Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pretty Guns- Post #2

I'll leave this slightly obsessive subject in a minute but somebody asked me in an email "what ARE the best?" and what my-- I dunno, esthetic is; my Platonic ideal. I could never afford one and I doubt if my fans can make up a rich enough cartel to comp me one as a present, but the answer is easy-- the Scottish (Edinburgh) "round" actions, not London famous names, not ostentatious engraving, but a minimalist provincial example of craft & design genius-- stark, perfect, Tom McGuane's "simple linear gesture". I give you two examples: the starkest, leanest, possibly purest, an ancient McNaughton with wood extending to cover the metal, the "Bar in Wood" type: and the lean but more baroque example of turn of the last century pre- Great war indulgence, a rare-- fewer than ten 3 barrels made? -- Dickson in just that configuration-- allegedly one like it, also in 16 gauge, was made for the legendary bird collector Walter Rothschild.


Anonymous said...

They are paying 30 million for spilled paint so 100+ year old guns that are miracles of form and function look pretty good to me.

They also evoke emotional associations with history, a continuum of past users, hunting and the wild. It is hard to compare that to many other objects.

Bar in Wood round actions are top shelf for me, too. Darnes have the "Platonic ideal" as well.

Why do you want 3 barrels, however?


Steve Bodio said...

I really don't-- just a tribute to Rothschild & his birds.

Mike Spies said...

Steve, I had an 1893 Dickson RA 12 gauge for a number of years. It was a lovely and lively gun. Probably the nicest gun I'll ever own (unless I find a flatside Woodward 16). Regrettably, I sold it a couple of years ago and used the funds to to buy a new truck.