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SN 3544/3545. (1994) Cal. 20 ga. 3″ Chambers. Superbly struck 28″ demi-bloc bbls mounted with relatively broad concave solid ribs, are engraved “IVO FABBRI – BRESCIA – ” “VACUUM ARC REMELTING STEEL” on top bbls either sides of ribs. Guns are built as a true pair with nos “1” and “2” gold inlaid on rear portions of ribs, top straps, and forend tips. Flats on bottom bbls are stamped with 1994 Italian nitro proofs for 3″ chambers. Coin finished actions with non-automatic safeties (SICURA gold inlaid), and single non-selective triggers are fitted with Fabbri’s well re-engineered pinless sidelocks. Actions are engraved with near full coverage superbly executed large flowing open scroll with acanthus and floral highlights having exceptionally well done shaded backgrounds, in a unique creation by Valerio Peli of Creative Arts, whose signature appears on right sides of trigger plates. This dramatic scroll surrounds portraits of English Pointer and Gordon Setter in different poses on the bottom of each gun. Sides of actions have vignettes extending to the edges of sideplates with one gun depicting the Setter, and the other the Pointer. On the left lock of gun “1” the pointer is alert with cock pheasant ready to spring from wheat stubble. The background is of realistic dark woodland bisected by meadow. On the right lock a pheasant is taking wing while pointer springs in pursuit. Gun “2” depicts similar scenario with scenes repeated with major subject being the Gordon Setter. The background is different as it is mountainous with very dramatic clouded sky and sunset. These scenes are the epitome of the engraver’s art, and one can almost feel the texture of the dogs coats. Examination with a 10X glass reveals the delicacy of the graver cuts needed to achieve this effect. This astonishing work is by acknowledged Italian master engraver Firmo Fracassi, whose signature, and work numbers (INCISO DA FRACASSI PER LAMICO PERO XXXI (and XXXII) with an “R” in circle. are on the left sides of trigger plates. (Firmo Fracassi started numbering the guns he had engraved around 1979.). Mr. Peli’s scroll extends onto small bow trigger guards which have SNs in gold on tangs. Exhibition quality honey toned, darkly marbled European walnut straight grip buttstocks measure 14-7/8″ over checkered wood butts. Exceptionally well cut point pattern borderless checkering is at grips. Guns are accompanied by a second pair of stocks and forends with shorter LOPs (about 5/8″ less) which are the orig stocks supplied with the guns, and are of very fine intricately marbled European walnut with fiddle figure. Matching slim ejector forends have Anson type releases. Orig forends match orig stocks very well. Gun “1”: Bore diameter: top -.628, bottom – .628. Bore restrictions: top – .017 (mod), bottom – .006 (IC). Wall thickness: top – .023, bottom – .023. Drop at heel: 2-3/8″, drop at comb: 1-1/2″. Cast 5/8″ off. Weight: 6 lbs. 4 oz. LOP: 14-7/8″. Gun “2”: Bore diameter: top -.628, bottom – .627. Bore restrictions: top – .016 (mod), bottom – .003 (IC). Wall thickness: top – .023, bottom – .025. Drop at heel: 2-1/4″, drop at comb: 1-1/2″. Cast 5/8″ off. Weight: 6 lbs. 4 oz. LOP: 14-7/8″. Orig leather case with stitched leather corners by Nizzoli contains the orig stocks. (Partitions must be removed for present stocks to fit.) This case is lined in burgundy cloth and has paper Fabbri label in lid. Case contains a Star turnscrew and case straps. PROVENANCE: Originally made for noted Italian Super-collector Luigi Peppini, these guns were given 8 pages of superb photographs in a private folio of his superb collection which also accompanies this lot. These photographs show the guns “wearing” their orig stocks. These guns are fully illustrated in FIRMO & FRANCESCA FRACASSI-MASTER ENGRAVERS by Elena Micheli and Stephen Lamboy. This pair is also featured in the classic tome IL GRANDE LIBRO DELLE INCISIONI by Marco Nobili. CONDITION: Excellent, retaining essentially all orig finishes on wood and metal with only the slightest handling and assembly marks. Guns appear unfired since proof. Mechanically crisp. Fabbri case is excellent. Simply an irreplaceable pair of guns. Work of this intricacy will most likely not be available in the future. Often engraving of this caliber takes 1000+ hours to complete. Fracassi engraves an average of two guns a year for obvious reasons. 51718-1 MGM130 (375,000-575,000) – Lot 1296

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Auction: Firearms - April 2017
Please Note: All prices include the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium, which is paid by the buyer as part of the purchase price. The prices noted here after the auction are considered unofficial and do not become official until after the 46th day.