Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1333: Firmo Fracassi Engraved 20 Gauge Rizzini Sidelock Shotgun

Auction Date: August 27, 2022

Outstanding Exhibition Quality Master Firmo Fracassi Bulino Hunting Game Scene Engraved 20 Gauge F.lli Rizzini Sidelock Double Barrel Ejector Shotgun with Case

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $100,000 - $150,000

Outstanding Exhibition Quality Master Firmo Fracassi Bulino Hunting Game Scene Engraved 20 Gauge F.lli Rizzini Sidelock Double Barrel Ejector Shotgun with Case

Manufacturer: Rizzini
Model: Double Barrel
Type: Shotgun
Gauge: 20
Barrel: 27 5/8 inch solid rib
Finish: blue/coin
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 2063
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 258
Class: Modern Long Gun

The father-daughter engraving team of Firmo and Francesca Fracassi is made up of two of the world's finest engravers working only with some of the best gun making firms in the world. The work that they complete can take up to 2,000 hours for a single shotgun action due to the extremely fine detail they hand cut with the bulino. This example shows blued steel barrels with a single steel bead sight on the smooth concave solid rib which is marked "ARMI F.LLI RIZZINI MAGNO V.T.", 1989 dated Italian proofs, and 70mm (2 3/4 inch) chambers with automatic ejectors. The coin finished sidelock action displays beautifully executed deeply cut floral scroll engraving over a darkened background surrounding three exceptional photo realistic bulino game scenes. Together, the three panel scenes tell the story of the hunt, the right lockplate shows a pair of setters on point with a rooster pheasant in an upland scene, the left lockplate shows the pair of setters flushing the rooster, and the underside has one of the setters retrieving the rooster. Each scene has dark clouds rolling across the background. The detail of the engraving is simply fantastic, were it simply drawn on paper, it would be a masterpiece, but this has been meticulously scribed by hand in the steel canvas making it a truly awe-inspiring piece. Fracassi is able to show the detail in not just the animals and foreground, but the background subtly curves to fit the shape of the surface and the depth achieved on steel makes it feel as though one could step into the scene. The scroll engraving continues to the tangs, the triggerguard, and toplever, both of which are magnificently pierced through creating a wonderful effect. The triggerplate is signed "FRACASSI INC. XXIII" for, based on the time of completion, Italian Master Engraver Firmo Fracassi. The gun features a single trigger and tang mounted manual safety switch. Exceptional, exhibition quality, multi-point checkered walnut splinter forend with engraved fittings and Anson button release and straight grip stock with checkered bare butt. Similar examples of work from Firmo Fracassi as well as his equally skilled daughter can be seen of pages 102-105 and 140-141 of Stephen Lamboy & Elena Micheli-Lamboy's book "Firmo & Francesca Fracassi: Master Engravers" along with many more of their works. Includes a leather bound Rizzini takedown case, a pair of nickel snap caps, and a nickel oiler. Barrel and stock measurements (R/L): bore diameter nine inches from the breech proved at 15.8/15.9mm (.622/.626 inches) and measured .625/.626 inches; choke constriction .016/.030 inches; minimum wall thickness .032/.035 inches; 1 7/16 inch drop at comb; 2 1/4 inch drop at heel; 14 13/16 inch length of pull; weight 6 lbs.

Rating Definition:

Excellent overall, retaining 99% original blue and coin finishes with limited handling evidence, a few barely noticeable tiny spots of discoloration on the action and lockplates, and sharp well-defined checkering on the stock and forend. The case is very fine with light storage wear. Mechanically excellent. In this writer's opinion, and many others, Firmo Fracassi is the absolute pinnacle of firearms engraving, and this is your chance to own one of his masterpieces!

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