Robb Design Portfolio: Rare Birds

  • Photo by Erik Karlsson
    Engravings of peregrine and saker falcons decorate the Damascus-steel barrel of the first of the VO Falcon Edition rifles. Photo by Erik Karlsson
  • Photo by Erik Karlsson
    The bolt handle is in the shape of a 24-karat-gold falcon talon gripping a globe. Photo by Erik Karlsson
  • Photo by Erik Karlsson
    The bolt handle is in the shape of a 24-karat-gold falcon talon gripping a globe. Photo by Erik Karlsson
  • Photo by Erik Karlsson
    Photo by Erik Karlsson
  • Photo by Erik Karlsson
  • Photo by Erik Karlsson
  • Photo by Erik Karlsson
  • Photo by Erik Karlsson

A Swedish firearms maker that has produced limited-edition hunting rifles displaying design themes ranging from the Vikings to Ernest Hemingway, VO Vapen (www.vovapen.com) recently introduced its sixth collection, the VO Falcon Edition. The series, which will comprise the rifle shown here plus four customized versions—priced at $850,000 apiece—is intended as a tribute to falconry, a pastime that hunting rifles helped push into obsolescence. The VO Falcon Edition references falconry’s historic ties to the Middle East, where this sport of employing trained falcons to hunt small prey may have originated, possibly by 2000 BC or earlier. The rifles will be engraved with images of falcons and forged from a modern version of Damascus steel, a layered form of steel that bladesmiths in the Middle East and perhaps elsewhere were using as early as the third century. The steel, which displays waterlike mottling, was prized because it could be honed to an edge that was exceptionally sharp yet still resistant to shattering. Indeed, legend has it that blades of Damascus steel could cut through a rifle barrel. Damascus-steel swords remained prevalent until the mid-18th century, when the required materials became scarce. About this same time, the popularity of falconry was waning, as hunters preferred to arm themselves with rifles instead of birds.

From Around the Web...
Hervé Van der Straeten’s Pipe Show
Hervé Van der Straeten’s vivid Pipe Show is a conversation piece that takes about 2 months to make…
San Francisco’s Berggruen Gallery
The newly designed space south of Market holds Berggruen Gallery’s Matisses, Picassos, and more…
Christie’s Beverly Hills flagship
The opening exhibition features works from Picasso, Monet, Bacon, Twombly, Basquiat, and others…
Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing. Photo by SNAP/REX/Shutterstock
Julien’s opens its 2017 auctions with Patrick Swayze mementos that are sure to be a crowd pleaser…
1973 Andy Warhol silkscreen from the artist’s Mao series
Warhol’s silkscreen depicting the Chinese communist leader hits the auction block on April 2…
Stanley Bard part-owner and manager of Manhattan’s legendary Chelsea Hotel
The art collection of legendary Chelsea Hotel manager Stanley Bard will hit the auction block…
Rothko’s No. 1, painted in 1949 as the first in a series of 12
No. 1 and Transom will hit the block as two of 50-plus lots at a Christie’s London sale in New York…
Heartfelt correspondence and stunning jewels are among many remarkable items set to cross the block...
The Beatles, Bob Marley, and Barbra Streisand all hit the auction block in this landmark sale…
A rendering of the new Christie's center in Beverly Hills.
Set to debut in April, the 5,400-square-foot center will feature two floors for sales and events…