Johann Fanzoj’s guns & rifles are mechanical masterpieces as well as ‘objects of eternity,’ a perfect blend of modern technology with centuries-old craftsmanship.
Hunting weapons inhabit a unique place in the arena of rare collectibles. Throughout human history they have inspired awe and fascination, serving not only as a means of protection and sustenance, but also as a canvas for art; an expression of people´s material and spiritual lives. Indeed, artistically decorated weapons have long served to showcase local craftsmanship skills, and were offered as diplomatic gifts with high symbolic meaning.
Today, company Johann Fanzoj has taken the idea of Guns & Art to a new dimension. The firm masterfully understands to focus world-class artisanal resources, technical minds and artists to create exceptional mechanical masterpieces and use those as a canvas for capturing stories about life and death, passion, hunting, nature, themes which appear unmasked as in no other metier.
In many hundreds, often thousands of hours extraordinary works are envisioned and brought to life, objects of culture and value, masterpieces in the true sense: the Best creative minds and skilled hands can do in their time.
The company’s most recent project, The Leopard, is a splendid demonstration of craftsmanship skill and artistic talent, expressed on three different weapons: a Fanzoj hunting rifle, pistol & fine custom knife.
It took Fanzoj over three years to bring this exceptional project to life, using a wealth of talent and craftsmanship of a very high level – world best artisans, Fanzoj gunsmiths and stockmaker, saddler, tool and case maker, and the creative crew, engraver, goldsmith and wildlife artist. The combined creativity and energy in this object is truly tangible.
Each weapon is covered with a strikingly realistic depiction of the leopard´s skin texture, engraved by fabulous Austrian master engraver Richard Meier, one of the greatest metal artists of our time. A deep-chiselled engraving work of the finest detail, giving depth and at the same time creating a three-dimensional effect. Inlays of fossilized mammoth tooth with spectacular scrimshaws (engraving on mammoth material) seem to almost come alive, as if ready to jump at the observer.
Made of exquisite materials: Circasian Walnut root wood, fossilized mammoth tooth, best-quality steel, 24k Gold. Rifle, pistol and knife are embedded in matching exhibition leather oak cases, along with finest handcrafted accessories of fossilized mammoth material, 24k gold-plated, with a leopard portrait on each case lid.
THE GREAT MIGRATION
The Great Migration relates the treacherous annual journey of millions of wildebeest from the Serengeti to the Mara River. This magnificent spectacle is depicted vividly and elaborately on the gun parts, with deep relief hand engravings of more than 100 African animals recalling their role in the eternal cycle of life and death, the hunters and the hunted. The heads of the Big Five are all inlaid in platinum on otherwise black surfaces, underscoring the fine, understated masculine character of this rifle.
The rifle is embedded in an exhibition crocodile-hide gun case along with finest handcrafted accessories.
“This is a magnificent, primal, and profoundly moving story, reflecting nature in all its beauty, brutality, and, above all, fragility,” Daniela Fanzoj says. “It is at the very heart of what we do. The meticulous process of creating this rifle is a demonstration of craftsmanship skill and artistic talent, expressed on a mechanical piece of art.”
Dracon is an opulent ride into the mystical world of dragons, rulers over the elemental forces; powerful protectors and challengers alike on man´s eternal Search for the Dragon´s pearl. An extraordinary conceptual achievement, executed on the highest level of craftsmanship.
On a technical level, the implementation of this complex theme, on such different surfaces and levels, with masterfully deep chiselling and gold or Platinum inlay work is remarkable. The rifle is embedded in an exquisite guncase by British Vince Rickards with details of red lizard leather and finest handcrafted accessories.
The whole ensemble is unmatched in creativity and level of detail. An accompanying book with stunning photography tells the full story.
About Johann Fanzoj
Established in 1790 in Ferlach, Austria, the Johann Fanzoj firm looks back on a tradition of fine craftsmanship upheld for eight generations.
While holding firm to the rich heritage of traditional skills and old-world knowledge, the current directors Patrick and Daniela Fanzoj are bringing remarkably new visions to this ancient craft and fascinate worldwide by blending classic values and high aesthetics with unprecedented technical sophistication.
Each year only a small number of exclusive hunting guns & rifles leave Fanzoj´s workshop, amazing works of technical engineering, objects of beauty and value that have propelled Fanzoj into the worldwide elite of specialty and boutique firms.
The model range includes shotguns, rifles – both single and doubles, bolt actions, multi-barrelled combinations. In fact, customers can be offered individual commissions and concepts – designed, engineered and built entirely in their workshop.