Cabot Guns keeps pushing the boundaries of what is possible to do with firearms and in particular with the 1911 pistol in terms of materials and engravings. What they have accomplished with their Dragon Fire project is something beyond fine engraving. This pistol is more like a sculpture, a work of functional art which when placed on its oil painting display background merges with the latter and becomes a part of the dragon depicted in the painting. Cabot Guns call this composition a redefinition of art.
The Cabot Dragon Fire pistol was introduced at Firearms Engravers Guild of America (FEGA) Annual Convention in Las Vegas, and in fact, it won FEGA’s 2020 Award for Artistic Uniqueness in Engraving Design. C. Roger Bleile, the founder of FEGA, said the following about this project: “In over 40 years as an engraver and historian of the art, I have never encountered a similar example of the melding of fine art painting and the decorative art of gun engraving. From a technical perspective, Lee’s skill sets, as both a painter and engraver, are on the highest level. Yet skill alone is insufficient for a project like the Dragon Fire Pistol.”
Here is how the creation story and design details of the Dragon Fire pistol are described on Cabot’s web page dedicated to this project.
“Break all the rules,” Cabot Founder Rob Bianchin said to Master Artist Lee Griffith at the inception of this project. The Dragon Fire features a stunning level of handcrafted detail on every single component, from the tendril-adorned grips, which required individual and deliberate strokes to create, to the ruby front sight cradled in a golden circlet. To bring this mythical creature to life, Griffiths crafted completely new tools in order to create many of the unique textures, patterns, colors, and hues that adorn the Dragon Fire. A close examination of the frame and slide reveals a staggering level of artistry. Mesmeric half-carat black diamond dragon eyes surrounded by rubies were set by Master Bench Jeweler Ron Finch. Serpentine scales entwined along the slide and frame until they meet the gleaming fangs of the Dragon Fire. Griffiths hand crafted the dragon’s teeth and veined gold leaf is applied around the eyes and in the “mouth” of the beast, which represents both the smoldering furnace within and the deadly eruption of dragon’s fire from its fanged muzzle.
Images from www.cabotguns.com