One particular lot in gun auctioneer Holt’s next sale, on June 20, is already eliciting much topical interest among collectors. Lot 1600, a 20-bore single-trigger over-and under sidelock ejector made by Purdey & Sons, is finely engraved with a portrait of Baroness Thatcher, inscribed ‘Margaret Thatcher Prime Minister 1990′.

It was engraved by Marcus Hunt and completed in 1990 for a keen shot and Thatcherite, whose businesses-a commercial cleaning firm in the City and an importer for Le Chameau footwear -flourished during her tenure as Prime Minister in the 1980s. ‘I was abroad when Baroness Thatcher died [on April 8] and the first I knew of it was when five collectors rang me up about the gun,’ explains auctioneer Nick Holt. ‘The man who had it made was a great fan of hers.’

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The gun is estimated at £30,000-£50,000, but is likely to fetch far more now (01485 542822; www. holtsauctioneers.com).