On Exquisite Statuary for the Fine Country Home: “It’s Just One of Those Casts…I can get’em at the British Museum”

From the classic British Movie, The Shooting Party, a 1985 British drama film directed by Alan Bridges based on Isabel Colegate’s 9th novel of the same name published in 1980 we find a scene set in the billiards parlor whereupon the host of the weekend shooting party Sir Randolph Nettleby walks in on Lord Gilbert Hartlet, known to be a crack shot in the bird hunting realm, sighting in a new set of Purdy shotguns, guns handmade in England by James Purdy & Sons since the year 1814 :

The Billiards Parlor: About 30 minutes into the movie…….

Sir Randolph Nettleby (played by James Mason) “Did I see you with a new pair of Purdy’s today Gilbert?”

Lord Gilbert Hartlet(played by Edward Fox, uncle of Laurence Fox from British crime drama Lewis ): Yes indeed, best guns I ever had, paid the fidler…nothing like Purdy’s for small ….and fiddish….other than Henry Hollanders, Patience, and experience….but I only ever go to Purdy now….Cockrell Hanson’s a very good begginers gun….but my first self gunder….

Sir Randolph: I imagine you must be pursued by them all now Gilbert

Lord Gilbert: Yes, very vulgar…now the only people to whom I  give…unsolicited testimony are Purdy….

In the Billiards Parlor: About 37 minutes into the movie…..

Sir Randolph Nettleby: Ah…Gilbert, yes…yes…. I didn’t realize it was you….

Lord Gilbert:  My Dear Randolph forgive me.... I wasn’t about to take a pot shot at your Roman Emperor……but with these new guns I thought my laird and I just have a minute or two of drill before we got going

Sir Randolph Nettleby:  I wouldn’t have thought that you’d need it…  things went like clockwork yesterday….anyway wouldn’t have mattered…Julius Ceasar….It’s just one of those casts I can get’em at the British Museum.…..not that you’d have be loaded….at least I hope you wouldn’t….

Hokie dokie…..so just what is one these casual casts available at the British Museum.  Well, first of all, they are unique and rare in today’s art market as the one’s made today simply can’t hold a candle to the ones made in yesteryear.



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