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Engraving....too little, enough, too much

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salmontogue

What is your personal preference in engraving styles or maybe you prefer basic or plain?

 

Perk

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tut

I'm a scroll guy for the most part.  Germanic engraving I find a tad harsh.   Well done birds are fine, but bad birds draw your eye right to it.  There are lots of folks out there who can do decent scroll, but I've seen some really hosed up birds on guns.   One of the best currently out there for scroll is Robert Strosin.  He has done some rather amazing work.  I like the modern graver for custom gun work, but if I want classic gun work then its hammer and chisel time.   

 

FWIW, I've had a modest amount of work done on a piece by Bob and have had some traditional hammer stuff done by Gournet.  Firearm Engravers Guild of America (FEGA) is a good source to see who is out there doing really exceptional work these days.  

 

 

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Skybuster

Hi Perk,

Not sure what the attached says about my taste in engraving; I do know I'm not a big fan of gold inlay.

 

 

Maxum_8.JPG

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lee sykes

I like Game scenes. Even bad ones.  They seem to capture history in an old gun. Not so much in a new one.  I only have one gun with any engraving. 1913, 16 gauge, CH Grade.  Game scenes on three sides.  Kind of weird looking pointer and setter and a deer that looks European.  But it is view into 1913 and I like it.  I had a 1911 20 gauge Pigeon Grade L.C. Smith once.  I felt the magic in that gun, too.  It had pigeons on it.  Passenger maybe?   Martha may have been still alive.  I like scroll on old Brit guns but with spaces in between.  Birmingham Grade.....

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BlacknTan

I like engraving if done well.. That said, I can't afford well done hand engraving. So, I prefer none, or little if I can't have what I like. Some  modern machine or laser engraving is quite nice, but I'm OK with minimal, all the way up to profuse. Classic English overlapping scroll is hard to beat.

 

A gentleman from Vermont, who studied under the Masters from Browning's Golden Age, is the best I have ever seen .. He could capture a glint in a dog's eyes..

 

http://wchurchill.com/index.html

 

Sometimes, it's just nice to let the lines of the gun speak for themselves..

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tut
1 hour ago, BlacknTan said:

I like engraving if done well.. That said, I can't afford well done hand engraving. So, I prefer none, or little if I can't have what I like. Some  modern machine or laser engraving is quite nice, but I'm OK with minimal, all the way up to profuse. Classic English overlapping scroll is hard to beat.

 

A gentleman from Vermont, who studied under the Masters from Browning's Golden Age, is the best I have ever seen .. He could capture a glint in a dog's eyes..

 

http://wchurchill.com/index.html

 

Sometimes, it's just nice to let the lines of the gun speak for themselves..

 

Churchill is a master and considered universally to be one of the best in the world.  Sadly, he has health issues and can no longer engrave.   There used to be a fellow named Ken Hurst who was very well known.  He sadly also can't engrave anymore for health reasons.   

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Sage Hen

I have always liked the engraving on my old grade 1 superposed,  anything much more than that, and I won't take it out hunting and it becomes a safe queen.

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Grifish

At one time it was funeral guns only for me. My best friend became an engraver and opened my horizons. High grade LeFever’s and LC’s are hands down my favorite. Some actions look great covered by tight scrolls like fli Rizzini boxlocks. I also like lower grade British and German work that just sprinkles a few well executed scrolls to enhance the action. Bulino is amazing but it has not been around long enough to see how it ages. Not much a fan of late AH Fox engraving though I really have a hankering for an early B engraved smallbore.

 

Churchill’s use of gold and alloys is the best on the planet, he did a Purdey or Boss that had the 7 quail of America that was hands down the singular most attractive shotgun that I have ever seen.

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Don Steese

I like engraving but my eye is not discerning enough to know what's really good and what isn't. IMG_0334.thumb.JPG.262c579984a3b72bd138c150a215696a.JPGIMG_0332.thumb.JPG.f058c19e58e2acc4cbdb477138104896.JPG

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Marc Ret
9 minutes ago, Don Steese said:

I like engraving but my eye is not discerning enough to know what's really good and what isn't. IMG_0334.thumb.JPG.262c579984a3b72bd138c150a215696a.JPGIMG_0332.thumb.JPG.f058c19e58e2acc4cbdb477138104896.JPG

 

Your eyes seemed to be working well the day you picked that Don. Looks quite nice to me. 

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Don Steese

I was serious. I look at that gun and see lots of engraving but have no idea whether it's well done or not. I guess if you like it that's good enough??

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bamboozler

If there are small negative areas such as those found on a Parker DH and similar, those are just fine with me, but if there are larger negative areas like those with a just little engraving up in the corners . . . well, I don't care for that style.  Having said that, I prefer to see a gun that has the action engraved 100%.. 

 

Here's a pic of Bob Strosin's House Style scroll engraving that he did on a Fox for me.

53212_800x600.jpg

 

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Kurt

My preverance when sorting through guns I might buy is case color with maybe some boarder engraving, but I really like ALL of the examples depicted so far. When the point was made on gold inlay my instinct was to agree, until I clicked on the Churchhill link. I like that too. Not going to own it but I like it. What I don't like I know when I see it, but what I would and can own is something else. I mean some guns with engraved silver actions I like and some look like black trousers with white socks? Depends?

 

And...fine art is fine art whether on canvas or steel.

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gunsrus
11 minutes ago, bamboozler said:

If there are small negative areas such as those found on a Parker DH and similar, those are just fine with me, but if there are larger negative areas like those with a just little engraving up in the corners . . . well, I don't care for that style.  Having said that, I prefer to see a gun that has the action engraved 100%.. 

 

Here's a pic of Bob Strosin's House Style scroll engraving that he did on a Fox for me.

53212_800x600.jpg

 

I like that 

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Greg Hartman

Perk, this a good gun-crank question for a day like this one when I’m trapped in the house with no nurse coverage. 

 

We must start out by recognizing that everyone has their own personal opinions on art and aesthetics; and each opinion is equally valid.  Therefore, there is no right or wrong answer to the question.  Whatever a person likes is what he should have. 

 

Speaking for myself now, in general, I vastly prefer no engraving to almost all of the stamped, rolled, machine-done or etched “engraving” on sees on so many production guns these days.  Horrible.  Much more horrible are the phony “gold inlays”.  Talk about lipstick on a pig!  UGH.

 

That said, I have recently seen some machine-done “engraving” that looks pretty damn good.  I don’t know how they do it, but it is applied to curved surfaces of the gun like real engraving, not just  in panels on flat areas.  It’s kinda like well-done modern fake high-grade wood – you get a nice look for a fraction of the cost of the real thing.  But of course, you and anyone who is reasonably knowledgeable about such things knows it’s fake.  Bottom line for just me:  I’ll opt for hand engraving; and, if I can't have that, I’ll take no engraving over even well-done fake engraving.

 

As far as styles and degree of coverage, etc, it depends on the gun for me.  Except for Germanic-style engraving, which I despise, I like many different styles if appropriate to the gun.  For example, I like to see traditional full coverage rose-and scroll on a color case hardened sidelock built in the English game gun tradition.  I like super-fine bulino scroll and foliate; and I like bold, deep-cut scroll and foliate, if well-done.  I like bulino game and dog scenes (but these REALLY need to be well done in order not to look like cartoons).  On American classic guns (rifles and pistols as well as shotguns) I like traditional American engraving in the style of the famous Winchester and Colt factory engravers.

 

I’ve seen pics of so-called “fantasy” engraving – intertwined female nudes and fantastic animals, etc.  Looks pretty cool, but I don’t think I’d pay to have that done to any of my guns.  I’m more traditionally oriented, I guess.

 

I’ve seen all sorts of thematic engraving on Kreighoff and Perazzi target guns – cowboy scenes, Greek scenes, baseball and other sports scenes, etc.  NOT a fan of this, well-done or not.

 

Real gold inlays have to be very, very well-done or they look awful.  Even when well-done, it’s easy to make a gun look like something that should belong to Elton John, instead of a serious upland tool.  I only have one gun with gold inlays and it’s a little Model 42.  You may disagree (remember what I said in the beginning about aesthetics being personal), but I think the miniature gun carries off the elaborate decoration rather well, whereas other guns might not.

 

Aren’t you sorry you asked??  :)

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