Без рубрики

Joh. Springer’s 22nd Classic Auction in Wien: Pragmatism, Art and Shotguns

One-two-stop, one-two-stop; as if in a Vienna waltz I go through pages of Joh. Springer’s 22nd Classic Auction catalogue, from Merkel over/unders to Art Nuveau engraving to a few British pragmatisms to possible but unlikely royal provenance, with an occasional nod to a sewing machine – click “More” and dance along! Tra-la-la-la-la!

2017-04-20 (6)

A Koersten-type over/under shotgun by Josef Just, Ferlach. From Joh. Springer auction.

With all due respect to the mandatory matched pairs of Purdeys, the real queens of this ball are Koersten-type over/unders. I didn’t realize – although it makes perfect sense – that many Ferlach makers built their guns on this platform.

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Без рубрики, Rifles

Highlights from Joh. Springer’s Erben 22nd Classic Auction.

2017-04-19

Roth-Theodorovich Mod. 1897 8 mm pistol from Joh.Springer’s Auction.

I’ve spent a few joyful hours today admiring the catalogue of Joh. Springer’s Erben 22nd Classic Auction over a cup of coffee, and while I’m not really into handguns, this 1897 Roth-Theodorovich that graces the cover of the catalogue is definitely something else. Its ugliness is so complete that it approximates beauty. But the action is not just about ugly pistols – click on “more” to see some of the beautiful and unusual rifles and combination guns that will go under hammer on April 20.

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Russian Hunting Shotguns

Export of Soviet Guns Part III.

Part I. The 1960s.

Part II. The 1970s.

I’d like to reiterate here that these posts are very far from the complete account of Soviet shotguns export. A full account of the issue would probably bring me a doctorate in Economics. The three posts are more like the starting point of an investigation, what I know by now.

Raznoexport 5

Late 1980s Raznoexport catalogue cover featuring 1966 vintage MTs 6.

Along the 1980s, with the combination of plummeting oil prices and the effect of economic sanctions, the Soviet economy was going from bad to worse to catastrophic. Soviet Government looked for sources of hard currency everywhere. However, there was a big problem. By 1990, as states a paper quoted by Egor Gaidar in his Collapse of an Empire (mandatory reading for everyone interested in the collapse of the USSR), only about 12% of Soviet manufactured products were competitive on the world markets (and for 47% of those overseas customers had serious quality complaints). Apparently, Soviet hunting shotguns were in the 12%, but their actual competitiveness is an open question. Continue reading

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