The Messages and Pictures of Engraving
When looking through records, engraving separates one firearm from another by giving each firearm unique attributes. Engraving is the art of carving patterns, objects, and names into the firearm’s metal components. Records often mention the standard engravings: animals. Deer, dogs, rabbits, birds of every sort, and even fish customize the firearms. Many letters are sent that discuss in detail the species of bird to be used and the specific breed of dog the purchaser wishes to see engraved upon their firearm.
The records really become interesting though when a more personalized approach is taken. Messages or images give the firearm a fuller story to tell, and serve to highlight some of the potential uses of these firearms.
Some firearms are meant to be used as presentation pieces. Some firearms are so engraved and detailed that the firearm is meant for display rather than shooting. Other firearms have personalized messages that do not deter the recipient from using the firearm as a practical tool.
These hints of a firearm’s history provide a welcome break from the endless lines of calibers and barrel types I work with on a daily basis! Also, these engravings can be enjoyed even if you do not understand firearm terminology or have an interest in firearms. So the next time you view a gun collection, slow down and observe the engravings on each firearm. You will be surprised by the artistry and tidbits of history that you discover.