I read the post on the MSN forum too... and I was gonna answer it,
so perhaps you can post my answer over there for me. Just too busy to
do everything at once...
Once upon a time the gravers you describe were not that unusual.
They are not a factory mistake.
They were used as you suspected. To overcome the lips and rims of
spoons, tureens, cups, bowls, and trays. Hardly anyone these days
engraves on these more complex compound curves - partially because
no one knows how, and partially because those who still can do it
really don't want to...
There is another strangely shaped graver that is used for engraving
inside rings and bracelets. These are bent down and to the right or
left - depending upon where you need to attack from. Marggi
Markowitz mentioned them on the MSN forum, because she just learned
about them here a couple of weeks ago. I had a ring engraving
See both types of tools on page 103 of R. Allen Hardy's "The Jewelry
Engravers Manual." My copy is a 1976 edition, so I don't know if
the reprints since then still have them on the same page. (I
started engraving in 1969...)
By the way some of these were made to be used in combination with
chasing tools. I have some photos somewhere showing one of my
instructors using a couple.
I have a collection of these gravers, and given a time when I'm not
quite so busy - I'll be happy to share images of them and
illustrations of them in use with you or others on either forum. One
graver that I personally made up for a job, actually reaches around
a post that stuck up in the middle of the area I wanted to engrave.
Never used it but that one time!
Back to the bench.
Brian P. Marshall
Stockton Jewelry Arts School
Stockton, CA USA