Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   A Very Rare Nuremberg Arquebus 'Bronze'/Brass Barrel, ca. 1500-10 (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=15381)

Matchlock 8th April 2012 04:15 PM

A Very Rare Nuremberg Arquebus 'Bronze'/Brass Barrel, ca. 1500-10
 
12 Attachment(s)
In excavated condition, the forward section secondarily bent.

Octagonal throughout, the swamped rear end with integral back sight, the breech section struck with an indistinct mark, possibly a Gothic majuscule or minuscule letter, the short octagonal reinforced muzzle section with integral blade fore sight. The right-hand side priming pan retaining its riveted swiveling cover. Two quadral loops for stock pins on the underside.
Overall length 83 cm, which is unusually long for average period arquebus barrels which measured between ca. 52 and 65 cm;
bore 18 mm, which again is unusually large compared to the period average bore of ca. 11 to 16 mm.

The piece and images are not mine.

A similar Nuremberg arquebus brass barrel was sold Sotheby's, 23 May 1978, lot 212, length 80.65 cm, of evidently more advanced/later staging and form, interestingly also bent, dated 1516 and cast in high refief with the arms of a bishop from the Prussian family von Schlaberndorf; it is now preserved in the museum of Castelnaud, France.

We know quite exactly what the complete original early-16th century Landsknecht snap-matchlock arquebus fitted with such a barrel looked like:
- in Theuerdank (printed in 1517), the Emperor Maximilian I is depicted aiming a similar but shorter type of arquebus also mounted with a brass barrel;
- it the Ermitage arsenal in St. Petersburg, Russia - best greetings to our forum member and my personal friend Alexender, who lives there! :cool: - , a complete and very short Nuremberg snap-matchlock arquebus with a brass barrel of slightly more advanced sectioning is preserved, ca. 1512-15, the butt stock painted with the coat-of-arms of the Nuremberg patrician (Patrizier) family of Behaim, of characteristic overall length of 78.2 cm, barrel 52.1 cm, bore 10.9 mm, inv.-no. 5054)

Best,
Michael

Matchlock 8th April 2012 04:38 PM

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The other photos.
m

Matchlock 8th April 2012 06:04 PM

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A similar brass barrel, possibly French, three-stage sectioned and more pronouncedly staged, but also ca. 1500-10, with socket for a tiller stock, in excavated condition. Measurements unrecorded but probably ca. 60-70 cm long.
In the museum of Grandson, Switzerland.

m

Swordfish 13th April 2012 01:25 PM

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A matching arquebus, painting of 1508.

Best

Matchlock 13th April 2012 07:31 PM

Right, the painting is by Jan Joest, in the Nicolai Church Kalkar.

Btw, could you please post the link to this high-rez image? I could not find it on the web. Thanks!

A very similar Nuremberg barrel, also in excavated condition, of characteristic length and the breech struck with a Gothic minuscule mark s, is included in an upcoming sale. I will post details here as soon as the auction is done.

Best,
m

Swordfish 13th April 2012 07:48 PM

Its on Flickr, search Nicolaikirche Kalkar.

Best

Matchlock 13th April 2012 07:51 PM

It sadly does not show up on Mozilla Firefox, just carvings ... :confused:

m

Swordfish 13th April 2012 08:23 PM

Its still there! Don`t search in the thumbnails, they are hardly recognisable.
Bildgrösse Anzeigen: nicht Klein, sondern Mittel.

Best

Matchlock 13th April 2012 09:09 PM

10 Attachment(s)
Thanks again!

Up to now all I had of this was a 30 year-old old post card, not bad, just a bit dark. Anyway, I posted it in an earlier thread here.

Now we even recognize the bluing on the iron parts, the blued iron ramrod finial and both the right-hand serpentine and the figured back sight (both close ups attached).

The fact that the stock is painted red is by no means coincidental. As I remarked several times before, the basic Gothic colors were red and green. This of course does not mean that all period works of art actually showed these basic colors; they were typical and 'ideal' of the 15th/early 16th c. 'feeling for art' - and therefore preferred by artisans who were required to represent the 'ideal' Late Gothic taste to their contemporaries.

Also attached are a general view of the Kalkar altar piece and two self portraits of the artist Jan Joest, who was born ca. 1455 and died after 1519.

Apart from a left-hand stocked arquebus in the Vienna Imperial collection (the lock mechanism parts poor reconstructions), and a highly interesting piece formerly in the Renwick collection, the stock painted with the coat-of-arms of the Emperor Maximilian I when still king (1500-07), its present whereabouts unknown since the 1980's, no similar complete small arquebuses of that type are known to me. The latter two feature brass barrels and snap tinder locks while the Jan Joest arquebus is equipped with a wrought-iron barrel.

Best,
Michael

Matchlock 14th April 2012 07:38 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Another, similar Landsknecht arquebus but of plainer and somewhat earlier type, not yet fitted with a lock mechanism and the stock left unvarnished but mounted with a brass barrel, together with a thick length of match cord, a powder horn and a priming flask, is depicted as part of the Herrenberg Altarpiece, by Jörg Ratgeb, 1518-9.

m

Matchlock 15th April 2012 08:53 PM

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An arquebus, similar to the one illustrated by Jörg Ratgeb, mounted with a brass barrel, the snap-tinderlock serpentine inaptly depicted to be attached on the right-hand side of the barrel (!), from the earliest Maximilian armory inventory, by Bartholomäus Freysleben, ca. 1495-1500, cod. icon. 222, fol. 181v.

It is labeled as messing hanndtpüchse (brass-barreled arquebus).

m

Matchlock 17th April 2012 05:01 PM

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Another brass arquebus barrel, of comparable dimensions but with socket for a (replaced) tiller stock, the pan with no provision for a cover, with early-style bell-mouthed muzzle, ca. 1490-1500, from the former arsenal of the Princes of Schwarzburg, now in the museum in Rudolstadt, Thuringia; author's photos, 2000.

m

Matchlock 17th April 2012 05:05 PM

For much more information on Late-Gothic brass and iron arquebus barrels, please see my thread

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

Best,
Michael

Spiridonov 17th April 2012 10:01 PM

Michael, great photos! As You have guessed socketed handgonnes is my favorite type. Thank You for sharing this photos. By the way what is the shapeless piece of bronze on the bottom side of the barrel? Is it broken hook?

Matchlock 19th April 2012 03:36 PM

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You really are a great observer, Alexender!

Honestly I was wishing you would not ask because I don't know what it is. It looks like some amateurish later addition for what reason ever. Actually its position is too far at the rear for being the rest of a former hook. Seems like it is screwed to the barrel.
I just tend to ignore it. Nobody can explain for any possible later alteration on a 500 year-old item.

Anyway, I have added another close up.

Best,
Michael

Matchlock 19th April 2012 04:30 PM

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A very similar socketed tiller arquebus is illustrated in a miniature in the illuminated Book of Hours (Stundenbuch) belonging to Mary of Burgundy, first wife of the later Emperor Maximilian I, ca. 1470 (portaits attached).

Please note that the arquebus is ignited by a piece of coal or tinder, and that several balls are shown leaving the muzzle.

Best,
Michael

Matchlock 20th April 2012 01:17 PM

A Very Fine Brass Barrel Tiller Arquebus, ca. 1490-1500
 
12 Attachment(s)
Formerly in my collection. It is the finest Gothic arquebus ever recorded.

The barrel octagonal, in two stages and with bell-mouthed muzzle, no sights, the small right-hand side pan integrally cast, the originally swiveling cover missing. The breech struck with a founder's mark, a stag's head and antlers. Similar marks are known from contemporary cranequins.

The original brown limewood tiller stock is lavishly punched over its entire length with a lozenge pattern and Late-Gothic star- or flower-like designs, the way the were used to decorate contemporary book bindings.
A mid-15th c. caduceus (Heroldsstab) in the Historic Museum Dresden shows similar staging and zigzag decoration, and both a haquebut stock in the Bayerisches Armeemuseum Ingolstadt (inv.no. A210) and a small cannon (Tarrasbüchse) in the Burgmuseum Wels, Austria, are similarly punched (attachments).

A similar but plain socketed arquebus is preserved in the Polish National Museum Warsaw, the original tiller stock hollowed out to receive the ramrod (attached).

Best,
Michael

Matchlock 20th April 2012 01:39 PM

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Some more book bindings with similar punched decoration.
m

Matchlock 24th April 2012 01:45 PM

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A similar brass barrel, ca. 1490-1500, probably founded in a Nuremberg workshop, and in excavated condition, the breech struck with a Gothic minuscule s mark, fetched 8,000 euro including buyer's premium at Hermann Historica's yesterday.
It is mainly the short and pronounced octagonal muzzle section that accounts for the assigned date.

Here are the details.

m

Matchlock 24th April 2012 01:53 PM

9 Attachment(s)
More close-ups.

Matchlock 25th April 2012 10:03 PM

5 Attachment(s)
A supplement to post # 17:

The Warsaw tiller arquebus can also be closely dated to ca. 1500; one basic fact, though by far not the only one, is that the swiveling pan cover is fixed by a screw - the earliest known use of a screw on any firearm.
As I stated here earlier, screws - though well-known - are not recorded to have come into use on items involving mechanics before the end of the 15th c., such as the Maximilian tournament breast plates (Stechzeuge) of ca. 1490 and 1495 preserved in the Vienna Armory.
Their screw heads are of early, highly figured shape.

Interestingly enough, screw heads on finely made wheellocks still retained that Gothic shape up to the mid-16th c., as can be seen on a mechanism dated 1551, also in Vienna; author's photos.


Best,
Michael

Matchlock 28th April 2012 07:28 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Landsknecht arkebuses with brass barrels, the stocks stained black, similar to the sample preserved in St. Petersburg (see post # 2).
Albrecht Altdorfer, 1513-15, Schweizer Krieg, from the Triumphal Procession (Triumphzug) for the Emperor Maximilian I.

m

Matchlock 28th April 2012 08:04 PM

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The next generation of Landsknecht arquebuses, and at the same time the last employing brass barrels, early 1520's, the multiple-staged barrel with long, accentuated muzzle section, the parts of the snap-tinderlock not yet united on a lock plate but separately nailed to the stock. Only the serpentine is shown to be mounted on a small plate; the cocked serpentine against which a long spring acted was mostly triggered by a right-hand side lateral push button. Only one arquebus lying on the ground is shown to feature a long tiller trigger.
Most stocks are depicted plain and undyed but one is represented to be painted red.
The length of typically thick and early match cord was only used to light a small piece of tinder that was placed in a tube at the top of the serpentine and was probably replaced before firing the next shot.

Please note the earliest bandoliers with small tinned-iron powder containers.

From a series of tapestries depicting scenes from the Battle of Pavia, 24 February 1525, preserved in the Museo di Capodimonte, Naples. They were woven in Brussels workshops in the late 1520's, after desings by Bernard van Orley.

Best,
Michael

Matchlock 30th April 2012 06:27 PM

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A woodcut from Flavius Vegetius Renatus, Vier Bücher der Ritterschaft (fol. 170), published in 1511, of an arquebusier holding his arquebus with the barrel down.

m

Matchlock 1st May 2012 06:16 PM

5 Attachment(s)
Brass-barreled snap-tinderlock arquebuses, from an illustrated inventory of the 'Maximilian' armories, ca. 1502; BSB Munich, cod. icon. 222, fol. 114.

Two stocks are shown painted red, and the tinder serpentines are incorrectly depicted to be mounted on the barrels.

As the mechanical lock parts must have been nailed or clamped to the stock, they seem to have been triggered by a right-hand side lateral push button, most probably located in front of the serpentine and activated by a finger of the left hand.

Some of the wooden ramrods are depicted to have an iron finial, most probably threaded for a worm and scourer - just the way they were made for 'service' use until the early 18th c.


m

Matchlock 1st May 2012 06:34 PM

16th to 17th C. Worms, Scourers and Ball Extractors for Wooden Ramrods
 
2 Attachment(s)
Author's collection.

m

fernando 2nd May 2012 10:58 AM

16th to 17th C. Worms, Scourers and Ball Extractors for Wooden Ramrods
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
Author's collection.
m

How fine and professional theses tools are.
Judgind by its number and variety, this collector must have had a gun repair workshop in his prior (renaissance) incarnation. :cool:
I wish i had a fraction of these. :shrug:

Matchlock 2nd May 2012 01:22 PM

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Thank you, 'Nando,

Actually their number seemed to have slightly increased within the last years, so I took some new images today: :D

m

Matchlock 2nd May 2012 01:30 PM

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A snap-tinderlock arquebus, together with its accouterments including worms, scourers and ball extractors for the ramrod finial.
From a South German manuscript, ca. 1525-30.

m

fernando 2nd May 2012 03:00 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
Thank you, 'Nando,

Actually their number seemed to have slightly increased within the last years, so I took some new images today: :D

m


Astonishing :eek:


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