A custom engraved pair of Colt 1911′s that were worked on by master engraver Michael Dubber. Called the Black Knight and White Knight, the project for the customer cost about $80,000 for the pair.
It’s been a few years since I produced a pair of vintage .45 1911 Colts for a client who was interested in the legends surrounding King Arthur and his knights. Rather than concentrate on King Arthur or any particular Knight, we decided to generalize the legends of Good and Evil by naming the project the White and Black Knights. The White Knight’s theme is more whimsical while the Black Knight exhibits powerful elements of darkness.
After exploring the generalized format, I was given complete freedom to carry out the work as I saw fit. Understanding the role of colors in the project, I decided to blue (dark black/oxide blueing) the Black Knight and French Gray the White knight. I then choose ebony and ivory to compliment the grip themes.
The various themes, armour, crests and other inlaid icons were researched to fit the respective characters of each gun. Many of the inlays were multi-color metal (gold/silver/platinum). I did the ebony grips, including the sterling inlays, and asked scrim artists Sandra Brady to do the ivories. After providing her with basic sketches, she created the grips, art and scrimshaw.
Inlays were done in 24K gold, 18K pink and green gold, platinum and silver to keep the coloration consistent with the overal theme.
I especially enjoy creating “themed” engraving projects like this. Likewise, if you decide to create an engraving theme, please understand that you will probably spend at least a fourth of the project time researching and artistically developing that theme. So, I’ve already been asked privately several times: this was a $80,000 project, including the guns, grips, art, consultation and finishing - six months +- and lots of research, coordination and bench time.