Shooting Range Rifle with Brand of Gian Marchet Colani (1772-1837)

Pontresina, approx. 1835

«Giann Colany» is found engraved on the barrel of this rifle. The brand refers to the gunsmith who made it. Already at the age of 19 years Colani was the best marksman of the Engadine. His reputation as hunter was legendary: he was supposed to have shot numerous bears and about 2700 chamois. In addition he was innkeeper, farmer and mountain guide: He was said to have climbed the Piz Palü in 1835.

He was met by his contemporaries with both admiration and fear. He was even said to have murdered a hunting rival. This false rumour made Colani the model for the main character in Jakob Christoph Heer’s novel «The King of the Bernina» (1900).