An entirely new art form
In the closing decades of the 19th century, there was increasing demand for more ostentatious decoration, notably carved, chiseled and pictorial work. By the early twentieth century, Harry Kell in particular was leading this new genre. Working for Purdey, his exquisite game and animal scenes rapidly increased demand for these more ornate styles.
Today, engraving is very much a matter for each customer’s preference. Purdey fine rose and scroll is still frequently asked for, and will always be included in the price of a traditional Purdey. Yet it is also possible to stipulate game scenes, and more flamboyant gold inlays or other unique ornamentation.
This once modest stage of the finishing process has become elevated into an international art form. Highly prized, and highly collectible, such designs may take up to six months to complete.
Purdey engraving remains as practical today as in the time of James Purdey the Founder. Yet it has the power to significantly increase a gun or rifle’s appeal, collectability and individualism.