Sergio and Mauro Dassa grew up watching westerns, just two typical brothers who enjoyed the movies, the horses, the gunplay and the grandeur of the American West, only they were watching them in Italian! When the Dassa boys grew up in northern Italy, they were (and remain) huge fans of the American West and the legendary folklore that surrounds it. Many of Mauro’s best memories while he was growing up were of him and younger brother Sergio playing Cowboys and Indians. “Sergio and I often watched American Cowboy Western movies in the evening and we played Indians and Cowboys with our friends during the day, after school. We pretended we were Cowboys on horses. We wore hats and boots and we made a noise similar to the noise of spurs. We spread talcum powder around to create the effect of dust. We held poker cards and cups full of orange juice as if it was whisky. It was fantastic! When the carnival parade came (last Tuesday before the beginning of Lent), we would dress up like cowboys or sheriffs, cut sheriff stars out of cardboard or foil.

“The movies we watched the most and ‘re-enacted’ were’ ‘C’era una volta il West’ (Once Upon a Time in the West) , ‘Per Qualche dollaro in più’ (For a Few Dollars More), ‘Il Buono, Il Brutto il Cattivo’ (The Good, The Bad, The Ugly), ‘Per un pugno di Dollari’ (A Fistful of Dollars), ‘Giu La Testa’ (A Fistful of Dynamite), and many more by Sergio Leone with extraordinary actors like John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Clint Eastwood, Terence Hill, Paul Newman, Jimmy Stewart, etc.” The American West was in their blood.

Engraver’s Sons
Sergio and Mauro are the sons of an engraver, and in Italy, most often, engraving is a generational endeavor, with sons and daughters following in their parents footsteps. With the Dassa brothers this was inevitable as their fascination with the Old West would inspire them not only to become engravers in the Italian tradition, but to expand beyond their training in the traditional arts and study and incorporate the designs of famous American engravers like Gustave Young, Louis Daniel Nimschke and Cuno A. Helfricht, who created some of the finest engraved Colt, Winchester, and S&W firearms of the 19th century…

Read more at Guns Of The Old West.


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