Question: how old are these gravers

BCan

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Sep 16, 2020
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Montana
Hello Alfredo,
A little over 45 years ago I had the good fortune to spend time working at the now long-gone Brown's Engraving in Nashville, Tennessee. Back then, Mr. Brown ran one of the last little shops in the mid-south that created hand-engraved invitations. These were done on copper and more infrequently on zinc plates.

Mr. Brown had scores of old push gravers that we used to 'clean up' the plates that were created through a process which amounted to covering a plate with pitch, scribing the letters with what had to be one of the earliest Hermes sapphire pointed pantographs ever made, followed by an application of aqua regia, a water rinse, cleaning the pitch off the plate, and finally sharpening the lettering with those push gravers.

The majority of those gravers, similar to the ones shown in your photo were collected by Mr. Brown in the 1920's and 30's. BTW, thanks for causing me to have a delightful flashback from the past. Hope this helps.

Kindest regards,
BCan
 

alfredo gm

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Jun 1, 2020
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thanks
I always thought that they were very old in the vautier which is a flat # 50, you can see hammer marks on the tang and searching the net I found that those marked antoine glardon are from before 1890, however I already cleaned them and they will be used at least 100 years after construction
 

monk

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thanks
I always thought that they were very old in the vautier which is a flat # 50, you can see hammer marks on the tang and searching the net I found that those marked antoine glardon are from before 1890, however I already cleaned them and they will be used at least 100 years after construction
be careful. many of those oldies were used on soft metals in jewelry stores. many will not work on harder materials such as steel. my understanding is that some could be heat treated to work on harder mtls. only way to know is give each a try on mtls of different hardness.
 

alfredo gm

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Jun 1, 2020
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be careful. many of those oldies were used on soft metals in jewelry stores. many will not work on harder materials such as steel. my understanding is that some could be heat treated to work on harder mtls. only way to know is give each a try on mtls of different hardness.
be careful. many of those oldies were used on soft metals in jewelry stores. many will not work on harder materials such as steel. my understanding is that some could be heat treated to work on harder mtls. only way to know is give each a try on mtls of different hardness.
Thank you
I tested them in soft steel and they cut without problems I think that in harder steels it is another story
anyway here it is extremely rare to do any steel work
 

mitch

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Hello Alfredo,
A little over 45 years ago I had the good fortune to spend time working at the now long-gone Brown's Engraving in Nashville, Tennessee. Back then, Mr. Brown ran one of the last little shops in the mid-south that created hand-engraved invitations. These were done on copper and more infrequently on zinc plates.

Mr. Brown had scores of old push gravers that we used to 'clean up' the plates that were created through a process which amounted to covering a plate with pitch, scribing the letters with what had to be one of the earliest Hermes sapphire pointed pantographs ever made, followed by an application of aqua regia, a water rinse, cleaning the pitch off the plate, and finally sharpening the lettering with those push gravers.

The majority of those gravers, similar to the ones shown in your photo were collected by Mr. Brown in the 1920's and 30's. BTW, thanks for causing me to have a delightful flashback from the past. Hope this helps.

Kindest regards,
BCan
I also knew a guy in Denver who did the plates for 'real engraved' (which was mostly what we'd call etched) stationery. It was an interesting process. IIRC, he used Jane's Ground, which was a reddish brown lacquer on Cronite steel plates. He had a tall Cronite Zero-Point(?) pantograph which used various fonts that were complete alphabets on long master plates. I seem to recall he would do layouts on a paper tape, with index marks along the edge for the spacing, etc. He'd etch all the main characters, then add punctuation and do a little touch-up by hand.
 

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