Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   A Unique Double Barrel Bronze Tiller Haquebut, North Germany, ca. 1420 (

Spiridonov 23rd March 2011 06:57 AM

Interesting link obout Morko handgonne

Matchlock 23rd March 2011 02:17 PM

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Grrreat find, Alexander, thank you! ;)

I posted it for all those who wish to see the facts here.


Matchlock 2nd December 2011 10:56 PM

For an important correction of dating the double-barreled bronze haquebut, which I own to my friend Alexander (Spiridonov), please see


Spiridonov 22nd July 2012 02:04 PM

I remember that one or two years ago somebody posted ling with a great numerous photos of handgonne from Morko. Unfortunately I have not had time to before the link disappeared. So who was the man posted this link? Maby somebody have safe all photos and can share they?

Matchlock 22nd July 2012 02:38 PM

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Hi Alexander,

Here is the site:

I saved all those photos and the author's statements concerning the (art) history of the gun, so here they are.

The tiller stock a portion of which is seen in the first photo is a modern reconstruction but most probably comes very near the original.


Matchlock 22nd July 2012 02:41 PM

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And the last three.

Matchlock 22nd July 2012 03:38 PM

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Here are the screen shots from the linked web site:

I differ from Richard Connell's statement that superficial letters were usually not used in the Gothic period just to fill in an empty space.
At times when craftsmen like bronze founders could not normally read or write the only way for a learned person to convey a description desired to be appear on a work of art was writing the letters down for the founder to copy.

E.g., a lot of meaningless inscriptions found on medieval sword blades denote that those letters were often not copied exactly and were primarily used as a magic ornamentation. Thus, an additional letter, meaningless though it obviously was, used to fill in an empty space seems quite understandable from the a Late Gothic craftsman's point of view.


Matchlock 22nd July 2012 03:47 PM

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The remainder.


Matchlock 22nd July 2012 03:49 PM

No post - to be deleted! Thanks, 'Nando!

Matchlock 15th November 2013 09:17 PM

The Mörkö Gun of ca. 1420 Revisited - And Where it Came From !!!
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Originally Posted by Matchlock
I have to apologize but I could not find but one single better photo of the Morkö (or Mörkö) gun.

The gun was excavated from the Baltic Sea near Nynäs, on the coast of Södermansland, by a fishing boat before 1828. After being in a couple of private collections, it finally found its home in the Swedish Royal Collections. It measures 19.3 cm overall, with a steady caliber of 21 mm smoothbore, weight 945 g, of hexagonal shape, which is characteristic of guns around or shortly after 1400, and the rear socket for the tiller stock is 6.9 cm long. As the first hooks on barrels do not seem to have appeared before ca. 1430, this feature gives a good reason for attributing this small gun (German Faustrohr) to about that date.

Depicting a bearded face in high relief is quite usual for artisans of the High Gothic period around 1400 and is also found e.g. on contemporary stoneware (see attachment of an earthen jug decorated with three bearded faces, ca. 1420, preserved in the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Frankfurt/Main). It certainly has nothing to do with the portrait of Jesus Christ but simply reflects the taste of fashion of that period and, of course, has an apotropaic (warding off disaster) function in those superstitious times as well.

This head of course blocks the sight when the gun is aimed but on the other hand acts as a fire guard.

The Gothic minuscule script mentions the word maria several times; the rest is, as I said, illegible and mere decoration. This religious invocation of Holy Mary is sometimes found on helmets and swords.

There is only one other contemporary and stylistically comparable small bronze Faustrohr known to exist, namely in a German private collection (not mine :( :shrug: ). Its barrel is four-staged (the conical socket which has two opposite nail holes for fixing the wooden tiller neglected): a hexagonal breech section with a raised mascaron as touchhole, a hexagonal middle section, a short forward section with offset sides and a reinforced muzzle head in the shape of three bearded faces (please cf. the above-said).
This piece was dug up from the sludge of a pool near Schwedt by the Oder River before 1920.

The supposed date of ca. 1430 is backed up further by the small touchhole with its slightly deepened, rudimentary pan molding. While the Mörkö gun, as well as the double barrel sample, has a small trough with a raised brim around the touchhole, the latter here is formed as the mouth of a distorted human face.

The measurents are:

overall length: 18.3 cm
barrel length: 13.0 cm
caliber inside: 10 mm
caliber at muzzle: 12 mm smoothbore
diameter of the touchhole: 4 mm (at the vent), widening to 6 mm inside
weight: 720 g

The attachments from top to bottom:

the Mörkö gun

the gun with three bearded heads:

- overall view, top
- overall view, slanted
- two sectional drawings
- held in hand
- muzzle section
- the three bearded heads at the muzzle section
- a contemporary earthen jug with three heads
- a distorted face, its open mouth forming the touchhole
- the rear end of the tiller socket
- the muzzle




I finally found this unique item in an old auction cataloge of 1892 (no typing error!!!) in my private library!

It was sold by Heberle/Lempertz Söhne, Köln (Cologne), Germany, forming part of the collection of the Museums Christian Hammer, Stockholm, on 23 May 1892 (!), lot 382, and went straight into the collection of the Natiomal Museum Stockholm!!!

Imagine! And what a stunning quality of both photography and printing techniques they had in 1892!!!


Grrrr - the image of the piece does not upload ... I often experience that with b/w images - can anybody tell me why??!!

:mad: :( :confused: :shrug:

Andi 16th November 2013 09:30 AM

Originally Posted by Matchlock
Grrrr - the image of the piece does not upload ... I often experience that with b/w images - can anybody tell me why??!!

Is the file a JPG file? The link in your last post does not show the file suffix e.g. ".jpg".
Do you have tried a shorter file name?

I downloaded the linked file and opened it after adding .jpg to the file name. Probably you should cut down the file names to less than 32 or better 16 letters.

Iain 16th November 2013 10:37 AM

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I'm taking the liberty of reposting the image here. As Andi mentioned it had the wrong file suffix.

Matchlock 16th November 2013 01:49 PM

Thank you so much, Andi and Iain, ;)

For solving that upload problem of mine!


Marcus den toom 6th November 2017 07:37 PM

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Some more pictures of the multibarrel gun

Marcus den toom 6th November 2017 07:44 PM

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And this one as well, showing the raised touchhole.

fernando 8th November 2017 10:29 AM

Excelent material, Marcus; keep going :cool: .

Spiridonov 12th November 2017 06:29 PM

Originally Posted by Marcus den toom
And this one as well, showing the raised touchhole.

Thank You for sharing this!

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