A Rare 16th Century Left-handed Bresciani Pair
An exquisite and unusual pair of beautifully crafted left-handed Italian flintlocks, the property of a nobleman.
The gunmaker’s name, Frances Garat Da Mancino, can be approximately translated as “Frances Garat of the left hand”; a curious title but apparently appropriate to the left handed pistols he made.
The barrels on our pair are signed by Gironimo Mutto, a barrel maker from Gardone, near Brescia in the 1670’s, who also made barrels for Stefano Scioli, an important gunmaker from Brescia in the last quarter to the 16th century. Scioli was famous for making guns stocked entirely in iron and a fowling piece made entirely of iron with barrel signed by Gironimo Mutto is part of the Tower of London collection in England, while a pair of flintlock pistols signed by Mutto are part of the Musee de L’ Armee collection in Paris.
Our pair feature four-stage polished iron barrels, the first part octagonal and 11.5mm calibre. The iron sideplates, butt caps and trrigger guards are extensively scrolled and engraved with floral motifs and numerous busts in bas relief, while the walnut stocks are delicately carved. The ramrods are wooden. The pair are in excellent condition and are mechanically sound.
For the last 350 years these rare pistols have resided in Italy as part of famly and private collections. They are beautiful examples of the Brescian gunmakers’ art in the late 16th century and would make a fitting centrepiece for the collector’s portfolio.