In 2006, Samuel Colt was recognized as an American Inventor Icon and inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Sam Colt truly was an American icon. He was an inventor, industrialist, businessman, showman, self- promoter and marketing genius. Sam was the founder of Colt’s Patent Fire-arms Manufacturing Company. The methods developed by Colt were at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution and played a role in the development of America. His adoption of interchangeable parts helped Colt to become one of the first industries to use the assembly line.
Samuel Colt was also a highly skilled salesman; his marketing techniques were innovative and he was considered a sales genius. He realized that form and beauty in design would help sales and he also used celebrity endorsements. Colt recognized the value in placing his custom embellished, engraved and decorated firearms into the hands of foreign leaders. W hen foreign heads of state would not grant him an audience, he convinced the Governor of of Connecticut to commission him as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Connecticut State Militia. This commission and subsequent rank facilitated his tour of Europe to promote his firearms. Sam was awarded numerous government contracts after delivering gifts of his highly embellished, engraved revolvers with exotic ivory or pearl grips to government oﬃcials
Today, we still employ the same marketing practice of embellishment, custom engraving and exotic grips which Sam Colt used. Engraving is not just an art form relating to firearms; it can also enhance printing plate dies, jewelry, knives, ivory and wood. Firearm engraving presents the greatest artistic and technical challenge to the engraver because it must accommodate the various sizes and shapes of the surfaces of a gun. Engravers train to ascending skill levels; journeymen, expert and master. A Colt Master Engraver sets him or herself apart with the inlaying of flush or highly sculpted relief themes of precious metals including gold, silver and platinum. The Master Engraver must be skilled in design and execute work in all facets of engraving, both scroll and scene. Colt Master Engraver Mike Dubber has engraved our 2014 Show Gun with his unique personal style including a number of 24K gold flush lines and inlays of high relief. Styles of engraving exhibited on this revover include German, American, English, Oakleaf, Vine, flavored by the unique style of the Master Engraver. Engravers of this stature develop a style that becomes their signature. Today, a majority of Colt Firearms are being embellished by non-factory Freelance Engravers.Everyone that has an appreciation for engraved firearms owe it to themselves to own at least one engraved specimen in their collection.
Sam Colt commissioned western Artist George Catlin to create a series of paintings in exotic scenes depicting Colt firearms being brandished in conflicts with Indians, in hunting wild animals or defending against bandits. Frequently, Colt purchased multiple advertisements in the same newspaper, providing firearm gifts to editors, and authors and he suppled written details for articles about his Firearms, focusing on how they were successfully employed. The firearms Colt presented as gifts had inscriptions such as “Compliments of Col. Colt’’ or “From the inventor” engraved on the back straps. Samuel Colt would later have his entire name engraved on the back strap of his firearms, securing a trademark for his signature. Mike Dubber has engraved the Sam Colt signature in 24K flush gold on the back strap on the 2014 CCA Show Gun.
Have you have ever had a vision of owning a custom exhibition engraved Colt Firearm (in the tradition of embellished Colt firearms presented by Samuel Colt to dignitaries and world leaders)? Our 2014 Sam Colt birthday anniversary Single Action .45 caliber revolver is your opportunity. This firearm is worth its weight in gold and should fetch a king’s ransom.
Mike Dubber has engraved our anniversary firearm in period Arabesque, featuring raised gold patterns. He has portrayed Col. Sam Colt , the Colt’s Armsmear Crest, an early four horse logo, the Rampant Colt logo, the Colt 1860 factory motif and the Colt Onion Dome all in fine 24K gold. The 2014 Concord Show Gun has been engraved with more than five ounces of pure gold, platinum and Argentium Silver.
This revolver was engraved as a tribute to Samuel Colt ( July 19, 1814-January 10, 1862) as a 200th Anniversary tribute of his life. Additionally, one half ounce of 14K gold was ensconsced on the one piece carved ivory grips. The Rampant Colt grip was carved, designed and cast by Wm. B. Ellis.
Be aware that our government administration is aaempting to impose restrictions on the rights of those who legally own ivory thru the ban on commercial trade of ivory. A ban on ivory would eﬀectively make this the last CCA Show Gun to have ivory grips.
A few years ago C. Roger Bleile wrote the following poem for his book “American Engravers-The 21st Century”. The poem gives the true sense of inspiration what engravers have in feeling the art of engraving. Roger was a founding member of the Firearms Engravers Guild of America in 1981.
SPECIFICATIONSThe Ancient Craft
The flowing trace of spiral lines
Engraved in steel like living vines
Surround the graven stag and
hound About whose forms the
leaves are wound. What hand has
wrought this florid scene With
simple tools, not great machine?
By hammer blows on chisel shaft
Or engraver moved by
ancient craft. Engravers cut
the gold and steel
By hand, by eye, by subtle fee
While skills of hand now die
away The hand engravers
work each day. Around the
world the trade they ply
Makes sure their art will
2014 Auction Firearm Craftsmen
Michael Dubber, Colt Master Engraver
Mike has been a hand engraver since his first year as a high school art teacher in the late 1960’s. His major concentration is on vintage Colt Firearms, although his days are filled with hand engraving on a variety of subjects from antique and modern firearms to jewelry and inscription plates. Dubber is a Founding Member of the Firearms Engravers Guild of America (FEGA) and has served in many FEGA oﬃces over the years including Association President from 1998 to 2004. He is recognized as a FEGA Master Engraver and Colt Master Engraver. He has been honored by the Colt Collectors Association (CCA) with commissions for 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2014 “Show Guns”, and he has also won the CCA Howard Dove Award for Best Engraved Colt on five occasions. His entry of “The Greatest Generation Colt .45” won the Howard Dove and Best of Show Awards at the October, 2013 CCA Show in Denver, Colorado and the Engraver’s Choice Best of Show, Best Metal-on-Metal inlay, and Best Engraved Handgun Awards at the January, 2014 FEGA Show in Reno, Nevada.
Mike has taught hand engraving for Glendo Corporation in Emporia, Kansas and Trinidad State College in Trinidad, Colorado. In 2012 he served as”Artist in Residence” for five weeks during the Pistols: Dazzling Firearms Exhibition at the Eiteljorge Museum in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has engraved guns for notables Norman Schwarskopf, King Juan Carlos of Spain, Pope John Paul II, Bo Derek and created industry guns for Colt, Holland and Holland and Purdy. Mike Dubber has gone full circle from teacher to engraver to teacher when he opened his own engraving studio in 2003. All engraving courses of study are designed to individual customer needs and objectives.
As this will be my last show gun as your CCA Project Manager, Mike Dubber has been appointed to take over the CCA Show Guns for the years 2015-2017. Three engravers new to the CCA have been appointed for these years, and have commenced their design layouts.
Mike Dubber, 8205 Heather Place
Evansville, IN 47710,
Phone cell: 812.454.0271, email@example.com, www.firearmsengraving.com
William B. Ellis, Willy B’s Custom Knife and Grip Maker
Known in the trade as “ Willy B”, Bill Ellis goes by the nickname “Flash”. This is his fourth year donating the carved grips for the CCA show gun. This year for the 2014 Concord, North Carolina Show Gun Willy designed and cast a solid 14K “ Rampant Colt’’ which he has skillfully incorporated in the left half of the carved ivory grips. He spent his early years working as a welder fabricator and tattoo artist. An ivory grip maker suggested he learn the arts of ivory carving and scrimshaw; so one career concluded and another began. With Federal restriction pending, (as mentioned earlier) this will end this artisan's artcraft with ivory. Willy B has carved grips for the Colt Custom Shop, Hollywood celebrities and presidents of the United States.
Willy B’ specializes in carving, scrimshaw, engraving, plating, and restoration of firearms. He is also a member of the Knifemakers Guild, Florida Knife makers Association and Firearms Engravers Guild Association (FEGA).
Willie B’s Custom
1025 Hamilton Ave.
Tarpon Springs, FL
34689 (727) 942-6420
Les Yoder, Brookfield Case,
Inc. Custom Furniture
Les and Marilyn Yoder have been in the furniture business as Master Craftsmen for over 50 years. The firm, Brookfield Inc, is the country’s oldest and largest manufacturer of custom presentation cases. Their experience in early English and French reproductions, high-end executive oﬃce furniture and fine clock cabinets is seen in every piece Brookfield Inc. builds. Attention to detail, fine hardwoods, plush velvet interiors and the highest qualitycraftsmanship are cornerstones of his business. Currently they provide cases to many major manufacturers, distributors, dealers and collectors.
Les Yoder became the oﬃcial CCA auction firearms and ladies raﬄe case maker 27 years ago. Brookfield’s cases are the benchmark of quality for the industry. Each case reflects the skill and pride of their craftsmen. From the furniture finish of fine hardwood to the plush Colt original color velvet interiors, the cases provide ‘‘high value perception’’ for display or presentation. This year’s donated custom, exhibition grade presentation case for the show gun is an upright American Walnut with Maple inlays stand-up glass display case with two drawers, one for accessories and one for miscellaneous papers. Earl and Gwen W hitney donated a 22K gold plated Colt medallion beautifully inset to the face of the drawer and six replica .45 caliber shells with one as a cut-a-way, exposing and profiling the interior of the shell. The glass on the front panel has an etched ribbon that reading ‘’1814 Samuel Colt 1862’’ and the CCA logo is etched across the top glass panel. The interior of the case and drawers is adorned with Colt burgundy velvet. Les and Marilyn have also donated the display case for the ladies ECLF raﬄe gun.
Brookfield Case, Inc.
8041 Leonard Road
49404 (616) 997-9663
Dennis Kies, Master Engraver and Artist
The CCA has always been able to count on Dennis Kies to return from retirement, this year donating the engraved inscription plate for the 2014 gun. He is nationally recognized as one of America’s premier engravers and artist. He has over 40 years experience as an ornamental engraver and die cutter. He has served as a Master Engraver for Colt Firearms and various other manufacturers. He also was the master engraver for the CCA guns for the years 1987 in California, 1997 in St. Louis, and 2002 in Austin. Dennis has designed a number of limited edition objects for the collectors' market, created the three-dimensional ram ornament for a truck manufacturer, has fashioned buttons on designer women’s clothing and has designed labels for ladies' fragrance bottles. Today as an artist he spends the majority of his time creating watercolors, pencil and ink art and engravings. He is currently devoting his spare time during retirement doing volunteer charity work.
18 Brookside Dr. Southington, CT
06489 (860) 410-0611 no email
Joe Lozito,Custom Accoutrement, Firearms Restoration
Joe was raised in a family of wood artisans and his family 's furniture manufacturing business. He is a self taught antique firearms and edged weapons restorer and has been in business for over 35 years. With his firearms work, combined his skills into one field of interest. Joe's specialty is handcrafting firearm oil bottles, cleaning rods, screwdrivers and cleaning rods fabricated from all types of specialty exotic handle material and period finishes. Our Show Gun custom made accessory set was donated by Joe. The engraving on the blades and ferrules was donated by Mike Dubber. Brian Cosby of Cosby Customs in Chandler, IN donated the bluing on the accessories.Joe Lozito
51 Garden City St.