Purdey’s records indicate the rifle was one of two presented by the eldest son of Queen Victoria to the Nizam of the Decan, the ruler of the state of Hydrabad.
A gold oval set to the stock is engraved with the royal crest and the Order of the Star of India while an inscription to the rib reads HH The Nizam of the Decan from HRH The Prince of Wales, KG, GCSI 1876. The original maker’s case has the Nizam’s name on the lid.
During the tour from October to May, the prince visited more than 21 towns and cities in India and typically exchanged gifts with each ruler he met. A number of rifles were ordered from James Purdey as well as Alexander Henry to be given as gifts during the tour.
The companion to this gun is now in the collection of the Royal Armouries.
The Gavin Gardiner gun was purchased by an UK private buyer at the lower end of the estimate.