The basic intent for the “Artistry of Ralph P Bone” was
to display the quality and progression of Bone’s multifaceted
artistry. The book provides details of Bone’s life,
commencing with his venturing into knife-making, as a kid,
and to highlighting his multiple careers.
Bone was best known as a custom knife maker, for
the first one half of his life, and, later, as a custom gun
maker and highly innovative master engraver, which latter
profession he pursued until his death. Accordingly, the
writer deemed it appropriate to divide the book into two
Section 1 “The Custom Knives of Ralph Bone and
Enedino De Leon” provides an account of Bone’s knife
making career, from early in his life through the founding
and operation of the Ralph Bone Knife Company, during
its most innovative and productive period.
In Section 1, the reader is familiarized with the
standard and non-standard knife models, designed and
produced by Bone, throughout his career. Specific
information is provided to enable the reader to readily
identify and to determine the approximate production time
line of any Ralph Bone knife. Included are illustrations of
all Standard Production knives of the company, along with
non-standard production and a few Special Order,
prototype, experimental and one-of-a-kind knives
Section 1, also, introduces Enedino De Leon, who
Bone acclaimed as his favorite knife maker. De Leon
commenced his knife making career, as a young man,
under Bone’s tutorship, and became very famous and
perpetuated Bone’s knife making legacy for fifty years,
until De Leon’s own death.
Also included in Section 1 is the writer’s estimate of
the total knife production volume of, both, Bone and
Enedino De Leon, at the Ralph Bone Knife Company and
throughout their lives.
Section 11, The Gunmaking and Engraving Artistry of
Ralph Parsons Bone, delves into Ralph Bone’s career as a
highly accomplished custom gun maker and engraver.
However, Section 11 focuses, primarily, on Bone selfchosen
purpose in life as a Master Firearms Engraver.
The writer’s objectives for Section 11 were three-fold:
First was to display the development of Bone’s talent
as an artist and an entirely self-taught Master Engraver
which, actually, commenced when he was a teenager.
The writer chose to present examples of Bone’s gun
making and engravings in date order of his performance,
noting a) the progressive development of his talent, b) his
unique engraving innovations, which gained him special
attention from the industry and c) the infinite attention to
detail, with which he executed his work. Also presented
are illustrations of Bone’s engravings, in conjunction with
the talent of a few highly talented custom gun makers with
whom he chose to work.
Second, with the permission of Master Engraver Ron
Smith, included are excerpts from Smith’s first book
“Drawing & Understanding Scroll Designs (for Artists,
Engravers and Collectors)”. (An example of Smith’s
phenomenal engraving expertise is included.) Specific
examples of Ralph Bone’s engravings are presented to
highlight Smith’s instructions. The purpose, in doing so,
was to seize the opportunity to orient the most casual
reader to the basic characteristics of fine engraving and to
point out specific attributes of Ralph Bone’s engraving
Third, set out, as a separate sub-section in Section 11
are examples of Ralph Bone’s Celtic engravings, which
captivated a substantial amount of his engraving attention
and ingenuity, during the last twenty years of his life. The
writer points out that Celtic engraving is not, generally,
pursued by most American engravers.
Accordingly, along with presenting Bone’s engravings,
a bit of Celtic history and concepts of Celtic art are
included to entice observers’ attention and to encourage
appreciation of Bone’s innovations and creativity at Celtic
artistry and engraving.
America has produced some of the finest Master
Engravers that the world has known. Ralph P Bone,
certainly, was among them. “The Artistry of Ralph P Bone”
seeks, specifically, to acquaint and to entertain the reader
with the man’s remarkable multiple talents at knife making,
custom gun making and engraving.
Book – 978-0-578-59656-3
E-Book – 978-0-578-59657-0