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Old 7th July 2022, 05:06 AM   #2
Philip
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
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Quite a nice little pistol! Juan Santos is believed to have been in the trade until ca. 1750 and was a master gunsmith who taught Francisco López who became a commissioned artisan to the Royal Court. (Lavin, History of Spanish firearms, p 276). Jean-Baptiste LaRoche's career spanned roughly 1740-69. Around 1750 he took to signing his work to include his son, under "les Laroche"; the son's given name is lost to history. (Neue Stöckel, Vol 1, p 683.

So here is a gun with components signed by well-known makers in 18th cent. circles. The lock and barrel fit their recesses in the stock like they've been there all along. It was not uncommon for bespoke firearms of the era, particularly those from Southern Europe, to be built from variously sourced parts, with the lock maker typically running the show. Hence the famous garniture of two pistols and two carbines (one of the latter having disappeared) commissioned by the Venetian Senate in the first half of the 17th cent. for presentation to Louis XIII. Barrels bearing the name of Lazarino Cominazzo, locks signed by Giovan Antonio Gavacciolo, the steel lacework furniture by Giacinto Secardi (unsigned but determined from archival records).

Here is an Italian sporting rifle ca. 1700, a fine example probably originating in a workshop in Rome. The damascus rifled barrel by Johann Schifter of Wiener Neustadt, 1690s, the "alla romana" flintlock marked DP on the inside of the lockplate, possibly indicating either Domenico Politi or Domenico Principi, both known to have worked in Rome at the beginning of the 18th cent.
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