls head extension. Bbls are gold inlaid “Holland & Holland. 98. New Bond Street. London.” on rear portion of full length slightly swamped top rib. A single standing leaf express rear sight marked for 50 yards is dovetailed through rib. A silver bead front sight with flip-up porcelain night bead, is longitudinally dovetailed into front portion of rib. Breech portions are exquisitely gold inlaid with large flowing scrolls of gold wire with foliate terminations. Muzzles are engraved with acanthus bands. Bbl flats are stamped with London black powder proofs for 12 bore. SNs are stamped on bottoms of bbls, and a wide sling loop is soldered to bottom rib. Robust, case hardened, Jones underlever, round bodied action has top strap which extends over comb in the classic H&H “best” manner. Peninsula back action back locks are fitted with flat faced rebounding serpentine hammers. Front trigger is “loose” to move forward when firing rear trigger. The most striking feature of the embellishment of this rifle is the exceptionally well done flush gold inlay of thin attenuated scroll with foliate highlights within thin gold line borders with geometric flourishes. This gold work is on all metal parts, and is enhanced by a background of very well cut small open scroll engraving. “HOLLAND & HOLLAND” is in gold on rectangular device on both lockplates. SN is in gold on trigger guard tang, which extends to matching steel grip cap. Very fine, dark and dense, heavily marbled and lightly figured European walnut capped pistol grip buttstock measures 13-15/16″ over old Silver pad with small widow’s peak. Stock features classic shadow line right hand cheekpiece and flat top point pattern checkering at grip. The aforementioned rack number is on left side at butt. The Nizam’s crest (initial monogram under shield type device with Arabic inscription under a rampant tiger. All over a ribbon with Arabic inscription) is in large gold oval on toe line. Matching short splinter forend attaches to bbls with forward pivoting bolt. Drop at heel: approx 3-1/4″, drop at comb: approx 2″. Weight: 13 lbs. 2 oz. LOP: 13-15/16″. Orig oak and leather case with silver plated brass corners and central medallion is raised enameled with the Nizam’s initials and “10 BORE” on lid. An old label is inscribed in Arabic. Another paper H&H inventory label is on right side of top, and is marked with this rifle’s SN, caliber and “Stock”. Interior is lined in royal blue velvet, and has deeply embossed dark morocco leather Holland & Holland New Bond Street label with sovereign’s crown (a scarce label only used during the 1880’s), in lid. Case is semi-french fitted for rifle and a number of old accessories, including horn handled H&H marked turnscrew, ebony handled striker key which does not quite fit this rifle, Hawksley marked round pewter oil bottle, hollow pointing pin with rosewood handle, 12 bore broken case extractor, horn striker bottle with strikers, walnut handled crimping tool, horn handled German silver powder dipper marked “9 Drs”, and a rosewood wad rammer. Covered compartment holds some cleaning equipment, and a boxwood striker bottle contains spare front sight, spring loaded strikers, and nipples (bottom is marked with SN 3821). There is also a paper label marked in Arabic, as well as some wads. Newly made oak and ostrich leather case for this rifle has shaped brass corners. Leather is russet brown and is quite striking in that it appears the whole back skin of an ostrich was used in its construction, with dramatic heavy feather follicle patterning. Interior is lined in black velvet, and has gold embossed black leather H&H label in lid. Case is semi french fitted for a fine array of old and new tools and accessories, most with new ivory handles. This “certifiable pre-ban ivory” was supplied by the consignor and sourced from a large African elephant trophy tusk legally harvested by the consignor in 1980. Ivory handled tools consist of set of three large turnscrews, large H&H marked brass powder dipper, striker key, wad rammer, pair of small turnscrews, 3-pc brass cleaning rod, large vaseline jar (?), patchbox, dusting brush, hollow pointing tool, and striker bottle with spare strikers. Other accessories include H&H marked round plated oil bottle, another small pewter oil bottle, pair of brass snap caps, wad punch, mainspring vice, brass broken case extractor, two brass molds (one for Paradox type bullet, and the other for a conical bullet), and brass 12 bore bullet fixer. A covered compartment holds a pull through cleaning brush. PROVENANCE: Copy of ledger page for this rifle indicating it was gold inlaid and confirming other specifications, and also indicating it went to Rogers Rock Co, (agent for the Nizam). H&H correspondence and invoice regarding the 1982 sale of this rifle by H&H to consignor. Also letter from treasury declaring rifle an “antique”. Special Note: This item contains or is made of ivory. Do not bid on this lot unless you have read and agreed to our "Ivory Position Statement" and the "Waiver of Legal and Financial Risk to James D. Julia in regards to your Purchase of an Ivory Object." This information is located in the front section of our catalog. CONDITION: Excellent, near new, perhaps lightly freshened by factory. Bbls retain essentially all factory blue, with a few light marks, and some scratches. Action and lockplates retain nearly all of their fine factory most likely orig case hardening color, somewhat faded on opening lever and top strap. Orig blue of trigger guard has some minor flaking on bow, and considerable silvering at grip. Stocks retain nearly all of what appears to be an old factory freshened oil finish, checkering a bit thin either side of top strap. A small chip is missing from left top rear of forend. Bores are excellent, bright sharp and shiny rifling throughout. Action is tight. Bbls are on face. Locks are crisp. Orig case leather is still light in color, with a number of darker stains, and a myriad of light and heavy scuffs, marks, and rubs. Corners and medallion are beginning to show brass. Black of lettering wearing through to show white enamel. Orig handle is good, but a bit tender. Interior velvet has a number of rubs, marks, and compressions, with some areas rubbed through, mostly from contact with heavy bbls and action. Label is very fine. Accessories are good, somewhat tarnished. New case is excellent, with only a few light marks in exterior leather. Straps and handle are excellent. Interior cloth is also excellent, with only minor compressions. Nearly all ivory is also excellent, with few noted checks. Early accessories including molds, have been polished over a number of marks and dings. This rifle balances and handles very well. A superb specially made big bore, and a unique investment opportunity. 49958-15 MGM73 IVORY (65,000-95,000) – Lot 2355Click here to view rotating image | Click 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.