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Old August 22, 2012, 03:29 PM   #1
Legend Rider
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Hand Engraved Winchester Model 1200

I have a Winchester Model 1200 12 gauge shotgun that has been hand engraved by Master Engraver Fred Henderson (deceased) that I need some information on. I really would like to sell the gun since I have no use for it. The shotgun has engravings of President Washington & Lincoln on the left side of the receiver, the right side is an engraving of the Lady of Liberty & on the barrel, trigger guard, & but plate with floral & leave patterns. The shotgun has never been fired,& in excellent condition.

I really would like know where would be the best place I could sell this shotgun. Any help really would be appreciated. Thanks - Glenn

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Old August 22, 2012, 03:50 PM   #2
BigJimP
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You're going to need to have written proof / of who did the engraving and when ...from Winchester or some reputable gun dealer to establish provenance ---- and if you can't or don't do that ---its just a story. At the same time you establish provenance on the engraving ...I'd suggest you pay for an appraisal on the gun as well.

Once you have that documentation ...you might contact a big seller like Cabela's and see if they are interested in it - thru their Gun Library / or perhaps a large used gun dealer of higher end guns in your area ( not your typical pawn shop ) although some of them deal with higher end guns as well.

I'm not a big fan of engraving in general ...and the only thing I know of Fred Henderson as an engraver...was on knives / not that he couldn't have done some shotguns for somebody ...but I've never heard that...so, all the more reason why you need documentation.

Winchester today is owned by Browning ...and both are part of FN ...so it isn't like there are some high end "Winchester" dealers out there. I suppose it is possible this gun was engraved for Winchester ...or some chairty or something ...so maybe Winchester can help you with when the gun was mfd'd and what dealer sold the gun ..and in what year.../ and if they're still in business - maybe they can give you some info / or at least tell you if it was engraved when it was sold - or done later for someone else.

Value on a gun like this is truly in the eye of the beholder.../ you're going to need to find a "fanatic Winchester shooter" or collector to probably get much interest in it. Establishing a current value for insurance purposes is one thing ...getting it sold / is another.

Guns that are commonly engraved...are one thing / Win 1200 ...not so much ..../ and honestly I have no idea if this gun is really collectable - regardless of who engraved it ...or if its going to be a nightmare to try and sell it at any price. In and of themselves Win 1200's are selling for $ 150 - $300 probably ... / You'll need to show it to a lot of higher end dealers...and get a consensus based on what they think in person, in my opinion.

Good luck to you.

Last edited by BigJimP; August 22, 2012 at 04:02 PM.
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Old August 22, 2012, 07:18 PM   #3
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I have documentation that Mr Henderson did the work on the shotgun & I have an appraisal for the shotgun already. The shotgun was engraved & bought from Mr. Henderson & has been in the family since. I will say that yes you are right that Mr Henderson did do knives and other items to include shotguns & rifles. He has done work for President Carter & Ford, as well as for Hank Arron & some other celebrities. At West Virginia University there is a Winchester Rife on display that Mr. Henderson did. That rifle was appraised at $50 Grand.

Thanks for the input, really would like to sell this gun. Glenn
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Old August 22, 2012, 07:36 PM   #4
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I wouldn't get my hopes up on $50 grand. I'm no expert, but that engraving doesn't look especially good and being on a cheap budget gun doesn't help. Without the engraving that is a $150 gun. With it, who knows. It may even hurt the resale value.
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Old August 22, 2012, 10:48 PM   #5
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If it were mine I’d take back to the appraiser and offer it to him for $25,000 and skip happily all the way to the bank. I can’t imagine that thing being worth more than a grand at most. It’s poor engraving on an inexpensive gun.
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Old August 22, 2012, 11:09 PM   #6
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This might be a moot point, but that is Lady of Justice, she is blind and holds a scale as well as a sword. Lady Liberty holds a torch.

I also have to agree that the engraving is of the other end of quality but maybe it's the photo's and being aluminum. Winchester Rifles tend to hold a lot more value than Winchester shotguns as well.

You can contact http://jamesdjulia.com/ and http://rockislandauction.com/ if you are serious about selling it and have all the legit documents.
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Old August 22, 2012, 11:10 PM   #7
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I have to agree that the engraving, even to my inexpert eye, shows ample evidence of being very poor quality. Straight lines that aren't straight and that aren't of consistent depth or width, curved lines that aren't smoothly curved, features that should be identical that vary considerably in appearance, and that's just a start.

Maybe the engraver has a devoted following. If you can find someone who really likes his work and they will accept the provenance you have, they might pay a premium for it.

impalacustom is correct. The engraving on the right side of the receiver is of Justice, not Lady Liberty.
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Old August 22, 2012, 11:22 PM   #8
BillM
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Kind of makes me wonder why anybody would put that much time
and effort into engraving a $150 aluminum receivered shotgun.
Once you cut through the anodizing it's pretty soft.
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Old August 23, 2012, 11:21 AM   #9
jmr40
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That probably accounts for the poor quality. The guy may be a gifted engraver on steel, but the aluminum may have just made it impossible to turn out quality work.
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Old August 23, 2012, 11:23 AM   #10
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Its good that you have the documentation ...

The photos didn't really do the engraving justice / I'm seeing some of the same issues as the others have commented - and while I do collect a number of guns ../and so do a lot of my buddies ....something like this would only have a limited amount of appeal / even as a novelty...unless I had some personal connection to Mr Henderson.

Even at that ...its still a Win 1200 ...with a value of maybe $300 ....even if its really unfired / and as a Henderson engraved gun, I think you'd be really lucky to get 2 or 3 times that value .....$ 600 - $ 900.../ but I think its going to be something that will not have a very wide appeal.

If you have a written appraisal that is a lot higher than that...you might check with your tax person - and see what kind of benefit you might get by donating it to a museum / or try putting it on consignment with a good dealer..see if they stir up some interest. Maybe in person ...the engraving is more appealing.../ might consider some higher quality photos ...so you can advertise it to a wider audience.
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Old August 23, 2012, 06:43 PM   #11
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The tax angle is what immediately came to mind when others responded somewhat negatively as to the value of the gun.
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Old August 24, 2012, 01:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
I'm no expert, but that engraving doesn't look especially good and being on a cheap budget gun doesn't help.
I agree. Maybe not the same as putting lipstick on a pig or engraving on a Hi-Point but even the lipstick is suspect in this case-to me, the engraving appears shoddy and crude and way over-done. But I'm no expert on engraving and often times photos can be very misleading both ways (making something look better or worse than it really is). Finally, though I wouldn't be so harsh as to describe the Model 1200 as a "cheap budget gun", I have to agree it is, at the most, a nice budget gun. But not nearly so nice as to warrant a full-blown engraving job by a "Master Engraver".
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