The British gun trade doesn’t have a lot of superstar engravers, but Ken Hunt certainly qualifies. The “godfather of gun engraving” was, until his retirement in 2009, the greatest influencer in his field. The problem was that collecting his work required deeper pockets than most of us possess. Now Hunt, working with his grandson Charlie Bollands, has introduced a range of affordable jewelry featuring the type of embellishment previously reserved for commissions from London’s swankiest gunmakers.
The collection includes a hallmarked sterling silver money clip with large scroll not dissimilar to the engraving gracing Holland & Holland’s Royal model for £180 ($250). There’s a unisex solid silver bracelet (pictured) featuring oak leaves and acorns like those occasionally seen carved on the detonating of early hammerless Purdeys for £210 ($290) and a tie bar with scrolling acanthus so familiar from the Arts & Crafts movement and widely adopted within the gun trade for just £99 ($137). At prices starting at less than $150, it’s clear that none of the items are hand engraved, and the website clearly states: “Ken continues to produce designs via other mediums which are then transferred onto products via innovative technology.” All items are hand finished.
When asked about his role in the project, Bollands said, “I manage the store for the business, and Ken creates the art and runs his Instagram account. Working together has been awesome, as I get to showcase his masterful work and we are experimenting all the time with new ideas and concepts to take forward. I’m currently looking into gold options for clients.”
So if your bid to secure a vintage Ken Hunt-garnished Purdey in a recent sale failed, a piece of jewelry might offer some small consolation.
For more information, visit kenhunt.co.uk.