News & Events


April 25, 2024

FROM THE “MAJESTY OF NATURE” COLLECTION: THE PANTHER

THE ART OF THE GUN

Hunting firearms inhabit a unique place in the world of rare collectibles. Throughout human history, they have inspired awe and fascination, serving not only as means of protection and sustenance but also as a canvas for art. More than any other tool or technology they have been witnesses of pride, courage, distinction and rank for the longest period of time.

In Ferlach, Austria the “Art of Gunmaking” dates back to the 1600s, and is listed as UNESCO Protected Cultural Heritage for “preserving fragile human skills inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendents”.

Our Fanzoj family firm takes great efforts in preserving those ancient craftsmanship skills.

For over twenty years we have been continuously engaging part of our infrastructure in the realization of extensive (art) projects, where we focus world-class craftsmen, technical minds and artists to create exceptional mechanical masterpieces and use those as a canvas for capturing stories about life and death, beauty, hunting, nature etc. reflecting on the deep symbolism and stark contrasts inherent in the subject. Never before, artistic projects on firearms have been conceptionally reasoned so extensively and carried through so meticulously to the smallest detail. Pioneer work. Each piece is an Original.

In many hundreds, often thousands of hours extraordinary works are envisioned and brought to life, objects of culture and value, masterpieces in the true sense: the Best creative minds and skilled hands can do in their time. To be cherished and enjoyed by future generations. As part of our collective memory.

From the “Majesty of Nature” collection we are proud to present The Panther.

SYNTHESIS – THE BIRTH OF A NEW CREATIVE GENRE

The creation of the panther project was a lengthy, intuitive process that took almost five years until the final theme, the panther, unfolded before us. We also became aware that it was unconscious impulses that led us to break with old traditions and linear structures, overcome borders and to strive for an integration of most diverse influences.

The attentive observer will note that the magnificent ornamentation on this weapon transcends any previously known ornamental concepts: soaring Gothic elements combine here with oriental-looking domes, entwined with classic arabesques, beautifully composed with ornate gold inlays.

A FABULOUS COOPERATION OF TWO WORLD-CLASS ENGRAVERS

For the very first time ever we worked with two world-class master engravers on one firearm. Austrian Franz Haas, in collaboration with the “Master of Bulino” Firmo Fracassi, present their unique individual Craftsmanship Art here on this firearm. An unprecedented approach. The ornamental work is flawless in execution and most harmonious. From the magazine floorplate, a fascinating panther head peers straightaway into the eyes of the viewer. Engraved on a solid white gold plate using the finest Bulino technique, with an almost photo-realistic effect. This is one of the last works of the unmatched Italian maestro Firmo Fracassi.

FIRMO FRACASSI – THE GRAND MASTER OF “BULINO”

We have been planning for a while to start a series where we share insights into the work with those worldbest craftsmen and artists who ennoble our products with their talent. Due to the occasion we start with the great Italian master.

Italian Maestro Firmo Fracassi immortalizes his talent on the panther medaillon

“The panther”, central motif on the magazine plate, was one of the last works of the Grand Master of Bulino, Firmo Fracassi, world-renowned for his stunning miniature engravings, unmatched in detail, with a fascinating play of depth, light and shadow that blow the observer away with their photo-realistic effect.

Daniela Fanzoj recalls:
„I fondly remember the afternoon where we all sat in their little studio in the Fracassi home in Gardone and lively exchanged thoughts about our work for hours. It was in May 2022 and I had driven to Italy to take delivery of the precious panther medaillon. We had admired Firmo’s mesmerizing interpretation of a black panther on a knife before and could win him to collaborate on this rifle project.
Firmo (at the age of 83) was bruised from a recent bicycle accident (!) , where he accompanied his daughter Francesca who was training for a mountain run, and fell. I was full of admiration of the strong family ties, the love for nature, the passion and continuous strive for perfection in his work.
With a bit of a smile he complied to my request to engrave his initials on the back of the rock-hard white-gold plate with the fabulous panther image. I swore we would never work with this white-gold alloy again.
The following is a personal reflection of Firmo on this work, which I hold very dearly. Franscesca send me this letter following our request and sincere interest to hear from his own lips, what continuously drives him to pursue his work to such levels of mastery. This is what he said:

I use an ancient tool called burin. My tecnique is a mixed technique made up of lines, points and hatches according to the result I want to obtain and represent. This technique allows me to obtain more precision in the effects of light and shadow, to soften the edges and to achieve all shades of gray up to absolute black.
In our work there is a careful study of anatomy, nature, perspective and light. Our intent is to make the scene as simple and realistic as possible.
Once the iconographic research has been carried out, always laborious, the most suitable subject is chosen, also based on the shape of the object and its outline is drawn in pencil on the steel. Then you go over it improving it as much as possible. The definitive marking is done with the burin.
In this preliminary phase it is necessary to decide the perspective and the light point which is crucial to give depth and bring out the subjects that you want to engrave.
A lot of concentration is required at the beginning of the work because you have to better define the design. Then it goes on more simply, so to speak, because everything is clear in the mind. Of course, the engraving of some details requires more effort than others. However, the commitment must be constant to obtain a good result. Age and maturity lead to more experience.
I am in love with my work I always have the passion of a boy and the desire to express myself in ever new works that can communicate the sense of beauty, that can continue to live on in well-made objects as evidence of a well-spent working life.

Firmo Fracassi lives on thru his work, and thru his daughter Francesca who has inherited his talent. Thank you for giving us “the panther”.

The panther carries the imagery of power, beauty and authority throughout times and cultures. A magician, who effortlessly transcends the different worlds, interweaving firearm, client and legacy through ist powerful symbolism. An integrative breakthrough that exudes high aesthetics and harmony.

The result is a visual delight, an experience: passionate, beautiful – unique. Completing the project, any project of this scope and quality is a reason to celebrate. A privilege to bring an object of such exquisiteness to the world.

The rifle is embedded in a spectacular blue crocodile gun case with matching tools & accessories, all 24k gold plated. When lifting the case lid the viewer’s eye meets the essence of the panther’s spirit, painted on oil by wildlife artist Rudi Kohl. The color harmony of the ensemble is superb.

The conceptual process up to the completion of this Panther project along with beautiful photography is documented in a large format hardcover book exclusively for the customer.



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