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I've been watching the gun auctions/for sale on guns america and gun broker and I'm interested in how to value engraved guns. Sticking with shotguns, and using Win Mdl 12s, as an example, the prices are all over the place....$2K-$15K. I realize that factory engraved, signed, or somehow authenicated engraved guns are worth more, but there are many beautiful engraved Mdl 12s with the artist unknown.....who was doing this engraving back in the day without signing, and how would a person find out about these artists? Seems very interesting.....any help? Thanks WC
 

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Some of the unsigned guns do have a small identification mark, but it could be hard to find. Some of the factory signed guns were engraved under the supervision of the person who is named on the gun.

Pat Ireland
 

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I have also learned that many guns were engraved in Japan after the war in the late 40s and early 50s. However, beautiful engraving is beautiful engraving, and someone spent many, many hours doing the work. Unlike so much of the engraving done today by machine....WC
 

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If you look in Gun Digests from the 70's in "The Art of the Engraver" section, you'll find samples from REI Engravings. All of those guns were done in Japan. REI was Bob Izenstark, and he was an agent for the Japanese engraver. There have been two Model 12's posted on TS.com that were done in Japan. The work was first rate and the turn around time was excellent.

Bob had several guns done for me, one of them identical to the ones posted here. Inlays and gold line in full coverage. One way to tell the Japanese work was by the mountains in the background. They always looked like Mt. Fuji.
If there were ducks in the scene, the grass was always done in broad cuts.

Either the company name or the engraver was Ogawa, and the scenes usually had that name on them. DR
 

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I had a M-12 with grade 5 engraving- it looked like a stick man with a stick dog-very poor, I thought. I was delighted to sell it back to the guy who faked it the first time.
 

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Japanese engraving is sometimes identified by scenes of pointing breed dogs pointing at ducks flying over open water, probably the Pacific Ocean. I have always wanted to buy one of those setters who would point ducks as they appear on the horizon. Then all I would have to do would be to train the dog to wake me up and hand me the call.
 
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