Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Wonderful insights here!!
If this format of marking was also used in Naples, a province of Spain, could this maker have fashioned this gun with the influence of the Catalan style which must have been somewhat known there?
Should I assume that by "Catalan style" you are referring to the shape of the buttstock? If so, here are my thoughts.
A problem with linking Neapolitan origin and Catalan stock shape is that the vast preponderance of surviving Neapolitan shoulder weapons are stocked in the so-called Madrid style, with its fluted butt. The boot-shaped Catalan buttstock is very seldom encountered in Naples or anywhere else in southern Italy. I did see a rare exception, a miquelet blunderbuss in rough shape, at a recent Las Vegas arms show, and a very rustic example is in the Royal Armouries (# XII-1096, published in Blackmore, Guns and Rifles of the World
fig. 253). I have a third example, a fine custom-built carbine incorporating a damascus-twist Austrian barrel, whose stock is "Catalan-ish", clearly influenced by but not a n absolutely faithful imitation of the style.
Boccia / Coelho, Armi da Fuoco Italiane
and Marcello Terenzi, L'Arte di Michele Battista
contain a number of very good toi superlative Neapolitan sporting guns, and all have Madrid stocks. This is corroborated by my experience of seeing and handling dozens of these at auction in Europe.
Another issue involves the stylistic flourishes on the lock of the shotgun under consideration (which I have covered in my prior thread) -- they are more indicative of Eibar than either Ripoll or Naples.
Oddly enough (and at risk of wandering a bit off the focus of this thread), Neapolitan gunmakers did occasionally take a nod to the Catalan tradition in the realm of PISTOLS. The iconic Ripoll ball-butt pistol with its folksy pierced-metal stock overlays was produced in some quantity in Naples. Take a look at figs.82-84 in W K Neal's Spanish Guns and Pistols
. Here is a gun which looks for all the world like it was born in Ripoll except for -- markings of the Armeria Reale di Napoli on the barrel, and a lock with the typical Neapolitan C-shaped cock neck (as opposed to the typical columnar or baluster-shaped neck on Ripoll-made products.