The name Brescia is synonymous with the finest weapons ever produced. How the name of the capital of the province of Lombardy in Northern Italy became such is thanks to their gunsmiths, truly masters of their craft who became famed for fine pieces, not the work of one man but the blended achievement of four different craftsmen – barrel-makers, lock-smiths, stock-makers and mount makers. The best known, Lazarino Cominazzo, established the town’s reputation. Many of these long graceful pistols with their figured walnut stocks, chased and chiselled locks and fine barrels can be seen and admired in museums around the world. This one of a pair – long, finely proportioned and well balanced – is a striking and handsome example. The stock is a silver sheath containing the barrel and lock. Traces remaining on the stock indicate it once was entirely gilt. There is no ramrod or pipes but imitations incorporated in the design of the stock. In place of the chiselled mounts is variety of decoration over the stock taking the form of scroll and foliage. On top of the butt is a devil face. On the butt cap is a grotesque mask flanked by two smaller ones. On the side plate (which is not separate and detachable but again integral to the silver sheath) and on the trigger guard, the grotesque mask motif is repeated. The cock is of fine proportion and even on the head of the screw securing it to the tumbler there is grotesque mask. Under the pan is another grotesque and on the lock plate appears the maker’s name ‘AZZONI IN BRESCIA’, which is different from that appearing on the barrel. On the lockplate behind the cock is a beautifully chiselled devil face. The steel barrel is round, relieved only by simple baluster turns and a chiselled grotesque mask by the start of the tang. It is slightly wider at the breech, on a flat on the top of which is stamped the name ‘Lazaro Lazarino’.