Today we are taking a brief side trip in Bergmann development to look at a couple of magnificent engraved Bergmann pistols – specifically, a pair of model 1896 No.3s, a Bergmann Mars 1903, and a model 1910. One of these (the 1910) was done by an outside engraver, and the others are examples of Bergmann factory engraving work. The Bergmann style is one of very fine banknote style scrollwork with gold accents – I think it is beautiful, and really highlights the skill of the engraver.
The 1910 is an interesting piece both for its style and for the gold Arabic phrase on the side of the slide, which is an excerpt from the Hadith and translates to “Verily, strength lies in shooting”. A pretty apt martial exhortation for a pistol! Examples of several of contemporary examples with the same engraving pattern do exist in museum collections to this day, which hopefully I will be able to examine in the future.
The best of these guns, of course, is the immaculate 1896 in its presentation case. Like a true time capsule, it shows the full quality one would have received from Bergmann in the late 1890s.