LONDON (AFP) - A powerful snub-nosed revolver owned by Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond novels, will be sold at auction in London later this month, the Bonhams auction house said Tuesday.
Experts estimate the Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver, which the Colt Company presented to Fleming as a gift in 1964, will fetch between 10,000 (14,600 euros or 19,300 dollars) and 15,000 pounds at auction on March 28.
The revolver, accompanied with a letter of authentication, will be the centrepiece at the auction of "Fine Modern Sporting Guns and Vintage Firearms," Bonhams said in a statement.
"The .357 Magnum is one of the hardest hitting handgun calibres around," Patrick Hawes, head of Sporting Guns at Bonhams, was quoted as saying.
In presenting Fleming with the gift, Bonhams said Colt may well have been thanking him for referring to a Colt .45 Peacemaker in "The Man with the Golden Gun," used by Scaramanga, the KGB villain.
Fleming owned a number of Colt weapons.
The left side of the revolvers action frame is engraved: "Presented To Ian Fleming by Colt's Patent Fire Arms Mfg. Co."
Born to a wealthy family, Fleming worked as a journalist with the British-based international news agency Reuters, and later in banking, Bonhams said.
During World War II he worked in Naval Intelligence as Commander Fleming, the right hand man to spymaster Admiral John Godfrey.
After the war a naval conference sent him to Jamaica where he fell in love with the island which became his base for writing the Bond novels at his home, "Goldeneye."