Question: Who is Joseph Condon?

Tman1162

New Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
2
Location
Indiana
I recently ran across a nicely engraved gun signed "CONDON". I have searched the net and found limited information. Understand this is the work of Joseph Condon, and that he was titled "engravers to the stars". Does anyone have first hand information on who is Joseph Condon? Thanks for any information and/or stories.
 

Roger Bleile

:::Pledge Member:::
::::Pledge Member::::
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Messages
2,905
Location
Northern Kentucky
Joe Condon, born in 1929, had a varied and interesting career. Among other things he was, a commercial artist, amateur heavyweight boxing champion, stunt driver, magician, custom jeweler, holster designer, stock maker, escape artist, and health club manager. Aside from all those things, by 1970 he had been a gun engraver for 20 years. Joe worked from his shop at the Sportsman's Den in Las Vegas. Among Joe's celebrity clients were Sammy Davis, Jr., Red Skelton, Buddy Hackett, and Elvis Presley.

Joe has been deceased for some years but I don't have the date of his death.
 

Attachments

  • Joe Condon.jpg
    Joe Condon.jpg
    156.5 KB · Views: 655

monk

Moderator
Staff member
::::Pledge Member::::
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
10,004
Location
washington, pa
interesting kind of guy ! aside from being quite talented, one would think he was a well "rounded guy".
 

JJ Roberts

~ Elite 1000 Member ~
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
Messages
3,205
Location
Manassas, VA
Joseph Condon is not his real name he was Italian and change his last name to Condon and I met his nephew at the Chantilly Va. gun show. J.J.
 
Last edited:

JJ Roberts

~ Elite 1000 Member ~
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
Messages
3,205
Location
Manassas, VA
Roger,The nephew told me and I should have wrote it down,if I met him again at the gun show I'll get his birth name. J.J.
 
Last edited:

dragonquest

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2015
Messages
7
Joe Condon's Nephew

I am Joe Condon's nephew. My name is Joseph C. Nicolello. I met JJ Roberts at the Chantilly gun show a while back. It is funny, My son found this post and said, dad, that is you. He was with me when I spoke with Mr. Roberts. Joe Condon's birth name was Joseph Francis Nicolello. His brother was my father. He was an incredible artist, but a bit undisciplined. If he had a finished piece to sell, it sold quickly. If you contracted with him to engrave a piece, well, he was an artist. It was finished when it was finished. In all the activities attributed to him the one I find missing, was that he was a high board diver at shows. Mostly around Miami, FL. The one skill he most wanted to excel at was manic.
 

monk

Moderator
Staff member
::::Pledge Member::::
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
10,004
Location
washington, pa
I am Joe Condon's nephew. My name is Joseph C. Nicolello. I met JJ Roberts at the Chantilly gun show a while back. It is funny, My son found this post and said, dad, that is you. He was with me when I spoke with Mr. Roberts. Joe Condon's birth name was Joseph Francis Nicolello. His brother was my father. He was an incredible artist, but a bit undisciplined. If he had a finished piece to sell, it sold quickly. If you contracted with him to engrave a piece, well, he was an artist. It was finished when it was finished. In all the activities attributed to him the one I find missing, was that he was a high board diver at shows. Mostly around Miami, FL. The one skill he most wanted to excel at was manic.

with such varied interests, interesting that he found time to engrave. one gun he did for elvis was given to a police officer that elvis had met somewhere along the line. i recall reading about this many moons ago. maybe a gun magazine ? not sure.
 

Roger Bleile

:::Pledge Member:::
::::Pledge Member::::
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Messages
2,905
Location
Northern Kentucky
Joseph,

Do you know why your uncle changed his name and the year he died. I am the engravers guild historian and would like to record those facts.

Thank you,

Roger Bleile
 

dragonquest

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2015
Messages
7
Roger,

Joe changed his name because he wanted to be a magician and thought that Condon was better as a stage name than Nicolello. Actually, he was a much better engraver/artist than he was a magician. Joe died in 1993 in Las Vegas, NV of brain cancer. The first rifles I remember him engraving were for a wildcat round called the O'Brien 17. The round never took off, but the rifles hr engraved certainly launched his engraving career into notoriety. Let me know if you need anymore information. Joseph Nicolello
 

Johnny _19792002

New Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2017
Messages
2
Joeseph Conden's engraving log book

Hello to all! I am new here to the engravers cafe.:drawing: I recently purchased a Smith and Wesson model 19 that was owned by Robert Goulet and engraved by Joeseph Conden around 1970.:banana: It is an absolute work of art and the engraving is nicer than the gun itself. I am a huge fan of Joeseph Conden's work. I am curious if anyone knows if there is or was a Conden log book or where I can find out more information about the revolver. It is engraved similar to Elvis Presley's model 19 that recently brought around $195,000. It has gold inlaid mountain lion and a pig on one side and a gold ram and rattlesnake on the other side. I have searched the internet for about a month now, with no luck. I will post a picture as soon as I can get to the box at my bank! I know Joseph Conden worked at the Sportman's Den in Las Vegas but that is as far as I have got. Thank you in advance for any information available!!
 

Rodger Connor

Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2018
Messages
14
Roger,

Joe changed his name because he wanted to be a magician and thought that Condon was better as a stage name than Nicolello. Actually, he was a much better engraver/artist than he was a magician. Joe died in 1993 in Las Vegas, NV of brain cancer. The first rifles I remember him engraving were for a wildcat round called the O'Brien 17. The round never took off, but the rifles hr engraved certainly launched his engraving career into notoriety. Let me know if you need anymore information. Joseph Nicolello
 

Rodger Connor

Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2018
Messages
14
Roger,

Joe changed his name because he wanted to be a magician and thought that Condon was better as a stage name than Nicolello. Actually, he was a much better engraver/artist than he was a magician. Joe died in 1993 in Las Vegas, NV of brain cancer. The first rifles I remember him engraving were for a wildcat round called the O'Brien 17. The round never took off, but the rifles hr engraved certainly launched his engraving career into notoriety. Let me know if you need anymore information. Joseph Nicolello
Joseph, I currently own one of your unclr’s creations, A Sako L461 in 17-222 O’Bryan magnum, I was told by one man I traced in the chain of ownership that the rifle was ordered by Elvis as a gift for Sammy Davis Jr. it is the most beautiful work of art I’ve ever seen. Do you know of anyone who could help verify the chain of ownership? Thanks,
Rodger Connor
 

anaconda

New Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
1
Hi Everyone, I own a 1885 colt SSA that Joe engraved, its a very elegant piece. Its always been a west coast gun as originally shipped to the Browning brothers in Utah from colt. Blued finish with gold inlays and scrolling all over, plus gold inlays of dice, card hands Ace and jack, Buffalo head, and horns. I would love to find out who this gun was for? as most of his work was celebrities. Does anyone have Joes log books or records?
 
Top