This is an old set of tools for engraving and chasing metal. There are six wood handles with removable ends. The handles appear to be rosewood. They are grooved caps with a flat side. By design, these would grip easily fitting comfortably in the hand and they wouldn’t roll on the table. The blades vary slightly in size, length and tip diameter, and bevel cut for different uses. One end was the cutting end and the other end has a small barb. The blade fits in the long groove in the back side of the handle where there is a piece of metal with notches. The barb or tit, snugs into the notch which allows for some length adjustment. The tapered metal ferrule then snugs up onto the handle holding the blade in place. The ferrules appear to be nickel over brass. All of them have the same information on them; Guaranteed - Ezra F. Bowman & Co. - Lancaster, Pa. - Pat. Mar. 12 1889. These tools come in an old presentation box that reads; Guaranteed “E.F.B.” Lancaster Gravers.
The tool handles vary in length measuring about 3 ½” to 3 7/8” long. They also vary in color, finish and amount or wear but they all appear to be in generally good condition. Some are smoother from use than others. A couple have initials carved into the flat surface and one has initials carved into the crown. None of the handles appear to be broken.
Although the information and basic design is the same the ferrules also vary. Most have a deep, bold engraving on them but a couple are lightly engraved and appear to have a possibly different plating. They are all in good condition with some brass showing through on most of them.
As you’d expect, the blades on these tools also have some variations in markings and condition. Some have marking of the Bowman company and a patent date of 1890. Some have a number stamped on them which probably had to do with the shape and use. All of them have been used and sharpened and some have been sharpened on both ends probably for a custom angle or cut. One blade has been altered to the point that it has had the barb completely reshapen. I have shown it in the photos along with a blade that has not been altered. All of the blades have some pitting but all seem to have good usable metal for many more years of use.
The six tools come in a paper covered wood box which has a satin-like fabric in the lid and velvet like material in the base that has slots for the tools. The lid is hinged at the back and there is a decorative clasp on the front. The box measures about 5 7/8” square by 1 3/8” thick. The outside is in fair condition with the paper peeling off in many areas. The inside of the box is in very nice condition with minimal wear.
The pictures are not shown at actual size. Please refer to the description for actual measurements.
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