Solved the engraving dilemma. Applied the “Purloined Letter Principle”--do everything in plain sight. I took in a photo of WHN and asked another engraver in another shop to duplicate the engraving as exactly as he could. He gave me that “O.K., you’re the customer” look but didn’t ask anything more after I explained it was a gag gift for a friend. I finally realized that no one besides myself cares enough about WHN to remember incidents like this. And if the Liberation comes off as planned, no one will have anything to remember. A thorough professional, this engraver did a fine job of duplicating the crude lettering, even though I’m sure it bothered him somewhat. I thanked him so profusely, I think he was glad to get rid of me.
I brought the plates home and put the replica together for the first time. It was beautiful. The tarnishing of the plates and the corrosion on the screws will be a bit problematic, but nothing a little daubing with a cotton swab soaked in urine can’t fix. All it needs now, is its own hidden noise.