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Pretty Marlins


Warden Callaway

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I like looking at them, but as for paying for and owning one? 

Not so much.

A firearm is a tool for me. If I'm (OK WAS!) bush bashing, the gun went through the thick stuff and broke trail for me.

Don't get me wrong, I clean and repair any scratches and dents that occur, as best I can, but my guns have developed some.............character over the years.

Functionally, they are fine.

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I'm looking at the scrollwork surrounding the central image.

Scrollwork of this kind is under-appreciated.

If it's symmetrical and without flaw, the eye passes over it in favor of an anatomic study of the animals in the central oval, but if the artist has done a flawless job, the scrollwork is often looked-at-but-not-seen.

This is truly gorgeous work -- all of it -- including the surrounding scrolling and stippling!

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This isn’t my best photo of this, but it’s what I could find. 
 

This is the only engraving I have on any of my guns. This is a model 10 Hong Kong “C&E sidearm. Customs and Excise. Probably never used before I got it. 
 

As an aside: Would anyone be interested in this set of grips? They look great, but they are very wide. Notice the wood spacers under the faux stag. Must have been a custom order. They feel like a hammer handle. 
If you are interested PM me. I will give them to you. 
 

image.thumb.jpeg.39b1070dfba40b63809dffbf6893de33.jpeg

 

image.thumb.jpeg.33c4ef475d046954b3f20a6d77e9c472.jpeg

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I've been professionally hand engraving jewelry for nearly 30 years and it naturally carried over to engraving some guns brought to me, usually newer guns brought by new owners. With hesitation, I completed the work as people requested. 

 But none of my own guns are engraved. 

Why?

It is very difficult to design a piece of artwork that has what is called 'mystery of effect' that persists through time.  Often a design looks very appealing early on, but as months go by, the newness and appeal wear off, unless there is some personal attachment to the design.  It is really hard to embellish the looks of a finely made firearm beyond the appeal of its original fit and finish.  (Upgrading the wood is usually an exception). 

 

The Brittish mastered the art of very fine gun engraving on fine guns by Purdy, Holland and Holland, and others, many decades ago.   But those guns' value supports that quality of hand work.  Few engravers will spend that kind of time for $1,500  on an $800 gun.  Laser engraving is a much cheaper substitute and it has its legitimate place, but it usually looks like ---well-- laser engraving.  As with music, computer perfection is not a substitute for artistic character.

 

Engraving an owner's name is a sure way to reduce the value of any future sale,  unless the owner is Ulyses S. Grant or George Custer.  Phrases like "Don't Tread on Me" or "Semper fi"  or "Give me liberty or give me death" are different.  They have broader appeal, even with passage of time. 

 

My advice to anyone contemplating a gun engraving job is to PAUSE and LOOK first.  Once it is done, it is permanent.  You have to like it after looking at it thousands of times.  It is very hard to do artwork that can satisfy that.  Appeal isn't just about precision.  It is much easier to reduce gun value by engraving than it is to increase value, regardless of the artwork's cost. 

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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2 hours ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

I've been professionally hand engraving jewelry for nearly 30 years and it naturally carried over to engraving some guns brought to me, usually newer guns brought by new owners. With hesitation, I completed the work as people requested. 

 But none of my own guns are engraved. 

Why?

It is very difficult to design a piece of artwork that has what is called 'mystery of effect' that persists through time.  Often a design looks very appealing early on, but as months go by, the newness and appeal  wears off, unless there is some personal attachment to the design.  It is really hard to embellish the looks of a finely made firearm beyond the appeal of its original fit and finish.  (Upgrading the wood is usually an exception). 

 

The Brittish mastered the art of very fine gun engraving on fine guns by Purdy, Holland and Holland, and others, many decades ago.   But those guns' value supports that quality of hand work.  Few engravers will spend that kind of time for $1,500  on an $800 gun.  Laser engraving is a much cheaper substitute and it has its legitimate place, but it usually looks like ---well-- laser engraving.  As with music, computer perfection is not a substitute for artistic character.

 

Engraving an owner's name is a sure way to reduce the value of any future sale,  unless the owner is Ulyses S. Grant or George Custer.  Phrases like "Don't Tread on Me" or "Semper fi"  or "Give me liberty or give me death" are different.  They have broader appeal, even with passage of time. 

 

My advice to anyone contemplating a gun engraving job is to PAUSE and LOOK first.  Once it is done, it is permanent.  You have to like it after looking at it thousands of times.  It is very hard to do artwork that can satisfy that.  Appeal isn't just about precision.  It is much easier to reduce gun value by engraving than it is to increase value, regardless of the artwork's cost. 

Like a Gun Tattoo.

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9 minutes ago, Pat Riot said:

Like a Gun Tattoo.

Yep!

Except the gun won't get old and all wrinkly-flabby-saggy with this not-so-pretty-anymore picture stuck on it.  

I actually thought about investing in tattoo removal technology-- huge market upcoming!

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