Premier Firearms Auction
May 12, 13, 14, & 15, 2023
SUPERB BEST ITALIAN SIDELOCK PAIR OF HEAVY GAME GUNS SIGNED E. MATTARELLI WITH WONDERFUL RELIEF ACANTHUS SCROLL & BULINO GAME & DOG SCENE ENGRAVING BY THE ESTEEMED MARIO TERZI IN PURDEY CASE
22-4492 & 22-4493
Cal. 12 ga. 2 3/4″. S# 0118 & 0119. Ennio Mattarelli won the 1964 Tokyo Olympics using a sidelock gun built for him by Daniele Perazzi. He went on to collaborate with Perazzi in the design of the famed MX8 target gun which he used in the 1968 Olympics. After a long association with target shooting; Mattarelli formed a company in Bologna building target throwing machines. It appears that at about the same time, he dabbled in the retailing of high end shotguns. Examples of the guns he had made for him are exceptionally rare with little information to be found about them. This exceptionally fine pair of guns were most likely made by Perazzi, given Mattarelli’s long association with the company, however the single nonselective triggers are marked “FABBRI”, another clue as to the possible manufacturer. The guns have beautifully struck 27 5/8″ chopperlump barrels fitted with slightly concave matted ribs with white beads. Rear portions of ribs are gold inlaid “1” and “2”, with these numbers also appearing on top levers and forend tips, denoting a true pair. Tops of left barrels are engraved “E. Mattarelli”. Barrel flats are stamped with 1987 Italian Nitro proofs for 2 3/4″ chambers, along with serial numbers and “Mattarelli” logos as used to this day. The 1987 proofing corresponds with the early days of Mattarelli’s business, which he states started in 1988. Coin finished sidelock actions with “Mattarelli” logos on watertables are fitted with nonautomatic safeties (“SAFE” inlaid in gold) and feature bushed strikers and nonselective single triggers marked “FABBRI”. Actions, top levers, and trigger guards are engraved with full coverage of exceptionally well cut and detailed tied bunches and scrolls of what appear to be Italian wild hops with some flowers visible on trigger plate. This deep, realistic incised engraving is very nicely shaded with fine dot background. Lockplates are bulino engraved with very fine lifelike renderings of game birds in appropriate backgrounds. A trio of woodcock flit through a grove of alders on left lockplates. Right plates each depict a flock of canvasbacks approaching an open water landing with bare limbed trees and reeds in foreground with low islands as backdrop. Bottoms of actions each have scene of Britany Spaniel retrieving woodcock from cut over woodlands with new growth. Engraver’s signature “M. Terzi” is on each lockplate. These guns represent an early example of the work of this extremely talented and innovative Italian engraver; widely known for his gold inlay and enamel work. He and his work were the subject of a book by Stephen Lamboy and his wife, Elena (2012). These guns are fitted with exceptionally well matched straight grip buttstocks of fine smokey marbled and stump figured European walnut. They both measure 14 1/8″ over checkered wood butts and have closely spaced point pattern checkering at grips behind well shaped drop points. Matching long splinter ejector forends have central uncheckered diamonds inlaid with crowned gold devices. “Mattarelli” logos are on irons. MEASUREMENTS: GUN “1”: BBLS: Bore Diameter: R .726″, L .726″. Restriction: R .019″ (MOD), L .034″ (FULL). Min. Wall Thickness: R .033″. L .036″. GUN “2” STOCK: DAH: 1 9/16″. DAC: 1 3/16-“. LOP: 14 1/8”. CAST: approx. 1/2″ off. WEIGHT: 7 lb. 1 oz. GUN “2”: BBLS: Bore Diameter: R .725″, L .725″. Restriction: R .017″ (MOD), L .031″ (FULL). Min. Wall Thickness: R .036″, L .036″. STOCK: DAH: 1 5/8-“. DAC: 1 3/16″. LOP: 14 1/8”. CAST: approx. 3/8″ off. WEIGHT: 7 lb.