A Brief History of Engraving

Engraving has been around since before humans became humans as we know them today. The entire history of engraving is far too vast to fit in this tiny blog space, so, we will provide an extremely condensed history of the craft. The first engravings were found on the island of Java in Indonesia, around the same place the remains of proto-human Homo Erectus were discovered. It is thought that these archaic humans carved patterns into shells as a sort of art form.

(Source: Live Science)

Fast forward nearly 2 million years, ancient humans in early civilizations would engrave stones with images to pay tribute to their Gods or rulers, so as to gain their favor.

(Source: https://www.maxpixel.net/photo-1418242)

In the 15th century engraving as a symbol of one's wealth became more prevalent. Wealthy aristocrats would have everyday objects engraved and inlaid with precious metals to let everyone else know just how much disposable income they had. These methods of engraving were created and mastered by German goldsmiths, whom we only know by their pseudonyms. Two of the most prolific being a master only known by the initials ES and another known by their pseudonym, Master of the Playing Cards.

Moving along, firearms became more reliable and accessible with the advent of the wheel lock and flint lock firearms. So, naturally, rich people had to flex on the poors by having their weapons adorned with beautiful hand engravings. A practice that is still around today, although modern firearms are typically engraved by some form of CNC engraving. Between ancient times and the modern age, the purpose of engravings changed drastically. Rather than trying to impress the Gods or Kings, people simply wanted to make every day objects that most people owned theirs. As in, this isn't just a pewter cream vessel, this is Martha from Leicestershire's pewter cream vessel. Objects like Martha's pewter cream vessel often became family heirlooms and adorned many generation's tea sets.

(Source: https://www.icollector.com/Engraved-German-Wheellock-Rifle-with-Elaborate-Bone-Ivory-Inlaid-Stock_i9751263)

(Source: https://gundigest.com/more/classic-guns/10-incredible-modern-engraved-guns-that-epitomize-the-art)

Great we've hastily glossed over roughly 99/100ths of human history, and you're still here. Good for you! Give yourself a pat on the back for reading this many words. We've made it to the modern era. The part where we talk about what engraving has become. Nowadays you don't have to own a salt mine, or be the Queen's grandniece to be able to afford a personalized item. In fact, I've decided to sneak that in as the entire point of this article. HA! You thought I was just going to teach you something about the history of engraving? Guess again! I'm also going to shamelessly point you to our online shop. Do you want to have your very own personalized (insert object here) without having to sell your first born? Well, boy do I have some news for you. That's all we do here at Studio 3300. We were placed upon this Earth to give you the ability to make every day objects yours for a fraction of the price of our historical and modern competitors. We use state of the art CNC laser engravers to blast out ornate engravings at lightning speed and low cost.

That wheel lock rifle above sold for $6,500 at auction. Our quality engraved knives, that will last you a lifetime, only cost $14.95 + shipping, and you'll sleep far better at night knowing you won't have to get a second mortgage for a unique personalized gift for family, friends, or perhaps an impulse buy for yourself, because hey, you deserve it.


(title photo: Sean Hughes Engraving YouTube channel thumbnail


Tags: engraving