Join Date: Dec 2004
The odd symbols on the top of the barrel which don't seem to conform to either the Latin or Cyrillic alphabets, remind me of an attempt at an inscription or signature that I've seen before on some barrels on guns of Balkan origin. The ribs and channel on the breech portion of the barrel imitate a somewhat similar but far more skillfully executed effect by Brescian gunsmiths; again, the Balkans and other parts of the Ottoman empire was the source of many of these lackluster interpretations of the real thing.
Many of those Balkan knockoffs have misspelled and sloppily chiseled versions of the name Lazarino Cominazzo, the most well-known of a large Brescian family of barrel-makers whose careers spanned 3 generations Aside from misspelled names and poor finish, the copies lack the exquisite balance of Cominazzo work, arising from a robust breech and relatively thin walls at the muzzle, made possible by the exquisitely forged, high quality steel of which the tubes were made. In the Levant, guns with Italianate barrels were often generically termed "al-Lazari", no matter if the signature was genuine or not. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.