by S.P. Fjestad
Whenever visiting the Val Trompia area in northern Italy, there are two questions that I have always avoided: “How much did (does) this cost,” and “How long will it take you to get this job done?” The answer is generally, “Di questo non si puo' parlare,” translated, “This cannot be discussed.”
This knowledge has served me well when talking to the Valley’s finest engravers. Remember, engravers are artists, and as such, are genetically accepted to be somewhat eccentric, which means they think a lot more about the artwork they create through engraving as opposed to how to realistically compensate themselves for their talents.
With the Dassa brothers, if you are specific and everyone can agree on the amount and type of engraving coverage, they will provide a quotation that won’t change, plus give you a delivery date that is reliable (if nothing changes with the job).
When I visited the Incisioni Dassa Workshop during my most recent trip to Italy in March, I asked them about what they could engrave, and the following are their answers.
Q. Can you engrave a revolver with a hand-painted enamel Confederate flag on one side of the frame and the Union Jack on the other?
A. No problem, what size were you thinking about? See the image on how we do this.
Q. How about a knife (even a small one) with engraved animal scenes?
A. Sure. We could put a customer’s favorite horse on one bolster, and perhaps a dog on the other. Anything is possible, but remember there is less steel to engrave on a knife than on a gun.
Q. What if someone needed a combination of engraving techniques on a specific object, including deep Germanic style high relief, delicate bulino game scenes, and elaborate chiseled ornamentation that will appear integrated upon completion?
A. Yes, but there has to be a budget in mind, as this is a big job potentially requiring a lot of time.
Q. Can you engrave wrist watches, pocket watches, and also personalize them?
A. Many possibilities exist with watches. The depth of the metal is a consideration for engraving watches, so please let us know exactly what you’re interested in.
Q. Is it possible to engrave belt buckles, bridles, bits, spurs, jewelry, pens, metal plates, musical instruments, or maybe even golf clubs?
A. Yes, the possibilities are almost endless. Whatever can be imagined can probably be done, plus we might be able to add some design elements the customer has not thought about.
Incicioni Dassa will accept individual requests for engraved guns, either based on originals or of their own design, such as the Single Action Army shown on the cover of their most recent catalog. To contact the Incisioni Dassa Workshop, visit incisionidassa.com, click on “Handmade Engravings,” then click on the Union flag icon in the upper right corner for English.
The company contact information can also be found on the website; if you want to contact them directly (email is preferable). If Italian translation is needed to communicate details and receive a price quotation on a specific engraving requests, Elena Micheli-Lamboy (email@example.com), who not only is a native, has decades of experience working with Val Trompia’s engravers. Obviously, there will be a charge for her services, which will depend on the amount of time she spends per individual request.