Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   Iron ramrod in xv century (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=13292)

Spiridonov 6th February 2011 10:36 PM

Iron ramrod in xv century
 
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There are two images from xv century manuscripts which make us to think that some ramrods were made from iron. This image are from manuscript of Edward IV and image from Berner Chronik of 1483. The first detail which indicate the material of ramrods is the color. The second details is the thin hook in the tip of the one of this ramrods. It is impossible to make this hook from wood. Such thin hook surely would be broken if it were made of wood. So i think that it was made of iron. By the way I think that hook was needed for hanging to belt in time of shooting or hanging to nail in the arsenal room.
Else we have interesting inventor of Lille 1458 year:
Quote:
"...100 autres couleuvrines de bronze, aussi avec manches en bois, ayant clef comme arbalète, accompagnées de 99 torcays (carquois), pourvu chacun d'un bluchotois (petite mesure)en fer blanc pour doser la charge de poudre, d'un moule en pierre blanche pour fondre les plommets et d'une estampe de fer (chargeoir) pour mettre la poudre..."

I think that "estampe de fer" may be a iron ramrod. But it's only assumption. We can't say exactly...

fernando 7th February 2011 09:46 PM

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Hi Alexander,

Probably ramrods in this period were not only made of iron.
Following the Lille inventory, we can find quotations referring payment to smiths for making iron ramrods but also inventories of ramrods made of ash wood (frêne).

... a Jehan Maistre pour une livre d'estaing et ung quartaron de plomb que print Adam Godard pour souder les cornetz de fer blanc a qu'on l'on charge les colovrines et espingardes
(…)

... a Noé le clotrier pour la ferreure de IIc bastons pour charger les colovrines et serpentines ...

Manuscrit carton B 3518,Archives dép. du Nord :

"...105 feuilles de fer à faire chargeoirs, 150 sacs de cuir de diverses sortes à mettre poudre pour les canonniers..."
(1472)


Concernant les chargeoirs :
"...1200 bâtons de frêne à faire chargeoirs pour les bâtons à poudre (les couleuvrines)..."
(inventaire bourguignon de 1474, Archives départementales du Nord, B.3519)

.

Spiridonov 23rd February 2011 07:17 PM

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My assumption that probably hook was needed for hanging on belt in time of shooting have got absolutely strong proof. The proof is the miniature of Sforza from Wallace Collection. We can see two schioppettieri(s) who use ramrods with hook. One of them hang his ramrod on belt in time of ignition moment.

Spiridonov 23rd February 2011 09:01 PM

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else ramrod with hook (about 1500 year)

Matchlock 25th February 2011 09:02 PM

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Absolutely great research, Alexander! :cool: ;)


I would never have generally ruled out the early existence of iron ramrods for heavier pieces, and I am glad to be able and prove your discovered contemporary artwork by two really existing wrought iron crudely sighted haquebut barrels, both possibly Nuremberg made, about 1500-10, ans struck with a maker's mark, a shield with some pellets, the swiveling touch hole cover of one missing, the latter barrel heavily damaged and broken in two in the middle, and both retaining their iron ramrods characteristically bent outside the muzzles in order to prevent them from going in too far - just the way Alexander found them illustrated! :eek:

Both are preserved in the Museum of a small Northern Bavaria country town named Wunsiedel, where I took photos of them amost 30 years ago!

As 'Nando pointed out, I would however like to reemphasize the fact that iron ramrods were the exemption to the rule until the early 18th century. The Landeszeughaus Graz preserved hundreds of separate thick wooden ramrods mounted with iron finials threaded for screwing in cleaining tools for their mid 16th c. wall guns (Doppenhaken), and the huge 35 kilograms of weight Nuremberg bronze Doppelhaken of ca. 1520 in my collection (posted here earlier) also retains its original fir wood ramrod (repaired in places), its iron finial retaining its original cleaning tool.

Best,
Michael

Spiridonov 1st March 2011 01:22 PM

Hello, Michael! Thank You for your comment and this beautifull photos! I think that hooks of ramrods from your photos has slightly straightened (the hooks are not full but I thinks that it was full). And else I think that it is not for cleaning. It is absolutly clear becaurse this hooks are much bigger than the calibre.

Matchlock 3rd March 2011 08:48 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Hi Alexander,

Probably ramrods in this period were not only made of iron.
Following the Lille inventory, we can find quotations referring payment to smiths for making iron ramrods but also inventories of ramrods made of ash wood (frêne)



Hi 'Nando,

Fully agreed: ash wood ramrods with iron finials threaded for cleaning tools doubtlessly were, as I have stated several times before, and can proove not only by various original guns in my collection but by another thousands in old European arsenal collections, the usual loading tools of 'military' firearms from the earliest times (ca. 1320) up to the early 18th century. Thank you so much for quoting all those sources, my friend - I must admit you're doing far better than I when it comes to written sources! ;)

We should, however, not by any means underestimate the importance of our friend Alexander's discovery of iron ramrods used togther with heavier pieces and proven by both contemporary illustrations and my photos of original haquebut barrels! ;) :cool:

Best,
Michl

Matchlock 3rd March 2011 09:05 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiridonov
Hello, Michael! Thank You for your comment and this beautifull photos! I think that hooks of ramrods from your photos has slightly straightened (the hooks are not full but I thinks that it was full). And else I think that it is not for cleaning. It is absolutly clear because this hooks are much bigger than the calibre.



Hello Alexander,

Actually it's my turn to thank you for both your great and scientifically important discovery of identifying iron ramrods as a hitherto by far neglected means of loading firearms as early as the 15th century, and for your hint that the hook shaped bent finials of the two existing ramrods I photographed were obviously slightly re-bent at some later time. :cool: :eek:

Best wishes,
Michael

Spiridonov 14th March 2011 08:42 PM

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Ramrod with hook else:
Giovanni Battini, c1460. Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS Canon Class Lat. 81, fol. 49v.

Matchlock 14th March 2011 09:14 PM

Absolutely superb find, Alexander! :cool: :eek:

I would be a very lonely guy on the forum without your brilliant inputs! Our minds sure are two of a kind. ;)

If there is a higher resolution available, please email me!

Best,
Michael

Spiridonov 14th March 2011 09:44 PM

unfortunately, I have not higher resolution version. This picture found one good man from russian historic forum. He has not highres too :( But I still find it

fernando 14th March 2011 11:23 PM

Ha, the encountering of two geniuses :cool:

Matchlock 15th March 2011 12:29 AM

Exactly, 'Nando,

Though you of course are the third in our alliance, amigo :cool: :eek: - just hope you would come on in more often on these subjects!

We really feel sorta lost here, no kidding. :confused:

Best,
Michl

Matchlock 15th March 2011 12:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiridonov
unfortunately, I have not higher resolution version. This picture found one good man from russian historic forum. He has not highres too :( But I still find it



If anyone does, Alexander, you will! ;) And I look forward to that day.

m

Matchlock 15th March 2011 01:03 AM

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Here is a full view and a close-up of the South Tyrolian fresco Alexander posted above.

It is, as I wrote in an earlier thread, preserved on the wall of a 15th c. guardroom of the fortress Schloss Issogne, Aosta Valley, and can be dated closely to ca. 1495.

Please note the hooked iron ramrod seen in front of the ramrod channel of the lower Landsknecht arquebus, which I had hitherto overlooked - my old eyes begin to lose their light ... :rolleyes:

However, also note the cylindrical tubular iron finial (Setzerkopf) of the - most certainly - wooden ramrod shoved into the stock of the uppper arquebus - obviously the more modern loading tool! :cool: :eek: We can but speculate why the wooden ramrod prevailed with both 'military' and sporting guns until the first half of the eighteenth century ...


Best,
Michael

Matchlock 15th March 2011 01:30 AM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiridonov
Ramrod with hook else:
Giovanni Battini, c1460. Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS Canon Class Lat. 81, fol. 49v.



I have to admit that I am much surprised to see the down-curved form of the butt as early as the mid-15th c.!!! One never stops learning. :D

You really made a singular find with this, Alexander!

I feel free to attach a re-worked close-up of the scene. Please note the arquebusier on the right aiming his gun left-handed and firing it by holding a glowing piece of tinder against the touch hole on top of the barrel. Matchlocks were not yet common at that period of time.

Best,
Michael

Andi 25th April 2013 07:34 PM

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In August 1848 not only the well known Tannenberg handgonnes were exavated from a water cisterne at Tanneberg Castle (Hesse, Germany) but also an iron ramrod lying near the handgonnes. The find can be securely dated to 1399 when Tannenberg Caste was sieged and destroyed by the City of Frankfurt. The find is publised in J. von Hefner, J. W. Wolf: Die Burg Trannenberg und ihre Ausgrabungen. Schwerberg, Frankfurt 1850 Online. On table VII the ramrod is marked with a "D" and here you can see its dimentsions compared to the handgonne. Till yet I don't know where the ramrod is kept or if it is still survived after the excavations some 160 year ago. The handgonne is kept at Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg and I hope so the ramrod too.

Matchlock 5th October 2013 04:42 PM

Splendid, Andi,


Great job - thanks a lot!

When your are in Bavaria you should come and see me and my collection. Now how does that sound? Inciting, doesn't it?!


Best,
Michael

Andi 5th October 2013 10:52 PM

Hello Matchlock!

Thank you for your offer. Of course it is very inciting and it would a great honour to me. Thank you also for bringing my post to light again, as I gathered some more articles on the Tannenbergbüchse.

According to Joachim von Wlassatys article Nachlass der Raubritter - 600 Jahre Tannenbergbüchse in Deutsches Waffen Journal 6/1999 the ramrod was separated (and the loading of the gonne and the rest of the survived tiller were removed from Tannenbergbüchse :eek: ) before the Tannenbergbüchse was transferred to Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg. As far as I interpret the article the ramrod (along with other finds) was probably lost during bombardements of Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt in 1944 :mad:

Matchlock 6th October 2013 08:38 AM

Hi Andi,


for clod shot, the earliest kind of lead or iron ammunition after gun arrows, please see my threads

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...light=clod+shot

and

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...light=clod+shot

On my arguments on dating the Tannenberg barrel correctly (remember that it is not a complete gun as the tiller stock is mssing!), please see

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ight=tannenberg

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ight=tannenberg

and

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ight=tannenberg,

plus a very similar tiller-stocked bronze gun of ca. 1480, formerly in my collection:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...t=tiller+bronze


Best,
Michael

Matchlock 6th October 2013 08:45 AM

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Close-up details of the Tannenberg brass/bronze barrels plus the iron ramrod - enjoy!

m

Evgeny_K 20th December 2013 11:57 AM

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gents,

could it be some kind of ramrod ?

Evgeny_K 20th December 2013 11:58 AM

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it was found near this handgun in Russia

Matchlock 20th December 2013 12:36 PM

Hi Evgeny,


Do you have more images of that barrel:

- the backsight
- the rear of the breech
- the form of the pan trough and touchhole


How long is that barrel now and what is its bore/caliber?


I could then tell with adequate authority about how old it really is, which could lead us to a better based identification of what I choose to just call a 'rod' for the time being.



Best,
Michael

Evgeny_K 20th December 2013 01:57 PM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
Hi Evgeny,

Do you have more images of that barrel:

- the backsight
- the rear of the breech
- the form of the pan trough and touchhole

How long is that barrel now and what is its bore/caliber?

I could then tell with adequate authority about how old it really is, which could lead us to a better based identification of what I choose to just call a 'rod' for the time being.

Best,
Michael


Hi Michael,

This barrel is not in my posession , so I have not much information.

There are some additional pics.

barrel length 400 mm,
diameter 55 to 70 mm at rear,
caliber ~30 mm,
weight ~ 6.9 kg.

Regards,
Evgeny

Matchlock 20th December 2013 02:37 PM

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Thanks, Evgeny,


I can see most of what I was hoping I would be able to see.

This is (the possibly shortened rear part of) a wrought-iron arquebus barrel of ca. 1520-40.
The small blade backsight is missing from the breech, and so is the pivoted swiveling pan cover of the ignition pan, as well as the forward section of the barrel with the second loop for a transversal stock pin; the rear loop on the underside of the barrel is still present. We may safely assume that the stock was originally fitted with a snap-tinderlock mechanism.

Attached please find links to my threads on three similar but perfectly preserved arquebuses of ca. 1525, 1540 and dated 1539, all in my collection:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...hlock+harquebus

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...hlock+harquebus

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...hlock+harquebus




Whether that iron 'rod' had any connection with that barrel I doubt very much; both rod ends do not make any sense at all for a loading process. It does not show any similarity to any actual ramrod I have ever seen.



Best,
Michael

Evgeny_K 20th December 2013 03:35 PM

Thank you very much, Michael!

Matchlock 20th December 2013 05:00 PM

You are welcome, Evgeny!

I just wanted to add that the mushroom-shaped finial to one end of the iron rod seems to indicate that the piece is more or less contemporary with the barrel.
Sometimes you find that characteristic shape on finials of the grips of Gothic maces.

Best,
Michael


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