Beretta—founded nearly 500 years ago, in 1526—dug deep recently in developing an engraving theme that predates the venerable Italian gunmaker. Unveiled during February’s SCI Convention, in Nashville, the theme—the 100th anniversary of the discovery of King Tutankhamon’s tomb by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon—is showcased on a one-of-a-kind SL3 the company is calling the “SL3 Tutankhamon.”
In search of inspiration for the work, Master Engraver Luca Casari journeyed to Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. Spending several days at the world-famous archaeological site in Luxor resulted in a singular gun exhibiting more than 1,000 hours of bulino-style hand engraving. Casari’s work features gold, green gold, silver and copper hand inlays on an SL3 EELL 12-gauge with 30-inch barrels and an Exhibition Grade 5 European-walnut stock in a field configuration.
On the right sideplate three central personalities of Egypt’s 18th Dynasty are depicted: Pharaoh Tutankhamon, Queen Neferneferuaten Nefertiti (the Great Royal Wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten, who ruled before Tutankhamon) and Queen Ankhesenamun (the Great Royal Wife of Tutankhamon). On the left sideplate two main deities of Ancient Egypt are engraved: Horus and Anubis. On both sides the figures are surrounded and accented by hieroglyphs from within Tutankhamon’s tomb and important Egyptian imagery, including desert caravans and the Great Sphinx of Giza.
Carlo Gussalli Beretta, representing the 16th generation of the gunmaking family, presented the gun in a bespoke case of wood and Italian leather painted to recreate Tutankhamon’s sarcophagus. The gun was bought by Alex Roy, owner of EuroOptic, based in Montoursville, Pennsylvania. “I do not have a long-term plan for it,” Roy said, “but I will put it on display at our company headquarters, so I can share the beauty with others and they can see this work of art.”