London: A James Bond-style gun that is disguised as a pencil and was given as a gift to Lord Mountbatten, the last viceroy of the British Indian Empire, is coming up for auction on June 24.
"The gold-plated item has a concealed trigger and a 2 3/4ins barrel that forms a .22 pistol and was presented to the last Viceroy of India by a Maharaja.
The ``pencil pistol`` makes up part of the personal sidearms that belonged to Lord Mountbatten, a World War II hero who was blown up by the IRA in 1979," The Telegraph reports.
It has been reported that Lord Mountbatten used some of them in World War II and they helped to preserve his life.
The weapons have been at the Imperial War Museum since legislation following the Dunblane massacre in 1996 banned the ownership of handguns.
But now that the government insurance scheme has run out, Lord Mountbatten``s daughter, Lady Penelope Braybourne, has decided to sell them.
Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, commonly known as Lord Mountbatten, was a British admiral, statesman and the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma. He was the youngest child of Prince Louis of Battenberg and Princess Victoria of Hesse and His royal ancestry can be dated back to the Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.
Before moving to India, he served as the ``First Sea Lord`` from 1954 till 1959, where he was known for his adventurous and daring acts.
While in India, he earned appreciation for his efforts and contribution towards Indian Independence, which was one of the many achievements credited to him including the recapturing of Burma from Japanese troops during his days as a Supreme Allied commander of South Asia.
He was the last viceroy of the British Indian Empire and became the first Governor-General of Independent India in 1947. Mountbatten was assassinated on August 27, 1979 by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA).