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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 136
felix Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 136
F.Faukner and J. Nowotny - closing the open ends
I admit it has been the Nick Holt shop reentering a previously
unsold F. Faukner boxlock - 16-bore with Defourny self-opener -
at now 500 GBP into the next auction, which has triggered this
To be clear, I have no association nor any interest in his nor
any auction-house business nor any gunmaking business/shop.
An English gundealer told me in a recent telcon that the Brits
dont buy English guns nowadays and less so an unknown Czech
boxlock with cracked stock.The present pattern/behaveour is
that the wealthy oldie shoots with a pair of Hollands and
drives a VW/Golf and the wealthy son shoots with a pair
of 2K Berettas and drives a 80K Range Rover.
F. Faukner / The Czech "Purdey"
DGJ spring 2009 had my article on this Czech gunmaker.
According my observation there should be descendants as the
grave has been well cared for. A disclosure of the
name/address of the person paying for the grave has been
denied by the cemetary administration at the time of my
field research.
I have invited/asked now a journalist/writer from Prague
- with learned profession of a historian - to try to
close on the open ends of this Faukner historia
and to include his findings under his name in a separate
post within this thread.
Here are some photos re Faukner I have taken over time
Late Jaroslav Smid, stocker and scope fitter at Faukner before
WW II and still active in the Czech countryside when
I met him in 1995.
According this J. Smid the shopowner Jan Faukner -
son of F. Faukner - has been a proud man, wearing a
"buzinka"/bowler hat, and residing in his shop in
fashionable downtown Prague.
The tools of the stocker
Faukner has been agent for Steyr/Austria, the front page
of his catalogue

Faukner tombstone in Olsany cemetary in Prague
J. Nowotny - the Czech "Holland"
DGJ winter 1995 had my article on this Czech gunmaker
with the info-status known at this time.
I met at one of my hunting trips a Czech hunter -with
pointer dogs -who collected catalogues.
I could copy his Nowotny catalogue.
The front page has a vignette/photo of Jan Nowotny
with the wording
zalozil zavod v roce 186x
*1839 + 1893
It means he founded his company 186x, the x could be
3 or 5.
The journalist I have mentioned before has told me
after he had written an article in a Czech paper on this
J.Nowotny suddenly descendants showed up at his office.
I have asked him to follow up on this and possibly
come up with some insteresting stories on this bygone
Czech world.
And to include it under his name herein.
J. Nowotny catalogue front page with the Nowotny photo
History book on Czech gunmakers
Nowotny guncase label is included in the first post
of this thread.
This Prague Jan Nowotny has been the nephew of the
Viennese Matthias Nowotny. The sister of this Matthias
married Johann Springer, the ancestor of this still
existing Viennese company.
Johann Springer had moved to Vienna from a town in
todays Slovakia. So the Viennese Springers have -
despite their German/Bajuvarian name - Slovak/Bohemian
To show that the Nowotny history could be more
complicated , there is a book by Vladimir Dolinek
"Cesti puskari" - ISBN 80-206-0758-7, naming a total
of 12 Nowotnys working in the guntrade ( The book
covers the time up to 1900).
The son of this late catalogue collector, by learned
profession a gunsmith, but due to missing gunsmith jobs
is working in the metal processing industry. He told me
that he has a collegue reputedly a Nowotny descendant.
Given the rather common name of Nowotny this info
should be taken with some sense of caveat.
Felix Neuberger
(emptying archive/knowledge base)

Last edited by felix; 08/12/19 11:53 AM.
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 136
felix Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 136
....A spring-time photo ...
Its a "Kornellkirsche" (lat. cornus mas), vulgo "Dirndl"
(i.e. "Girlie").
Usually a shrub, the first spring-messenger
with the small yellow blossoms already end
february/beginning march.
There is a valley in Lower Austria with lot of these.
Thought to include here to contribute to cheer up in
this pandemic quarantine standstill.
A very slowly growing shrub yielding local wood
with the highest tensile specs .
Its not off-topic to this forum. Why ?
Retired stocker Altmeister Hans Jiricek
- turning 90 this september -
has used THIS wood to repair stocks broken in the
hand portion.
With a "tongue-groove" method common with cabinet

Last edited by felix; 03/22/20 09:43 AM.
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 9,069
Likes: 1

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 9,069
Likes: 1
Many thanks Mr. Neuberger. Does Hans Jiricek speak English? Currently in Austria, can you travel outside your domicile without a mask?



Joined: Jun 2008
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,913
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For Felix

Last edited by skeettx; 03/22/20 11:17 AM.

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]
USAF RET 1971-95
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 136
felix Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 136
To Raimey:
- Hans Jiricek does not speak English.
He has to use a rollator and has really laid down his tools.
By the way, he is one of the last witnesses of
the Nazi terror in Vienna.
He is of Czech descendance,
his name means little Georg.
- I assume you know that Nick Holt has left London
and moved towards the Hadrian Wall.
May be some of his present offerings
are of interest for you:
. Pair of newish split HH Royal SO at 8+7 GBP.
The swept combs of the stocks would be a
chose negligeable for folks like Jiricek.
. Pair of Spanish Woodward-alike OU at 2,5 KGBP.
. An Anton Sodia OU SLE at 1,5 KGBP.
He was a fine Ferlach craftman, but his son died
in an accident so no succession.
The Brexit clown from Downing street 10 has told that
oldies like me (82) have to stay at home for the next
3 months. This is already his "Anti-Pandemic
Strategy 2.0 " as his first version was called
"Herden-Immunität" assuming the not-so-healthy oldies would
pass away sooner than later.
As I never buy a gun without seeing/measuring and
I can not travel to the Hadrian Wall at present
nothing for me.
- Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher
Years ago - long before Google/Wikipedia times -
I attended the burial of a hunting-buddy of mine
and have seen there the tombstone of Mannlicher.
Every time I return now from the weekly shopping
to the nearest supermarket I pass by Mannlicher-Gasse.
(Entry to the street prohibited to non-residents).
I looked into Google now.
Result: Tombstone is still there AND
the MANSION of Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher
is for sale on the market.
Now Raimey, if you got rid of your shares before
the pandemic black mondays/fridays and/or if you
ammassed 50 kg of aurum 999,9 there is
a unique chance to acquire a top-piece of Austrian
real-estate from a great provenance.
Has an open view to the fortress "des Fürsten
von und zu Liechtenstein", located in a Bio-Sphären-Park.
The brokerage fee is on the price level of a Range Rover.
The prices for the sleek thoroughbred elegantly-shaped
Mannlicher carbines with its smooth click-clack are
nowadays next to nothing.
Once the broker realizes that you are a hunter
he may consider to provide to you as a matter
of courtesy such a carbine as a "Draufgabe" (give-away).
I could extend here - but it would be OT -
as L. Beethoven got the inspiration for his
13 Mödlinger/Brühler Tänze when walking in this
Good luck

Last edited by felix; 03/23/20 11:29 AM.
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 136
felix Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 136
Liege has been an epicentre of Continental gunmaking,
with up to now fragmentary documentation.
I consider it worthwile to pay tribute to this
trade as guns continue to be in use/at hand/emerging
after 60 to 80 to 100 years,all in perfect
working condition. Proofing the high level
of workmanship/skills existing there.
Here are 5 examples of Liege guns,
2 of them with "Liege inside" and
"Liege outside", 3 of them with "Liege inside" and
names of Central European gunmakers on the outside.
A. Guns
A1. Fs.Dumoulin & Co
Here is a little/sweetie lady-birdgun,
sidelock ejector, 16/65, chokes 1/4 and 3/4,
round system, engraving by Leonard Smeets,
according littlegun.be "Graveur Incrusteux sur Armes
de Sa Majeste le Roi",
valid Belgian proof from 1942,
short stock,
sling swivels, provenance late Baroness H.M.K.R,
her first prename and family name initials together with
the 7-pointed crown in gold on the triggerguard.
It seems the Baroness carried the gun always over the
left shoulder as the blueing on the left barrel is
gone, never reblued or otherwise molested by a
..Photo sideplate..
..Photo triggerguard..
A2. A. Forgeron
Another lady-gun, once more a little sweetie
16/65, this time a hare-gun, chokes 3/4 and 3/4,
valid Belgian proof from 1928,
with unsurpassable Louis XVI engraving,
in crisp condition, original short stock
extended with a nice walnut-piece ,
pairing gun probably Russian WW II booty
..Photo sideplate..
..Photo stock..
A3. Piffl/Baden
..The first of the guns with "Liege inside" and
this time "Piffl/Baden" on the outside.
Viennese proof of 1963, fashioned by ex Springer
workshop-manager Piffl, engraved by ex Springer
engraver H. Winkler, stocked by ex Springer
stocker Hans Jiricek.
This gun has been featuring in my article here
"Joh.Springers Erben last gun"..
A4. F. Faukner/Praha
..The Faukner pair has been featuring in my
DGJ article spring 2009.
I have found it 1978 in the no longer existing
gunshop in Narodni street in Prague.
I did hold a gun to the light to check if it is
tight . The shop manager Pan Niclas smiled at me, left
the room and returned few moments later with
the tan-coloured guncase shown later here.
It contained a F. Faukner pair.
I am normally very sceptical to see 60 year old guns with
all the colouring, as it normally implies
But this was 1978, in deepest commie country, no
professional recolouring fraterniy there.
I needed some time to convince myself that this is
genuine and not redone for sale.
Another pair of "Liege inside" guns with this fine Louis XVI
engraving and the Czech retailer name on plate and action.
No way that this Prague boutique gunmaker could have
made those, I guess ex Defourny.
Belgian proof before 1922.
After now nearly 100 years with
all the original colour, rather an objet-de-vitrine.
("Zu schade um damit zu jagen")
photo Faukner pair/photo taken ex my DGJ article
(original DGJ photo by my late friend Dr.HW with
his Sinar camera.)
A5. Springer O/U 12 bore
Johann Springer's Erben (JSE) had in their last
auction a rare JSE Over/Under dating from 1939.
I browsed through my Belgian gun catalogues
looking for similar-style products.
There have been Over/under guns by the Belgian
gunmakers Forgeron, Thonon, Lebeau-Courally,
I have full doubt, that this JSE O/U is not even
a one-off exercise of a JSE homemade gun,
because it has all the
typical elements of these Belgian O/U's.
The engraving is JSE like, the banderole is JSE like.
chokes both full.
In my opinion "Liege inside" and completed/finished
in Vienna.
A typical JSE hare gun.
Retired JSE gunsmith W. Niessner, who started his
apprenticeship at JSE in 1962, has been told by his
patron Johann Springer - the grandfather of the
present JSE owner -that a Springer gun has never
been considered a leightweight gun.
Not below 3,15 kg,
it was taken as THE tool for the great hare shoots
of Central and Eastern Europe.
Photo O/U sideplate /JSE courtesy

B. Guncases
B1. F. Faukner double guncase
This is a peculiar style of compact
vintage guncase seen in
Central Europe. Opening with flaps at
both ends. Inside with a full implement
of accessories.
It turned out that a leather patch has been
fixed above the initials "WG" of the original owner
("Dem tut keine Zehe mehr weh")
...Photo Faukner guncase/
Shown here with the protective textile/slips
to avoid touching of metalparts with the leather of
of the case.
B2. Photo yellow-brown coloured Forgeron guncase
B3. Neuber/Springer/Faukner stiff long guncase
Another peculiarity of Central Europe are these
stiff long guncases.
Here are 3 of them.
The left one is by Neuber of Wr. Neustadt.
His shop ceased in the bombing raids onto this
town during WW II. This guncase has no sign of use.
Dates from before WW II, probably taking a
unscoped Mannlicher of Mauser.
Possibly the owner did not return from war,
rifled weapons were prohibited in the Russian
zone of Eastern Austria up top 1955, thus lying
around unused for decades.
I could not clarify the use of the 2 loops on this case.
The middle one is by Springer/Vienna, the right one
by Faukner/Prague.
I consider this type of long stiff case the optimum
protection for shotgun barrels, when moving
in a crowd on a tractor trailer from one drive to
another. Or if you move in a Russian vintage jeep
on slippery Puszta ground to another drive and the
Hungarian driver wants to show you that he has rally-
...Photo guncases
...Photo with Neuber stamp on lid
...Photo Springer stamp on lid
...Photo Faukner stamp on strap/hardly readable
C. Accessories

.. All ex F.Faukner guncase
An oilbottle plus a small oiler with cover all
packed in 2 separate small wooden cases
.. 3-piece cleaning rod with linked elements
D. Gamebag
The word of "gamebag" does unjustice to this item,
as it is rather a multipurpose bag.
Contains on the inside of the first leather/compartment
2 cartridge belt sections for a total of 12 cartridges,
a small compartment to hold a hunting license,
a second two-part textile compartment,
a third textile compartment and a fourth one
in elaborate crochet-work for an occasional rabbit
or pigeon for the pot.
Its a French vintage piece, the wonderful soft
carpincho gloves on the flap are of recent
Argentine origin.
..photo gamebag

Last edited by felix; 07/12/20 11:50 AM.
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 136
felix Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 136
Guncase restoration & Gun-Botoxing
If your vintage oak & leather guncase is worn and you have no
case-maker at hand - a trade long long ago vanished in Vienna -
but possibly someone from your buddy-entourage is a
DIY-freak, here is a short how-to-do summary.

A. Guncase restoration
1. Relining a case (replacing the cloth inside)
Animal hide/pearl glue has been the one in use with old
guncases.Softly soaking the cloth in the case body and the
cover will allow to loosen it.
The same with the removed compartment boards.
Fill any cracks or imperfections with a woodfiller.
( 2-component Alsibois).
Re replacement cloth:
Velvet - as pretty it may be - is not recemmendable as
according to 2 gunsmiths it will absorb moisture and sooner
or later corrode action/barrels.
Felt is too thick.
Cloth of choice is Loden-cloth, 0,5 mm thick, sheep-wool
based, the one used for the once ubiquitous Loden-coats.
Colours availabe are red,green,blue.
Glue of choice is the cabinet-makers white glue, either
standard or express.
Let it all dry case-open for 2 days.

2. Recovering (Renew/replace outside leather)

Separate the case-body from the cover (hinges).
Remove the leather by soaking - if necessary - it
Fill any imperfections (splits) of body/cover with
a woodfiller.
Carcase and cover are usually joined by dovetails.
In case the dovetails elements are loose you can tighten
those with small pieces of veneer inserted/glued with
gap filling polyurethane glue.
Leather of choice is 0,5 mm thick.
Cabinet makers glue would be a nuisance to use as you
need to apply pressforms due its long drying-time.
There is available a high-tech glue
"Henkel Pattex Kraftkleber GEL Compact" applied with a
tooth-spatula, open drying time 10+ min, then putting/
pressing together few seconds WITHOUT a pressform.
Recovering the lid/cover:
a. Glue a stripe with the leather-face-side onto the rim
of the case on front and the two sides.
The width is about 2x (10-12) mm above the wooden-side
of the cover.
b. Glue a stripe of 2 mm thick leather onto this first
stripe (a), the width about to be the final width of the
lid, i.e. (10-12 mm) less than a.
Nail this down to the wood with small broad-headed nails
to give it all stability.
c. Glue the leather on the top of the cover with surplus
leather in front,the 2 sides and the back.
d.Bend the surplus leather and glue it flush with the
leather item b on front and the 2 sides.
e. Bend leather item a around b and d and glue it
down on front and the 2 sides
f. Fit the hinges and glue the surplus leather onto
back side.
Just in case your gun-case if of noble Indian/Oriental
provenance (Raja,Maharaja, Nawab) and only few croc hide
remnants on it.
Now, the cow is a holy animal in India, not so a croc,
contrary the croc is a holy animal in Europe, not so
a cow.
There are croc-hides on the market.
These are not hides of the monstrous beasts from this
African river , lurking and feeding on migrating gnus.
These are from reared crocs in Latin America, tanned
and coloured in Bella Italia.
All with the obligatory seal of a globe/animal saving NGO.

B. Gun-Botoxing

It is my understanding that guns to go into auction are
given to a gunsmith to embellish/refurbish it for a small
amount of a lumpsum.
This includes reblacking forend iron, trigger-guard,
toplever AND barrels, requeckering wrist and refresh stock.
There is nothing wrong/unethical with it.
I personally call it gun-botoxing.
Christies/London sold in march 1984 a Purdey for
4,8 KGBP, provenance late Dr. Zezi, barrel measurements
733 734 29 29,5 .
This gun is now in the next Holt auction with the original
provenance king Farouk of Egypt.
(This is the chap who once said that there will remain
only 5 kings worldwide, the 4 in the cardplay , the
fivth the English king).
The barrel measurements are now 735- 735+ 26 26 .
All together still solid measurements, but a good example
of the effect of gun-embellishment/refurbishing/botoxing.
The barrel enlargement contributes with one thou to
the thinning of the barrels, the further 2 thous from
the blackening of the barrels.
My concern with this botoxing:
- for optical/done-up-for-sale reasons
the barrel wall thickness - the essential tech parameter -
is reduced/thinned.
Similar the thinning of the wrist.
. the grandezza/charm of a well used vintage gun is gone
I have seen more than one gun polished/blacked to death
in the zone where the rib meets the barrel surpace.
If you decided for the croc recovering option of your
empty guncase, you do not need to be an Egyptian expat
to complement your case with this noble Egyptian gun.

Last edited by felix; 09/02/20 01:20 PM.
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 136
felix Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 136
..Another long stiff vintage case...
These continue to emerge occasionally. This time a rifle case
with 99 cm overall length.It dates from before WW 1.
Label stamp of "Joh. Springer's Erben" with their imperial
appointment on the inside of the cover.
Due to solid saddler work survived the test of
Given the length of 99 cmm, the only item to fit in there
an unscoped Mannlicher Schönauer carbine.
45 cm barrel length, fully stocked, steel cap at the stock, the
mark from it showing on the label.
An all-steel/walnut product, no plastic, no alu, no leather...
These vintage Mannlicher in 6,5x54 MS continue to appear.
There seem to be afficionados/collectors for these rifles.
Handling these elegant, sleek thouroughbreds, with the
smooth click/clack, balancing like a lightweight English
birdgun, its understandable why these vintage rifles
beauties never remain unsold.
Even a scope fitted with a small dovetail into the
action-body, which renders it unsuitable for Austrian
reproof, does not any harm.
Mannlicher and case from the same vendor.
A late collegue of mine had what he considered the
greatest Mannlicher collection on earth.He had
to change his mind once seeing an US collection.
Case photo
Label photo
Photo of stylish small lock
A heretical postscriptum to this short rifle case:
A skilled saddler should be able to extend it with
a stepped cuff/sleeve to make it usable for a shotgun.
Same Springer label on a vintage cartridge magazine
before WW 1.
An all-leather product.
Photo of the "Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher"- mansion,
taken from the adjoining Bio-Spaehren-Park.
It was/is on the market.
I am wondering if a Russian biz-man emptied/will empty
his petty-cash or reduced/will reduce a little bit his
gold ingot/coin collection.
Photo mansion
In a previous post I included a photo of a wild-fruit
Kornell-cherry in blossom, the first spring-time
messenger, at the outset of the first lockdown in this
Here is a photo of the autumn-time fruits.
And the shrub is full of buds for the next
Photo fruits
All my planned birdshoots to the neighbouring contries
cancelled or illegal to attend.
Not system relevant activity.
The third lockdown has started yesterday and the
first vaccins have arrived.
An annus horribilis is coming to an end.
Once upon a time a wine-maker used to have one harvest
in the vineyard, one in the cellar and one on the
bank-account. Once upon a time....
Today, with the shutdown of the restaurants/inns, this
distribution channel for the wine-maker fraternity
has collapsed.
So topgrade red Austro-cuvees are being discounted
to reduce stock.
Lets wait and see if this "Little-Chinese-bat-flu"
will realize something similar to vintage Purdeys.
Stay healthy and get ASAP a vaccination..

Last edited by felix; 01/03/21 10:37 AM.
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 9,069
Likes: 1

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 9,069
Likes: 1
Great to see another post on nostalgic items from the >>Golden Era<<.

How are the COVID-19 impacts in your region?



Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 9,069
Likes: 1

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 9,069
Likes: 1

Any idea the name of the mechanic that made the cases?



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