You're correct in saying that photos can be very deceptive. The takedown discs look cleaned to me and when I see that I always have to wonder what else has been cleaned. When the metal looks good it's very tempting want the wood to look just as nice. To me the bird looks a little fuzzy, like the stock has been stripped and stained dark. I you look in the picture reference index you'll see that the wood on earlier and later byf 44's than this is typically lighter. To me the cracks behind the discs mean that this area could have been very wet and has cracked upon drying. Perhaps the dark stain was to cover up rust stains behind the discs in an attempt to make the rifle Gunstroker big dollar worthy.Hard to tell without holding it in front of you. But by the looks of the blue on the metal parts, looks like all original to me. Even the blue on the screws in the butt plate look original. Given prices lately I’d expect stuff like this to go up as well. Can’t believe what stuff is selling for these days!
Why we need screen shots of the auction and showing rifle serial with serial, maker, year in thread so a search will bring it up. That link will be dead in about 60 days and then this thread will be site litter I don’t recall seeing this one discussed here. Link?