Harrogate show for pen-pistol

Nicholas Holt with the pistol-pencil that  is being sold by Holt's Auctioners and was brought to Orvis in Harrogate

Nicholas Holt with the pistol-pencil that is being sold by Holt's Auctioners and was brought to Orvis in Harrogate

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A pen-pistol once owned by Lord Mountbatten wowed Harrogate this week as part of a valuation tour ahead of its auction in March.

The .22 gold plated pen-pistol was gifted to Lord Mountbatten by the late Maharaja of Jodhpur in 1948.

At least one local viewer was interested in the 65-year-old weapon, which Holt’s Auctioneers believe could fetch up to £7,000 at its March sale.

Lord Mountbatten placed the pen on loan with the Magic Circle, the world’s premier organisation for magicians, but, after his 1979 murder in Ireland, the pen was passed to his niece.

It was displayed at the Imperial War Museum for a period before a private collector picked it up to avoid the live weapon’s firing pin being removed as part of a decommisioning project.

Now, the pen has been presented to Holt’s Auctioneers and, ahead of its sale, the pistol made its debut as a Holt’s item on the Harrogate leg of the company’s valuation tour at Orvis, on West Park, this week.

James Doyle, Orvis Store Manager said: “We had a fantastic piece of history in Harrogate this week.

“A lot of people were talking about it, and there was very strong interest from people who live in the area.”

Orvis holds up to four such valuation days a year, where auctioneers show items they are readying for auction, and people can bring in their own antiques for valuation.

Mr Doyle said: “People bring antiques or guns, it is amazing what comes out.

“This week, someone brought in a pair of 1740 English-made flintlock pistols for valuation in absolute perfect condition.”

Holt’s has placed an estimate of £5,000 - £7,000 on the pen-pistol, which will be auctioned on March 21 at Princess Louise House, London.