Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Book Review of the Day


The author admits to a passion for British Game guns, a love of shooting, a lifelong enthusiasm for the history and aesthetics of double-barrelled shot guns, plus an indentured apprenticeship as a photoengraver. Many generous anonymous collectors allowed their guns to be photographed to make this book, so for collectors, this is a rare find. Many people consider British gun engraving the finest in the world. The Austrians had dominated engraving in the 1930s, the Belgians in the 50s and 60s, then the Italians under the influence of Fracassi led the way in the 70s and early 80s, but Britain now leads the world. Douglas Tate and master photographer David Grant bring us the most opulent examples in existence. The book traces the traditions of gun engraving from the end of the 18th century to today, and it shows how national styles, both English and Scottish, changed over time, from the conservative Victorian era when London's 'best' firms developed subtly different patterns to distinguish themselves from their competitors, to the 20th century when game scenes evolved to become hyper-realistic. This fine publication chronicles the development of Celtic engraving as practised chiefly by Scottish makers, the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement and the influence the Indian Maharajas had on British gun ornamentation. With superb photographic plates in colour, comprehensive list of British engravers and examples. Large lavish landscape format, 274pp. 

Published Price: £45.00

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