A Rare Cased Percussion Pepperbox Revolver by J Purdey London. 3 ½”, 54 bore, six shot, fluted cylinder barrels. Each barrel numbered to the breech. Barrel stamped with Indian Export mark APX-1111-EX-73. Rounded steel case hardened body and nipple shield with floral scroll engraved panels and "Improved Revolving Pistol" to the right and "J Purdy 314 1/2 Oxford St London" to the left panels. Top bar percussion hammer with matching engraving. Finely chequered grip with silvered square escutcheon, with number15 impressed in the butt below it. Engraved flat butt with trap. In what may be their original finely figured mahogany case. Reinforced brass corners and central escutcheon to the lid, case also stamped APX-1111-EX-73. Case relined in blue baize with an original flask, bullet mould, oil bottle, loading rod, replacement turn screw, nipple key and Purdey label.
Pistol in good condition, some original finish. Pistol case is the right quality to be the original. I have seen Purdey pistols, that do not appear in the dimensions book, that have been bought in the white and finished in house with similar small numbers stamped in the butts.
Pistols marked ‘Improved Revolving Pistol’ were retailed by many of the better London and Provincial gun makers, they are all similarly engraved in capitals ‘Improved Revolving Pistol’ on the right hand side, quality of finish and engraving vary, they can have London or Birmingham Proofs, they must have been sold in the white to the gun trade to stock and engrave themselves.
Indian Export marks: The Indian Arms Act was legislated in 1959 to replace the older Arms Act of 1878. It made ownership of firearms, irrespective of age, difficult and put limits on how many an individual could keep, this was a problem for many Maharaja many of whom had large holdings of London sporting guns. Large quantities of firearms were imported by Westley Richards and Holland and Holland from India, all were stamped with export stamps, from the early 1960’s onwards.
Some of the more common marks are JPR Jaipur. KKA Kirkee, M Madras, RP Rawal Pindi, FW Fort William, AL Allahahbad, FE Ferozepore, Q Quatta, R Rangoon and, KA Karachi, any of them can have an 'A' behind them indicating 'Arsenal'