Originally Posted by rickystl
What a beautiful and interesting Balkan style pistol. But, the "twist" effect the entire length of the round portion is a first for me. This would have taken a long time to make. Very Cool !!!
While it's generally known that none of these Balkan style pistols are exactly alike (unless made as a pair), this one is very different. A great looking - and super interesting pistol for your collection. Congratulations.
The spiral deco on the barrel is undoubtedly a local adaptation of the same theme seen on the fancier Brescian barrels of the first half of the 17th cent. Perhaps the most famous example of this appears on the forward (round) half of the two-stage barrels by Lazarino Cominazzo on the pair of wheellock pistols presented by the Venetian Senate to King Louis XIII of France (now in the Livrustkammaren, Stockholm, and published in numerous books. Considering the extent to which fine Brescian gun barrels were exported to and imitated in the East, it's a bit surprising that copies of the motif are not seen more often.
As you say, it's a lot of work to cut the grooves, but the top barrelmakers in Italy might have thought it too elementary so they reversed the spirals on one side of the barrel and ended up with a chevron pattern, meeting up at a raised ridge that defined the sighting-plane at the top of the barrel. Getting the grooves to meet at precisely the same point, with the exact spacing in between, now that's labor-intensive! The chevron barrels are more often seen mounted on flintlock pistols.