490 Anniversary

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october-1526

In 1526 Mastro Bartolomeo Beretta (1490 – 1565/68) of Gardone received 296 ducats as payment for 185 arquebus barrels sold to the Arsenal of Venice.

Discover 500 Years of the World's finest sporting life... Follow the Calendar below and stay tuned! 

 

 


 

Every Thursday follow us on Beretta.com to discover ten exciting Chapter's preview from "Beretta - 500 years of the world’s finest sporting life",the third major monograph dedicated to Beretta, written by Nick Foulkes and photographed by Andy Anderson, published by Rizzoli US, avaiable soon in major bookstore worldwide.

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The Story will culminate on December 1st, when a new extraordinary Beretta "tribute shotgun" will be unveiled.

 


... Follow the Calendar below and stay tuned! 

THE BARREL MAKERS OF GARDONE

Celebrated today for its Franciacorta sparkling wine and as the starting point of the fabled Mille Miglia motor race, Brescia is a charming historic city… Known in the days of antiquity as Brixia, by the time the Venetian republic sent its order for arquebus barrels to “Master Bartolomeo Beretta of the Brescian Territory of Gardone,” Brescia and its surroundings had acquired a dominating

position in the new technology of firearms. Just as the Santa Clara Valley of Northern California has become known as Silicon Valley thanks to its predominance in the computer industry, it would be fair to describe the Val Trompia of the Middle Ages as legitimately claiming the soubriquet of “Iron Valley.”

There are even those who believe that the use of gunpowder for propellant use in iron gun barrels was a discovery made in Gardone.1 Whether Gardone can be credited as the birthplace of the firearm is uncertain but the craftsmen of the region were what today would be called early adopters of new technology.

The Val Trompia into which Bartolomeo was born and in which he took his place as one of the masters of its most famous m.tier was an area where craft was king. The skilled craftsman enjoyed a singular prestige and position in society, forming, in effect, an educated professional class: literacy among barrel makers was almost universal and Gardone even boasted that rarity in the provinces of medieval Italy, a schoolmaster. More than a craft, the science of barrel making had, as the fifteen century progressed, turned the whole town into what was in effect a large factory, strictly defined by a rigorous guild structure.

 

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The 490 years of Beretta also have an important institutional recognition: Poste Italiane, the Italian post service, set up a dedicated philatelist pack of celebrative postcards, one reproducing the document issued on October 3rd, 1526 by which the arsenal of Venice paid 296 ducats (to) Mastro Bartolomeo Beretta of Gardone, Brescia territory, for 185 arquebus barrels - the oldest evidence known today on the industrial activities of the Beretta family; the other celebrates the 10 Olympic medals won this year by Beretta athletes at Rio games.

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The special postal marking, will remain available at the Brescia City Centre head post office for sixty days, to meet the demands of marking that are received by collectors throughout the Country. 

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