Krieghoff’s Gun of the Year – The da Vinci
By Philip Schreier, Senior Curator, NRA Museums
The world renowned German arms maker, Krieghoff, has been stunning the gun community with fine arms since its founding in 1886. Every year, visitors to the IWA Show in Nuremburg are treated to a special glimpse of just how fine the gun-makers art can be taken as Krieghoff resets the bar in this competitive field where art meets function.
It is at the IWA Show that Krieghoff debuts its spectacular “Gun of the Year” and more likely than not, the Gun of the Year is displayed, viewed, sold and in a new, private home by the time the IWA Show begins its second day. Much like the desert dwelling ceroid cacti that blooms only once a year, if you blink, you will miss it.
The 2018 Krieghoff Gun of the Year is entitled “The da Vinci.” It was commissioned by Alamo Sporting Arms and engraved by Creative Art. This custom treasure spectacularly illustrates the life of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) on the 500th anniversary of his death.
Inspired by this genius of the Renaissance, this fabulous K-80 over-under shotgun reflects Da Vinci’s many contributions to the world of art and science illustrated through details highlighted by the engravers who completed this masterpiece.
On one side of the gun are renditions of “Lady with Ermine” and “Portrait of a Man” while the other side is his immortal “Vitruvian Man.” It is the bottom of the receiver where the masterpiece is hidden. There, underneath the barrels and forward of the trigger is the most talked about woman in medieval art, the Mona Lisa.
Now, when I give some of the guided tours at the National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Va., I always stop off first in the Robert E. Petersen Gallery and show off some of the finest engraved arms in private hands. The skill of some of these European artists is remarkable especially when you consider that they are replicating a world renowned masterpiece whose original medium as oil on canvas and they have completed their commission with chisel on steel. Some of the work, executed in the Bolino method, produce images that appear to be in 3-D. Conversely, I admit that I have always had trouble making stick figures actually resemble stick figures.
The Krieghoff literature states: “Nearly 500 years have passed since da Vinci’s death, yet his work is still visionary and timeless. What inspirations will come to the shooter who holds this K-80 in their hands?
Well, if you are the lucky person to ever pull the trigger on this beauty, be sure to drop us a line and let us know please.