London, Jan 18 (IANS) A James Bond-style gold-plated pen concealing a secret pistol that was gifted to India's last viceroy Lord Mountbatten by the then maharaja of Jodhpur is now being put up for auction.
The pen was given to Mountbatten in case he ever got into trouble, the Daily Mail reported.
It remained with his family until recently when it was bought by a collector.
The handmade pen is due to be auctioned in March and is estimated to fetch between 5,000 and 7,000 pounds.
"The maharaja of Jodhpur built it for his friend in case he got himself in a position where he had to sign something which he did not wish to sign - either to kill himself or the enemy," said Nicholas Holt of Holt's Auctioneers which is selling the pen.
Holt said the pen pistol would have been specially built for Mountbatten in 1948 and features a smooth-bore barrel containing a removable propelling pencil mechanism with a concealed trigger.
The outer body is inscribed with the words "Gun Shop Jodphur, 1948".
Lord Mountbatten was the last Viceroy of India, and a British naval officer. He was an uncle of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.