In Italy, this engraving style is called ‘inglesina’ (‘inglese’ means English in Italian). This motif was created by the English who were at the time pursuing their own fine shotgun designs. This ornamental form of engraving became most popular with the modern shotgun and has remained so for the last century. The general theme is that of spirals which are side by side, intertwining, or springing out, one from the other, to form a very pleasant illusion of motion. This effect is best produced with the use of shading techniques. The English were the first to think of adapting this style of design to the engraving of firearms, although the idea of interlocking spirals goes back to Archimedes, if not in fact, to the Iron Age.
Among the lovers of engraving on shotguns, some prefer hunting scenes, others prefer an ornate design or an ornamental motif. There is a diversity in taste and preference as complex as any other field of human life. However, the English scroll is the only style which is well-accepted by everybody. It is a very subtle and classic style that is very beautiful. It is almost as if the English scroll style were destined for the shotgun. It adapts itself particularly well to the irregular shapes of the shotgun lock. It can be engraved quite well both on large and small surfaces, regular and irregular areas, giving a particularly homogenous effect to the engraved parts. Once the spirals have been cut, they are then ‘filled’ by the ‘puntatine’ (tiny curves) which can be single, double, triple, etc. These curves also help in creating the final intertwining effect. A derivation of English scroll is the ornamentation called “double curl”. The variations of scroll are numerous, as are the techniques used to cut the steel. The habit of placing bouquets of flowers, ribbons, and festoons is also used to add variety and richness. Quite often English scroll is used as a setting for hunting scenes or other subjects.