Ivo Fabbri, the visionary who created the company responsible for the world’s most expensive shotguns, died May 8 at the age of 93. Born December 4, 1928, in the Emilia-Romagna at a time when the region was the center of Italy’s fine-gunmaking trade, Fabbri was, according to his friend and gunwriter Marco S. Scipioni, a “shrewd technician” who “trained within the great mechanical industry.”
The Emilia-Romagna is one of the wealthiest and most developed regions in Europe. It is home to carmakers such as Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati, and Fabbri initially worked in automobile production for Fiat before engineering an over/under shotgun that owes more to supercar design than traditional gunmaking. His guns have been called “technically perfect” and “functional artwork” for their drop-dead fantasy engraving.
Fabbri worked with Daniele Perazzi for eight years, but in 1968 he started his own company. Perazzi wanted to create competition guns, but Fabbri wanted to make only the very best. Fabbri studied numerous over/under designs before perfecting his own.
By incorporating his knowledge of traditional gun design with space-age innovations and improvements in metallurgy, Fabbri created a company destined to stay at the leading edge of gunmaking long after his death. Fabbri is survived by his son Tullio—who currently runs the company with his wife, Gisela, and son, Ivo—and another son Ivo from a previous marriage.