J-C. SAVIN (MOF) A FINE AND UNIQUE PETIOT (MOF) ENGRAVED AND HENOT CARVED 9.3X74R SIDEPLATED BOXLOCK EJECTOR DOUBLE RIFLE, serial no. 88, 24 3/8in. nitro barrels with finely file cut sight rib, open sights and ramp-mounted bead fore-sight, the breech ends carved in low relief with oak leaves and acorns on a stippled background, treble-grip action with side-bolsters, removable striker discs, elongated top strap with manual safety, gold-inlaid 'S' detail, the fences carved in high relief with oak leaves and acorns, the action and furniture carved on high relief with bold stylised acanthus designs on a finely stippled background, the decorative sideplates with woodland scenes of red deer and doe, the underside with a portrait of a roe buck, the triggerplate signed 'Petiot M.O.F.', bright finish overall, 15 1/4in. highly-figured stock with slight swan neck, carved cheekpiece with relief carved foliate detailing, finely carved feather chequering, the rear of the grip exquisitely carved in high relief with a mask of Bacchus with his feathered grape and vine headdress and signed 'HENOT. C.', the butt finely carved with a diamond and fleur de lys design, topped and tailed with fine scrolled floral motifs, the semi-beavertail fore-end wood carved en suite and with a circular blank white metal escutcheon integrated to form the head of a sunflower, weight 7lb. 14oz., in its lightweight leather case
Provenance: The vendor has kindly informed us that the rifle has remained unused since he commissioned it in 1993. This extraordinary rifle had no less than five MOF artisans involved in its creation, the rifle was commissioned by the client from J.C. Sacaze (MOF), the piece built by J-C Savin (MOF), the action made by M. Blein (MOF), the engraving by M. Petiot (MOF) and the carving by M. Henot (MOF).
J-C. Savin is all the more remarkable for being a 'double' MOF - attaining the title as an assembler in 1991 and then for a second time in 2000 as an action maker. Since 2002 he has dedicated part of his time to passing on his knowledge by teaching at the Benoit-Fourneyron High School where he first developed a love for gunmaking and achieved his CAP (Certificat d'aptitude professionelle) and BEP (Brevet d'etudes professionelles) in mechanics before specialising in gunmaking, qualifying for his CAP as an armourer in 1979.
The MOF (Meilleur Ouvrier de France) qualification represents the very highest standard of craftsmanship in a given field, and grants the status of 'Best Craftsman of France'. Created in 1924 the accolade is very hard to achieve, and to date less than 10,000 people have won the right to call themselves one of the Best Craftsman of France - across range of over two hundred professions and sixteen industries. A knowledge of modern and traditional techniques, dexterity and creativity all play a part in achieving the qualification. Together with the title (which is for life) a medal and a state diploma are also awarded, with the prerogative to join the National Society of Meilleur Ouvrier de France. The qualification is held in such high esteem that to fraudulently claim it is a crime punishable by prison time