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Ronin48
Posted - 08/24/2004 : 2:47:23 PM
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The latest "Man at Arms (v.26, #5,2004) has a short letter/photos in the 'Ricochet' column (p. 70) on extremely ornate Cav. Carbines (mis-identified in the letter as being TS carbines) "...made by Beretta for "the personal guards of the Duke of Aosta." Amadeus, Duke of Aosta was the Viceroy of the Italian conquered Abyssinia." Three photo, right butt and left and right sides of the stock under the receiver are shown. "The carbines are very ornate. A large silver 'A' for Amadeus Aosta and surrounded by floral fronds is inlet into the butt, and a few specimens have further silver ornamentation extending along the stock. The receiver is richly engraved with dragons and is gold plated."

Carbines are dated 1939, about 100 were fabricated and all examined/reported are in the C8001-C8096 SN range.



War is Peace
Posted - 08/24/2004 : 5:42:44 PM
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Doss:

Thanks for the heads up. I usually buy Man at Arms but I have not yet picked up the latest issue. I'll go in search of it tonight.

About 10 years ago there was a beautiful example of the Duke of Aosta carbine in one of the high-end California auction houses. I bid up to around $2800.00. I think the piece sold for around $3000. I have always wished that my pockets were deeper that month.

Somewhere I have scanned photos from the auction catalog and I'll post them when they turn up.



Ronin48
Posted - 08/24/2004 : 7:05:32 PM
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Two of us, Brian Johnston and I, drove to Tulsa show several years ago. Told Brian I was looking for another Italian youth carbine and let me know if he ran across one. Sat PM he located me and said he had found something I might be interested in. Was not youth carbine, was a 3/4 scale (?) heavily engraved, M91, .22 cal single shot rifle. Asking price was $1500 (?) We discussed it, Dick Hobbs would have been the man to contact, but neither had Dick's #. He called a mutual friend/collector in NE. He said buy it. It cost $1200? and he bought it for the collector in the NE. Since I had the car and he was flying home I was to take the little rifle home. Was on the outskirts of Tulsa when I remembered rifle. Turned around, went back to show, picked up rifle, drove back to Tuscaloosa. I was in my 1980 MGB and I had so much 'junk' the top was down. Found a cop to watch car while I ran in to find Brian and pick up rifle!

Had it for a week before new owner paid. Did not take me that long to realize this was a major screw up, me not buying it. I took photos with a throw-away camera for Military Rifle Journal, but were not nearly good enough. Rifle was made to celebrate El Duces' birthday or an anniversary of assuming power, forgotten which. "old too soon, smart too late."
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Duke of Aosta's Honor Guard Carcano Photos

War is Peace
Posted - 09/27/2004 : 9:50:36 PM
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A couple of weeks ago, Doss/Eloldehombre, mentioned a letter to Man at Arms magazine concerning the highly ornate Carcano carbines used by the Duke of Aosta's Honor Guard. Here's a cut & pasted copy of that letter:

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/war is peace/2004927213452_01.jpg
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http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/war is peace/2004927213522_02.jpg
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In 1993, one of these carbines was sold at a large Californian auction house:

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/war is peace/2004927213832_a2.jpg
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231.21 KB

I do not recall the sale price but I know it exceeded $3k because I bid that high and I was not successful.

While paging through an unlikely source (The Dorling Kindersley History of the World), I happened upon the following photo and passing mention of this rare Carcano:

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/war is peace/2004927214732_a1.jpg
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Can anyone supply any additional information?



DocAV
Posted - 09/28/2004 : 6:50:25 PM
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The Duke of Aosta ( a collateral branch of the Royal family of Italy, the House of Savoy,) was the Viceroy of Abyssinia from 1936-1941, after the italian army successfully dethroned the Emperor Haile Selassie. These Carbines were commissioned by him for his Vice-regal Honour Guard for ceremonial occasions , both in Italy, and more importantly, in Abyssinia (Italian East Africa).

The Duke and his household were interned after the surrender to British/Ethiopian Forces at Amba Alagi ( Alagi Hill) in mid-1941.
The Duke died of illness in Captivity in Kenya.(1942).
The Fate of the Guard Carbines was unknown for many years, they having "disappeared" into the chaos that was Ethiopia during the War and after. It is estimated that less than fifty such guard carbines were commissioned, but records ( although scant) do exist in the Italian Archives.

Regards, Doc AV
 

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That is an Amazing rifle. They is a very sexy rifle. I alway loved engraved firearms but a engraved carcano is just awesome
 
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