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 Post subject: Re: Pictures-Discussion - Engraved Superposed & Other Browni
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:33 pm 
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Anatidae wrote:
It's not unusual (in my limited experience) for a Gr I Express rifle to be signed...…..mostly by relatively unknown FN engravers. There's another one on this thread (posted by 'cartod') signed by Emile Gregoire and I've seen one signed by Willy Rollin.

Common sense tells me those engravers are relatively unknown because the need for engravers steadily declined from 180 in the 60's to 16 in 1987. During that decline, FN would've naturally kept the best engravers that could turn-out any production grade (FN and Browning). It would stand to reason there was little room for advancement if your only capability as an engraver was a Gr I level, as the workforce and demand for Superposed guns diminished.



Interesting observation . “ Up or Out “ many of them must have seen the handwriting on the wall and moved on. I’m sure some stuck with engraving and advanced their careers outside of FN either abroad or here in the states.
Thank you for the observation on the number of engravers and the shift in the tide.




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 Post subject: Re: Pictures-Discussion - Engraved Superposed & Other Browni
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:11 pm 
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Thanks for the acknowledgements. I re-thought this statement.....
Quote:
It would stand to reason there was little room for advancement if your only capability as an engraver was Gr I level, as the workforce and demand for Superposed guns diminished.
…….and should add, …….
Quote:
regardless of your capability as an engraver.
You could have demonstrated the ability to execute the Midas grade (for instance) to an acceptable standard, yet the engravers with long-standing seniority had secured the privilege to execute the more difficult (and higher-paying) patterns, especially in a declining market.


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 Post subject: Re: Pictures-Discussion - Engraved Superposed & Other Browni
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:19 pm 
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Anatidae wrote:
Thanks for the acknowledgements. I re-thought this statement.....
Quote:
It would stand to reason there was little room for advancement if your only capability as an engraver was Gr I level, as the workforce and demand for Superposed guns diminished.
…….and should add, …….
Quote:
regardless of your capability as an engraver.
You could have demonstrated the ability to execute the Midas grade (for instance) to an acceptable standard, yet the engravers with long-standing seniority had secured the privilege to execute the more difficult (and higher-paying) patterns, especially in a declining market.


Makes perfect sense . I would hazard a guess , as with any corporate environment that there would also be the usual teachers pets and brown nosers that would garner the bosses favor. It would be interesting to know who left FN and found success on their own .


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 Post subject: Re: Pictures-Discussion - Engraved Superposed & Other Browni
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:14 pm 
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Thank you for the excellent information and dialogue, Anatidae. {hs#

Captjsjr poses an interesting question:
Quote:
It would be interesting to know who left FN and found success on their own .


We all know that Angelo Bee left and found success in the USA. But I agree with Captjsjr, it would be interesting to know who else left and where they ended up.

CFB

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 Post subject: Re: Pictures-Discussion - Engraved Superposed & Other Browni
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:39 pm 
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CFB , there’s a good project for you . Take the names of the engravers in Schwing from say ‘65 on and run a google search on them.
And please let us know what you find !


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 Post subject: Re: Pictures-Discussion - Engraved Superposed & Other Browni
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:33 pm 
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captjsjr,

A worthy project, indeed! {hs#

If only I didn't have a day job! Perhaps in retirement. :s Perhaps by then Schwing will have published a new book called The Browning Superposed #2, and save me the trouble!

While Schwing's new book would still have the Superposed as the star of the show, I'd like to see his sequel focus more on an "inside look" at the Engravers at FN/Browning, their bios, their personalities, the dynamics of the Engraving Shop at FN, Funken's leadership, post-Funken leadership by Watrin and Vrancken, hierarchy (and the politics behind it), etc.

Would that be cool?

CFB

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 Post subject: Re: Pictures-Discussion - Engraved Superposed & Other Browni
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:28 pm 
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CFB , I agree completely, you and I have the same problem. We are still ( as W.C.Fields said ) in search of the elusive “sponduits “.
It’s amazing how much of the information we seek ( out side of Schwing ) is out there. But you need time and the drive to dig . In the meantime , all we can do is devote what time and energies we have. A book would make it easy but what fun is just quoting someone else’s work. The research and conjecture based on intuition and knowledge of human nature is the interesting part.
As long as all the interested parties stay in touch and share what they have found , it will all come together. Let’s keep the Browning forum active !


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 Post subject: Re: Pictures-Discussion - Engraved Superposed & Other Browni
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 8:37 pm 
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captjsjr wrote:
It’s amazing how much of the information we seek ( out side of Schwing ) is out there. But you need time and the drive to dig.
Coincidentally (today), I discovered 4 90+minute audio files in the Library of Congress, recorded by the US serviceman whose name is inscribed on the bottom of one of my 2 post-liberation guns. 371 minutes of war remembrances. On November 20, 1944, his Engineering Combat Battalion, (en route to Maastricht Netherlands) camped one night in Fort Eben-Emael 12 miles Northeast of Liege. I started with tape 2 of 4 and heard the following in the first 25 minutes - in the original owner's Missouri dialect:
Quote:
“I heard that Fabrique Nationale d'Armes Belgium, at Liege, was taking orders for shotguns. So I moseyed down and ordered a custom built over and under. The factory was mostly destroyed and was still being targeted by V-1 buzz bombs. It would be months before I could get back to pick-up my gun.”
While this is not a great revelation historically, it is added provenance for the history of the gun and the original owner's memory - spoken in his own words. He served in Europe for 4 years, 7 months.

Fort Eben-Emael was actually part of the Liege defense (4 large 'outer' fortifications). There were several smaller forts in and around the city itself. Eben-Emael was breached by 75 German paratroopers who dropped explosives into the gun ports on May 10, 1940 - thus opening the corridor for the Germans into Belgium, and began the German occupation of Liege. Do a Wikipedia search for Fort Eben-Emael (its artillery built in Liege) and the Siegfried Defense Line.

There is so much we don't know - and take for granted. That was truly the greatest generation.


Last edited by Anatidae on Sat Jul 18, 2020 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Pictures-Discussion - Engraved Superposed & Other Browni
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 8:52 pm 
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What an incredible find ! I admire the insight and perseverance to search the library of Congress . That approach never would have occurred to me .
I think you may be mistaken about the historic significance however. First off this find lends some unknown facts about one of the “ Liberation” guns of which there are more out there. And secondly it offers some insight into a serviceman in the middle of one of the worlds most pivotal wars who just decided to “mosey” on down and order a Superposed ! What a guy to have a drink with. Truly one of the Greatest generation. Keep digging Anatidae {hs#

P.S. thank you for sharing this find.


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 Post subject: Re: Pictures-Discussion - Engraved Superposed & Other Browni
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:43 am 
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Thanks for your comments - I thought there might be a few folks on here that would appreciate a 'documented' story behind the gun. The date of his visit to FN is roughly a month before the December 21, 1944 photo (of Funken and others engraving in the basement at FN during a buzz bomb attack), was taken. The Battle of the Bulge began 5 days earlier on December 16 and lasted through January 25, 1945.

On December 12, his Battalion received notice that they were going back to the US on 30-day leave and then be re-deployed to Okinawa. Obviously he had already placed his order for the gun sometime between November 21 and December 12, 1944. But on December 17 they received orders to stay and provide engineering support. The 1st Army was based in Liege at the time, to counter the Germans' Ardennes Offensive (Battle of the Bulge) just Southeast of Liege. So the Engineer Combat Battalion returned to Fort Eben-Emael which became their base of operation 12 miles NE of Liege, in support of the 9th Army at Maastricht, Netherlands.


Last edited by Anatidae on Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Pictures-Discussion - Engraved Superposed & Other Browni
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:49 pm 
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Angelo Bee.
Best part was the interaction with the artist and knowing from whence it came.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Pictures-Discussion - Engraved Superposed & Other Browni
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:25 pm 
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Anatidae wrote:
Thanks for your comments - I thought there might be a few folks on here that would appreciate a 'documented' story behind the gun. The date of his visit to FN is roughly a month before the December 21, 1944 photo (of Funken and others engraving in the basement at FN during a buzz bomb attack), was taken. The Battle of the Bulge began 5 days earlier on December 16 and lasted through January 25, 1945.

On December 12, his Battalion received notice that they were going back to the US on 30-day leave and then be re-deployed to Okinawa. On December 17 they received orders to stay and provide engineering support. The 1st Army was based in Liege at the time, to counter the Germans' Ardennes Offensive (Battle of the Bulge) just Southeast of Liege.



Anything to indicate when he picked the gun up ?


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 Post subject: Re: Pictures-Discussion - Engraved Superposed & Other Browni
PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:32 pm 
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I'll know in a few days, but it was sometime between Nov 21, 1944 and May 8, 1945 because that is the last date listed in the journal for guns given to servicemen.


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 Post subject: Re: Pictures-Discussion - Engraved Superposed & Other Browni
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:03 am 
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Anatidae wrote:
I'll know in a few days, but it was sometime between Nov 21, 1944 and May 8, 1945 because that is the last date listed in the journal for guns given to servicemen.

Amazing story Anatidae! History comes to life!


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 Post subject: Re: Pictures-Discussion - Engraved Superposed & Other Browni
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:56 am 
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Anatidae wrote:
* * * I thought there might be a few folks on here that would appreciate a 'documented' story behind the gun. * * *


Anatidae:

Wow! Great information!!

I love hearing hearing the stories behind the gun.

Thanks for sharing! Keep it coming!! {hs#

CFB

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 Post subject: Re: Pictures-Discussion - Engraved Superposed & Other Browni
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2020 11:00 am 
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2lo8s wrote:
Angelo Bee.
Best part was the interaction with the artist and knowing from whence it came.


2lo8s,

Thanks for the pics! I'm glad your project turned out so well.

PLEASE share any tidbits of information you received in your interactions with Mr. Bee. Some of us are dying to know his experiences at FN!

Thanks!

CFB

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 Post subject: Re: Pictures-Discussion - Engraved Superposed & Other Browni
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:41 pm
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captjsjr wrote:
b79holmes wrote:
With this title ending in '& Other Brownings' I guess I can ask the question here.

Looking at the [postponed] April 2020 RIA Premier Auction catalog there are a number of engraved Browning firearms listed, including a Funken SA-22 and an unsigned Grade IV BAR from 1979 which must be AIP? We have the same issue as with shotguns, many guns not being signed so what do you all think about the other engraved guns?



AIP ?


Sorry I read too many auction listings.
MIB=Made in Belgium AIP=Assembled in Portugal
I usually see this notation with descriptions of BAR's thought I understand they were AIP way before marked so!
Bill




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