The Only Available “Holland & Holland Royal Deluxe Flight” With Deep-Relief Fantasy-Style Gargoyle Engraving by Philippe Grifnée in Consecutively Numbered Matched Pairs of 12, 20, 28 and .410 Bores

Written by Guy Bignell | Photos by Phil Marshall
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As Mr. Kolander correctly comments, artistry and firearms have walked side-by-side for centuries. Kings, noblemen, and great military men of their era have all desired something to set their weapons apart. They required the finest craftsmanship and appreciated the artistry that could match it. Today is no different: embellishments make a gun unique, personal, investment grade and admirable among peers. To satisfy this desire for quality and aesthetics Holland & Holland has a history of working with a number of artisans to create beautiful and elegant firearms. One of those deserving artisans is Belgian Master Engraver Philippe Grifnée.


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A 12-bore example of the Grifnée engraved Flight of Holland & Hollands.

Grifnée is largely considered one of the world’s finest engravers who left the firearms community far too soon when he passed away in May 2012 at the young age of 59, making his work now priceless. After receiving his instruction at the internationally acclaimed engraving program at L’Ecole d’Armurerie de Liege under the hand of Rene Delcour, he graduated in 1970 and further honed his craft with Auguste Francotte. He instructed for several prestigious engraving institutions such as the Grand Masters Program at the GRS Training Center in Emporia, Kansas before returning to his former school to teach, the latter of which posthumously named a room in his honor. 

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A 20-bore example of the Grifnée engraved Flight of Holland & Hollands.

Grifnée set new standards in engraving excellence, though his work shone brightest in his expertly rendered deep relief engravings. After he began working for Holland & Holland in 1988, he was eventually persuaded to work for them exclusively from 1992 to 1997, resulting in some of the world’s finest work on the most excellent of canvases. From 1998 to 2012 Grifnée created some of his greatest work from his own private studio in Xhendelesse, an old municipality of Belgium, located in Wallonia, in the Province of Liege.

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The complete flight of consecutively numbered Grifnée engraved Holland & Hollands.

Collecting fine firearms is an ancient, fundamental discipline in the world of fine art. 

Alexander the Great collected arms as a prize and tribute of victory. It has been the hobby of kings and noblemen for centuries. They have served as gifts between powerful rulers and nations. Even the captains of America’s Industrial Revolution were not immune to their aesthetic.

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A 12-bore example of the Grifnée engraved Flight of Holland & Hollands.

This flight of Holland & Hollands was commissioned by “The Father of the Internet,” the

Founder of Netscape, in celebration of the Netscape IPO. The entire flight was completed over a period of four years from 2005 to 2009. These firearms are masterpieces in every sense of the word, featuring precious metals, engraving, wood carving and intricate inlays. 

You will never again see a flight of eight shotguns of this incomparable rarity and beauty, and in fact the specifications about these Holland & Hollands reveals them as a true treasure-find in the world of exquisite shotguns. As museum-worthy pieces, these shotguns are to be passed to their next custodian as complete.

Bignell table
 Guy Bignell is the former president of Griffin & Howe and their fine sporting firearms specialist. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or 973-398-2670.

Useful resources:

The Griffin & Howe web site


Guy Bignell

Guy Bignell is the President and CEO of Griffin & Howe.