A pair of .450 (3½in. No. 2 Nitro Express) boxlock ejector rifles by J. Lang, no. 16748/9 With leath
Lot 277S1
Previously property of Philip Percival: A pair of .450 (3½in. No. 2 Nitro Express) boxlock ejector rifles by J. Lang, no. 16748/9 With leather slips
Sold for £14,400 (US$ 23,387) inc. premium

Lot Details
A pair of .450 (3½in. No. 2 Nitro Express) boxlock ejector rifles by J. Lang, no. 16748/9
Plain treble-grip action-bodies, figured stocks with pistolgrips, pistolgrip-caps, cheek-pieces, ventilated recoil-pads (perished), sling-eyes, lever-latch forends, the chopper-lump barrels each engraved '.450 No. 2 Nitro Express 80 Grains Powder 480 Grain bullet. 3½in. case' with open-sights (replacement) ramp-mounted bead-foresights and fold-away moon-sights
Weight 11lb. 2¾oz. (No.1) and 11lb. 6¾oz. (No. 2), 15in. pull, 26in. barrels, nitro proof
With leather slips

Footnotes

  • Provenance: By descent to the current owner

    The makers have kindly confirmed that the rifles were completed in 1927, as a pair, and that they were bought by Percival on 9th December 1927.

    Property of the late Philip Percival (1880-1966)

    Philip Percival, one of the greatest professional hunters of all time, was the founding president of the 'East African Professional Hunters’ Association', serving for sixteen years. Arriving in British East Africa in 1906, he was lured into hunting by the Hill brothers, the three men becoming involved in running the transport for Theodore Roosevelt’s famous Safari of 1909-10, and served in the First World War, attaining the rank of Captain. Percival went on to become one of the highest paid professional hunters of his day, with clients such as George Eastman and Baron Rothschild, as well as acting as a guide to Ernest Hemmingway. The latter was inspired to write Green Hills of Africa (1935), using Percival as the inspiration for the character 'Pop'. Twenty years later, Hemingway returned to Africa and hunted again with Percival. A record of that encounter can be found in Hemingway's posthumously published book, True at First Light. In later years he mentored hunters of the calibre of Sid Downey and Harry Selby, becoming acknowledged by his peers as ‘the dean of the white hunters.’

    Before his death he compiled a manuscript recounting some of his experiences, which was published shortly after his death under the title Hunting, Settling, and Remembering (1967). Although copies of the book are rare, his encounters with Hemmingway and Roosevelt, and their comments about him, serve to ensure his memory survives.
    A few days after his 76th birthday, Percival killed two stock-killing lions with a “right and left” from one of the rifles offered in this lot.

    Several days after seventy-sixth birthday, Percival killed two stock-killing lions with a “right and left”, using one of the rifles offered in this lot.
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