The L.C. Smith Collectors Association
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Re: A-3 20-bore
Posted by Tom Archer on July 8, 2020, 3:53 pm, in reply to "Re: A-3 20-bore
I've never seen an A-3, or any other high grade Smith gun with an engraver's signature, or mark, to include the original and fake A-3 above; which would make sense with the fake, for why would any faker/perpetrator claiming to have a good reputation wish to ID himself as the culprit? Personally, if my talent were no better than what is illustrated on the fake; I'd be ashamed for anyone to know I'd been remotely involved. That said, I have seen examples of the A-2 Grade signed "Glahn SC", but I believe this means only that the engraving was done by the Glahn family of engravers as opposed to a single individual. For what it's worth, when I did my research on Charles Jerred, Jr (Smith engraver who apprenticed under Albert Kraus and earned his masters designation), I interviewed a gentleman named Ken Sweet who was a close personal friend of both Kraus and Jerred. According to Ken, Kraus was head of the engraving shop, and under his tenure engraving was not signed; and the reason for this was that no single individual engraved an entire gun. The reason for this was two fold; first of all Kraus considered it his first responsibility to insure that all members of his staff garnered sufficient hours each week to make a living. And secondly, Kraus delegated the work required based on each individual's skill level; i.e. some were skilled in frame filing, others in cutting scroll and borders, but Kraus was the master and performed the relief carvings and raised gold inlays. Thus, because a high-grade engraving project was the work of several individuals, these guns weren't signed. According to Ken Sweet and the ledger book of engraving work commissions Charles Jerred kept in his office, he never signed any work done for Hunter Arms; but several years after leaving the gun works he received a commission to engrave some special Ruger pistols. On these guns he incorporated his initials, "CHJ", into the scrolls. If you are unfamiliar with the story of Charles Jerred and haven't read the story of Frank Finch's A-3 twenty-bore, I suggest you get those issues of the DGJ; as I suspect you'll find this information very interesting.