The Antique Purdey Collection at Henry Krank
James Purdey & Sons is universally considered to be one of the finest makers of high-end sporting shotguns, rifles, and pistols in the world.
For over 200 years, James Purdey & Sons have been producing the best-quality shotguns, rifles, and pistols for their prestigious clientele, including the British Royal Family.
James Purdey, born in 1784, started his gunmaking journey aged 14. Purdey began an apprenticeship under Thomas Keck Hutchinson, his brother-in-law. Hutchinson was a directly responsible influence on Purdey’s standards, which were to form the basis of his illustrious career.
Upon completing his 7-year-long apprenticeship in 1805, Purdey began working for Joseph Manton, the so called ‘King of Gunmakers’ at the time. Within three years of working for Manton, Purdey had become Head Stocker, with Manton remarking that James’ work was almost equal to his own. While with Manton, he greatly increased his knowledge of gunmaking, all while impressing not only his employer, but also his employer's customers. There is no doubt that his contacts with Manton's influential customers helped to lay the foundations for his success when he eventually opened his own business.
In 1808, Purdey then left Manton to join another well-known gunmaker - Rev. Alexander Forsyth, a pioneer in the development of firearms whose percussion lock invention helped to shape the future of gunmaking.
After mastering his skills, Purdey founded his own company in 1814. From the very beginning, James Purdey focused on making nothing short of excellence - an ethos which still applies to this day. Initially focusing on flintlock guns, for the first few years Purdey’s firm produced roughly 12 guns per year. This rose steadily to around 165 by 1825.
As the 1820’s progressed, Purdey began to transition from flintlock guns to percussion guns. By 1828, Purdey had outgrown his shop just off Leicester Square, and he consequently took over the former premises of Manton’s company who resided at 314/315 Oxford Street. The following year, Purdey renamed this to 314½ Oxford Street.
In 1883, 25 years after turning over control to his son, also named James Purdey, the company moved to Audley House in Mayfair, where James Purdey & Sons are still located to this day.
Due to their exceptional quality and enduring legacy, Purdey's are some of the most desirable guns that any collector could hope to acquire. In light of this, Henry Krank is extremely proud to launch The Purdey Collection, a category that is home to our fantastic collection of Antique Purdey Rifles, Shotguns, Pistols & Revolvers.
Each antique Purdey is available to purchase on our website. No licence is needed to purchase an antique gun, and they can be shipped direct to your door. If you wish to look at one of these marvellous guns in person, please give us a call on 0113 256 9163 prior to visiting our store.