David, I've heard the rumor that Kraus placed his initials beneath the opening lever many times, but have yet to see an authentic example. Do you have some pics? As FYI when I was researching Charles Jerred, Jr., I interviewed one of Albert Kraus and Charlie Jerred's personal friends, Ken Sweet; and I asked him that same question. His response was that Kraus did not sign his work at Hunter (nor did Jerred). According to Mr. Sweet, producing an engraved gun was a collaborate effort; so he may have done the gold inlays etc.; but others in the shop were carving rope rolls, cutting borders, and so forth. Kraus managed the shop this way for two reasons; first of all to distribute the work so as to ensure all members of the department accumulated sufficient hours to make a living, and
the reason work wasn't signed is because no one individual could claim credit for the complete project. I believe the rumors that "oh, this gun was engraved by by A.E. Kraus" are lies told by dealers to deceive the unaware; but if you can provide actual proof of such guns, I'm open to change my thinking. My experience with high grade Smith guns is that I've never seen Kraus's initials on any high grade Smith gun I've owned, and Buck Hamlin says he hasn't either.
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