8vo, pp. 20; typographical border to each page; a fine copy, in contemporary silver- and blind-stamped calf, sides with a silver rolled border of palmettes, an inner border of blind-stamped foliage and a silver Arabesque foliate centrepiece; a little oxidation to the outer edge of the silver border, some rubbing with minimal losses to the centre-pieces.
US $1393 €1133
First edition, very rare, with apparently one only copy recorded in institutions worldwide (University of Illinois), of this account of the history of one of the earliest and most globally successful firearms manufactures. In fine silver-stamped calf, this copy appears to have been bound either for presentation or for a privileged recipient.
Gun manufacturing in Gardone Valtrompia, in the valleys of Brescia in Northern Italy, is attested since at least 1526 with Pietro Beretta. Immediately Gardone was able to secure –from the Republic of Venice – a monopoly for gun manufacturing, to manage a highly refined organization with clearly distinct and specialized professions, and to attract specialized workforce as well as accomplished iron- and silversmiths. One of the best established families of gun makers and artists was that of the author, Cominazzi, whose dynasty in the trade had begun with Lazarino Cominazzo. Lazarino’s name is the origin of the name of a particular musket, lazarina, widespread across Europe up to the colonial era.
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