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Old 04-04-2017, 10:02 PM
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Default Ivory N frame grips

Well bought a nice gun last week and these were on it.

Curious who might have made these and what the panels symbolize. I got some input on the eagle but would like to confirm and know what the other side symbolizes.

Any input about either side is appreciated.













Hope to post what it came on down soon but am waiting on the factory letter.
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Old 04-04-2017, 10:06 PM
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I think one grip symbolizes the Mexican eagle and snake motif.


The idea is that the early Aztecs saw an eagle eating a snake on an island and their priests figured that this meant that they should build Tenochtitlan there.


By the time of the Spanish Conquest, that city was as large or larger than Venice.


This is not well understood by modern PC academics who deride Cortes for taking the country for Spain. It was actually one of the most amazing military feats of all time.


Some say the bird was not a real eagle, but another raptor called a caracara.


Don't know about the other grip. But it probably has signifigance in Mexico.

Last edited by Texas Star; 04-04-2017 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 04-04-2017, 10:25 PM
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Beautiful grips. I am envious. Just WOW!
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
The current coat of arms of Mexico (Spanish: Escudo Nacional de México, literally "national shield of Mexico") has been an important symbol of Mexican politics and culture for centuries. The coat of arms depicts a Mexican golden eagle perched on a prickly pear cactus devouring a rattlesnake.
Look at Mexico's flag.
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:58 AM
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Rich I know nothing about those but I do like!
I'm waiting to see what they were on.
Mark
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:10 AM
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wow...well someone was very skilled and those are very well made...great find...
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:40 AM
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Could the left panel engraving be a 4 leaf clover?
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:58 AM
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Four leaf clover is what I see. Maybe Irish/Catholic influence.
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Old 04-05-2017, 11:53 AM
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Those were custom made for Poncho O'Riley.
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Old 04-05-2017, 12:48 PM
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Should that be Pancho O'Riley /O'Reilly? But we had an all-you-can-eat Mexican restaurant here years ago that I think was called Poncho's...


The rectangles with a dot in them on the grip mean something.


Don't the Irish think a four-leaf clover brings good luck? I thought the rectangles might represent dice, but they show only one dot, not a good sign in rolling dice, I've heard. (I don't gamble.)


Might this mean the owner asks for good luck in rolling dice?


But the objects are too rectangular to be dice.


This may well have more personal significance than it has Mexican national origins.


Where's a Mexican member? Artilleria de Villa? Are you there?
Can you read this and comment?


Like others, I want to know which gun these were on, and if they fit that frame well, as if fitted to that gun originally.

Last edited by Texas Star; 04-05-2017 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 04-05-2017, 01:05 PM
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There's a pattern. I think the panel reads, 3 4 5 from top to bottom. The denticular engraving is 3 on top and 5 on bottom. The 4 leaf clover is in between. May be coincidence, but...

tres, quatro, cinco
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Old 04-05-2017, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiregrassguy View Post
There's a pattern. I think the panel reads, 3 4 5 from top to bottom. The denticular engraving is 3 on top and 5 on bottom. The 4 leaf clover is in between. May be coincidence, but...

tres, quatro, cinco

Guy-


You may have something there. And the dots on top have the dot placed high in the rectangle. On the bottom, the dot is low in the frame. Probably not coincidence.
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Old 04-05-2017, 01:20 PM
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16 dots. Maybe Angel Numbers?
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Old 04-05-2017, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Wiregrassguy View Post
16 dots. Maybe Angel Numbers?

What's an Angel number? Does Victoria's Secret assign numbers to their models?


(My computer won't access Smilies here, so no Laughing Face.)


Seriously, what's an Angel Number?
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Old 04-05-2017, 02:29 PM
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Click the link.
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Old 04-05-2017, 03:01 PM
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I'm not sold on it being a Mexican eagle. I have seen that motif a lot through the years, and something seems off from the standard. The off side looks almost Celtic.


Regards,
Bruce
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Old 04-05-2017, 03:49 PM
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I would concur with the panel with the mexican symbolism, and venture a guess on the other, looks like a 4 leaf clover. When the great Irish immigration came to the US (my grandfather came in 1912) many Irish went to Mexico. I would also be interested in what the letter tells you. Fantastic workmanship, and I don't like ivory's but I would love to have those.
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Old 04-05-2017, 05:58 PM
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Like others, I want to know which gun these were on, and if they fit that frame well, as if fitted to that gun originally.[/QUOTE]




Interesting ideas. The Mexican eagle has been brought up to me from a few members.
The cactus below the eagle is also in some pics i found of that eagle. Its likely but i think understanding the other side is the key.

At first glance i thought 4 leaf clover and even a chrysanthemum was mentioned from another. But the more I look at it I wonder if it could have a Mayan theme or something south of the border.

It came on a like new gun from the thirties and fits perfect in every way. Was told it came from a California estate.
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce5781 View Post
I'm not sold on it being a Mexican eagle. I have seen that motif a lot through the years, and something seems off from the standard. The off side looks almost Celtic.


Regards,
Bruce
Good comment, but it doesn't explain the prickly pear cactus which appears in the ivory grips.
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Old 04-05-2017, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
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Good comment, but it doesn't explain the prickly pear cactus which appears in the ivory grips.
I'm not convinced it's prickly pear. Sorry, just my thoughts.

Regards,
Bruce
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:21 PM
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Rich I'd probably check Mayan symbols or send the picture to someone who knows them.
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:41 PM
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Or it could be a Brown Snake Eagle found in West, East and Southern Africa.
Brown snake eagle - Wikipedia

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Bruce
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Old 04-05-2017, 11:35 PM
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Center left stock Mayan K'in glyph for sun.

Three dots at top could be tres, but cinco is represented by a horizontal bar.

So much for my 10 minutes of Google edgeymucation. Next!



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Old 06-06-2017, 12:00 AM
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Well here is what the grips came on. 38/44 Super King Target.
Shipped in early 1933 to Minnesota.

Factory letter and a historical search didn't really shed any light on anything.



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Old 06-06-2017, 12:11 AM
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That's the purtyest .38 I ever saw...
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Old 06-06-2017, 05:41 AM
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Very nice!
Mark
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Old 06-06-2017, 09:56 AM
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The Mexican snake and eagle motif has long been a common adornment on handgun grips.
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Old 06-06-2017, 10:00 AM
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I was lucky enough to see and hold this fantastic gun in person. Pictures can not do it justice and I'm very happy you found this gem!
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Old 06-06-2017, 10:15 AM
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Guess I'm the odd man out. I still think it's a South African Rock Eagle.

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Old 06-06-2017, 11:03 AM
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that is my family's coat of armes. PM me for my address.

beautiful gun and grips.

Charlie
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Old 06-06-2017, 11:35 AM
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Just taking a wild guess those grips were made for a Texan. I believe that is a desert, or cactus flower on the left grip. And the rows represent the walls of the Alamo.

Yep, after searching images I believe that is a desert rose.

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Old 06-06-2017, 12:26 PM
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I believe a desert rose has five petals.
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Old 06-06-2017, 04:38 PM
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Bruce , Google Mexican snake & eagle handgun grips and hit images you will see many beautiful examples back to the percussion era ,

]what ever kind of eagle it is.
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Old 06-06-2017, 04:59 PM
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I believe a desert rose has five petals.
It does, but that does not mean the artist decided to use five. Remember it is not a real rose, just a carving. It would make sense with the eagle, and snake on the opposite grip. Those grips were either Mexican, or Texan IMO.
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Old 06-06-2017, 05:36 PM
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Bruce , Google Mexican snake & eagle handgun grips and hit images you will see many beautiful examples back to the percussion era ,

]what ever kind of eagle it is.
Living in Texas and having spent more than one or two days in the Valley, I really am familiar with the Mexican motif. I actually am a fan. It just does not give off a Mexican vibe to me.

Brown snake eagle - Wikipedia

Great stocks, I really like them regardless of their origin.

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Old 06-06-2017, 11:44 PM
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It does, but that does not mean the artist decided to use five. Remember it is not a real rose, just a carving. It would make sense with the eagle, and snake on the opposite grip. Those grips were either Mexican, or Texan IMO.
Why would a carver so precisely duplicate the very complicated Mexican flag emblem on one stock panel, and then malform or misrepresent a very simple flower blossom on the other panel? That stock panel has a very specific meaning IMHO, it just hasn't been found yet.
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Old 06-06-2017, 11:48 PM
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Why would a carver so precisely duplicate the very complicated Mexican flag emblem on one stock panel, and then malform or misrepresent a very simple flower blossom on the other panel? That stock panel has a very specific meaning IMHO, it just hasn't been found yet.
The carver did NOT duplicate the Mexican flag emblem, it is similar. I would not even call it a close duplicate.
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Old 06-07-2017, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
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Living in Texas and having spent more than one or two days in the Valley, I really am familiar with the Mexican motif. I actually am a fan. It just does not give off a Mexican vibe to me.

Brown snake eagle - Wikipedia

Great stocks, I really like them regardless of their origin.

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I live in the Rio Grande Valley and have seen many Mexican flags and I will concur, that doesn't jump out and say Mexican flag to me.
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Old 06-07-2017, 07:41 AM
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Well guys, the eagle / snake image does have to fit into a small enough space to still allow the grips to be functional.

Have you ever seen a ... uh ... pretty lady image carved into ivory stocks? Although there always seems to be enough room to display her ... uh ... charms, the depiction is not usually complete nor free of contortions / distortions. The artist has a very small space to work with!
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Old 06-07-2017, 06:11 PM
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Wow, very nice! Those are some of the nicest ivory I've seen!

As far as the design on the other side, I'm thinking some type of Mexican flower...

Here's a close up of a similar design on a Mexican holster done in gold bullion thread. I just got this and haven't had a chance to take any more pics. I'll dress up one of my Smith's and post in another thread.

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Old 06-07-2017, 08:37 PM
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I've looked at a lot of carved Mexican grips and I'm going to present a little different approach.

The high bas-relief of these grips isn't commonly found in the Mexican carvings. I would propose that the hand reflects more of an Asian style. There is no question that the raptor and snake are Mexican symbols but they are much more stylized than those in the Mexican flag or is typically seen in work such as Wolf & Klar. The figures at the bottom in the bird's claws remind me much more of a pineapple than a cactus. The pineapple is a common symbol of good luck in Asian cultures.

So, here is my guess. The grip was carved, possibly in China or the Philippines, for a visitor from the US who requested the Mexican emblems and the artist added the good luck symbols on his own.

Now, I'm of the opinion that the other grip is a stylized chrysanthemum...another strong Asian symbol that is often associated with death.
Bob

Last edited by bettis1; 06-07-2017 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:26 PM
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Mexico does not hold a copyright on the Eagle/Snake motif. Here is a 1900 year old sculpture excavated in the city of London.



Roman sculpture of eagle devouring serpent unearthed in London | Daily Mail Online
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Old 06-08-2017, 03:23 PM
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Years ago while in Mexico I bought a ring that was sold as being a good luck ring . It was a wedding band style with Elephants , 4 leaf clovers and horse shoes . I was told that in Mexico all of those were considered good luck symbols .

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Old 06-08-2017, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bruce5781 View Post
Mexico does not hold a copyright on the Eagle/Snake motif. Here is a 1900 year old sculpture excavated in the city of London.

Roman sculpture of eagle devouring serpent unearthed in London | Daily Mail Online
in another thread, someone also posted a picture of an American State Flag (?) or the like with an eagle flying along with a snake in its beak. So of course the eagle/snake depiction is not unique to Mexico. But compare the stocks to the Mexican Flag:






In both images, the eagle has the snake in its beak AND the talons of its right foot, while perched on a cactus with its left foot. Obviously, whoever carved the ivory had the Mexican Coat of Arms as a reference. And I just can't see this plant as a group of pineapples, which grow as separate plants, not connected as the pods of the prickly pear cactus are.
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Old 06-09-2017, 01:03 AM
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Wink Aren't there any S&W foodies here?

It is from Italy. A Chefs Special.



Clearly it is pasta!

Edit: I go with it being a Mexican motif.

Last edited by 72b40; 06-10-2017 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 06-09-2017, 04:00 AM
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Compare it to this "MEXICAN" 1933 Five Peso Coin.
1933 would be the same year the revolver shipped.

Compare these details:
- Both eagles facing left
- Five prickly pear pads (always five if Mexican)
- Eagle's head shape
- Right talon grasping snake
- Left talon grasping 4th prickly pad (always 4th if Mexican)

There are many versions of the Mexican Golden Eagle/Snake symbol, but this coins version and the Mexican flags formal Coat of Arms is the most common I've seen. I have no idea in what country these may have been carved, but they are clearly in a Mexican motif.

In my mind, the right stock panel is settled. Others will disagree.




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Old 06-09-2017, 04:16 AM
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While there were many distributors selling similar pattern Ivory or Mother of Pearl, there remind me of a Wolf & Klar dealer added grips I've seen over the years.
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Old 06-09-2017, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jebstuart View Post
Compare it to this "MEXICAN" 1933 Five Peso Coin.
1933 would be the same year the revolver shipped.

Compare these details:
- Both eagles facing left
- Five prickly pear pads (always five if Mexican)
- Eagle's head shape
- Right talon grasping snake
- Left talon grasping 4th prickly pad (always 4th if Mexican)

There are many versions of the Mexican Golden Eagle/Snake symbol, but this coins version and the Mexican flags formal Coat of Arms is the most common I've seen. I have no idea in what country these may have been carved, but they are clearly in a Mexican motif.

In my mind, the right stock panel is settled. Others will disagree.




Yup, can't argue after seeing that.
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Old 06-10-2017, 06:22 PM
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Possibly it might be a Zuni sacred rosette?

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