Sunday, August 1, 2021

Firing Maggie

The sale of a Purdey gun engraved with a portrait of Baroness Thatcher

 

Margaret Thatcher had many devoted followers and fans in her time as Prime Minister. Coal miners, in general, were not amongst them but some like Jimi Heselden OBE (1948 – 2010) used their redundancy payouts to make vast fortunes.

 

John Parton's 1990 Purdey 20-bore (serial number 29163) will no doubt prove popular with Margaret Thatcher enthusiasts
John Parton’s 1990 Purdey 20-bore (serial number 29163) will no doubt prove popular with Margaret Thatcher enthusiasts

A closeup of the engraving by Purdey & Sons' Marcus Hunt
A closeup of the engraving by Purdey & Sons’ Marcus Hunt

 

Heselden’s £340 million fortune was built upon his invention of the Hesco Bastion blast wall system but another former National Coal Board employee who also prospered was John Parton. After leaving the pits, this Worcestershire based businessman made a fortune in commercial cleaning and also started the first company importing Le Chameau clothing and footwear to the UK.

 

Unlike most of his former colleagues, Daily Telegraph reading Parton was a devotee of Margaret Thatcher. Such was his enthusiasm for her that he commissioned Mayfair based gunmakers James Purdey & Sons to make him a 20-bore single-trigger over and under sidelock ejector gun complete with a portrait of the then Prime Minister in 1988.

 

Engraved by Marcus Hunt and inscribed “Margaret Thatcher Prime Minister 1990”, the gun was completed and delivered to Parton on 22nd November 1990, the very day Margaret Thatcher resigned as leader of the Conservative Party.

 

The gun will be sold with a guide price of £30,000 to £50,000 by auctioneers Holt’s on 20th June.

 

View more information about the gun at: http://auctions.holtsauctioneers.com/asp/fullcatalogue.asp?salelot=A1072+++1600+&refno=+++66563&image=1

The Steeple Times
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