The 490 Serpentina, a commissioned piece, was made specifically for this occasion and was presented by Mr. Pietro Gussalli Beretta, President and CEO of Beretta Holding S.p.A.
Since October, the month of the official anniversary date, Beretta has been celebrating its 490th anniversary with special events throughout Europe and by providing the galleries in the U.S. and the Beretta Gallery in London with unique and special commissioned shotguns. These celebrations are shared globally through the company’s social media outlets.
The 490 Serpentina is an absolutely unique side-by-side and destined to become a very collectible piece.
When asked to design a commemorative, anniversary shotgun for the world’s oldest firearms manufacturer, the goal of the designer was to create not only an exceptional shotgun, but also one that depicts Beretta’s dedication to finding beauty in the marriage of tradition and technology. This dedication is realized in the 490 Serpentina side-by-side.
One of the most striking features of the shotgun is its blue receiver – a nod to the color most associated with the Beretta brand. As one’s eye travels over the receiver, two more distinctive traits are noted. Instead of a top-mounted lever, the opening mechanism, resembling a small snake or “serpentine” – giving the name to this one-of-a-kind piece, is located on the right hand side of the receiver to maintain an uninterrupted appreciation for its rounded, edgeless surface. An extremely elegant “wood bridge”, a technological innovation by Beretta that allows the tail of the receiver to be housed beneath the wood, leaves a seamless area between the receiver and the selector/safety mechanism.
To accentuate the beauty of the edgeless receiver the original bill of sale – an order of arquebus barrels from the Doges of Venice dated 3 October 1526, has been recreated and engraved in white gold inlay. And, adorning the trigger guard are three related and important elements; the recorded founding date of 1526, the age of the company 490, and the year the 490 Serpentina was made 2016
The barrels are of particular interest as their striking shine is achieved by hand polishing Beretta’s proprietary Steelium barrels until it reaches a mirror quality finish. The walnut wood stock and fore end are also notable for their lack of checkering – ensuring one is able to appreciate the grade 5 wood blonde color and veins.
The 490 Serpentina named for the anniversary and for its side mounted lever comes in a handmade Churchill style case in canvas and leather. Mounted inside the top lid of the case is a blue polished plate bearing the engraved wording of the original bill of sale. One of the chrome plated brass corners of the case is blue to continue the color theme. The case is replete with a custom cleaning kit including ebony and German sliver rods, pewter containers and buffalo horn snap caps and chamber brush.