SON OF A GUN

Hand­made in West London, th­ese weapons are crafted to be ad­mired, not used.

Robb Report Singapore - - Grand Openings - By JOSH SIMS

In the one-time gang­ster ter­ri­tory of east London, such was the fame of James Purdey & Sons that its very name be­came slang for a shot­gun. But the Bri­tish gun­smith - es­tab­lished in 1814 - has long also been the choice of more choosy types. Queen Vic­to­ria be­came a cus­tomer in 1838 and the com­pany now holds three royal war­rants.

To­day, cus­tomers tend to be just as de­mand­ing too. Purdey’s bespoke work­shops are as busy as ever, de­spite a likely two-year wait­ing time for any or­der to be ful­filled. Small won­der per­haps when even a ‘ba­sic’ Purdey might take 500 man-hours to make, and an­other 500 to en­grave. Small won­der too then that only 70 or so are made an­nu­ally.

“But we’re al­ways happy to do what the client wants - and just about ev­ery part of a gun can be made bespoke, from the en­grav­ing to the stock, even some in­ter­nal mech­a­nisms,” says Jonathan Irby, Purdey’s head of sales. “That said, most bespoke cus­tomers still want some­thing clas­si­cally Purdey. Our only lim­i­ta­tion is that any de­mand doesn’t jeop­ar­dise the func­tion of the gun. Oh, and we might ad­vise not to do things that might af­fect its re­sale value. Have the im­age of your wife or dog en­graved on your gun, for ex­am­ple, and it’s not sur­pris­ing that its ap­peal may then be lim­ited.”

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