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-   -   Miquelet Pistol, decoration and maker questions (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=16468)

dana_w 3rd December 2012 09:50 PM

Miquelet Pistol, decoration and maker questions
 
8 Attachment(s)
This Miquelet Pistol is one of a pair. It has a patilla style lock, a gold touch hole, a two stage pinned barrel, a steel ramrod and a side plate with an attached belt hook. The stock is Catalan style. The furniture was once blued with gold leaf in the relief. Very little of the gold leaf remains. The floral decorations on top of the barrel look like they are silver. There is a makers mark on top of the barrel and on the front of the battery. Both marks have a little gold leaf remaining. I haven't been able to locate the marks in the books that I have.

Overall Length: 11 2/8 inches
Barrel Length: 5 15/16 inches
Barrel Diameter at Muzzle: .640 inches
Weight: 1 lb, 8 5/8 ox

The only other thing I know about these pistols is that they were purchased at one of the first MACA Baltimore gun shows.

Can anyone tell me something about the barrel decorations or the maker marks? Any other comments or corrections would be appreciated too.

FYI: images Copyright © 2010-2012 Dana Williams, All Rights Reserved

fernando 4th December 2012 01:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dana_w
This Miquelet Pistol is one of a pair.

Do you still have the pair, Dana ?

dana_w 4th December 2012 01:08 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Do you still have the pair, Dana ?


Yes, I have the pair. It was just easier to put up detailed photos of one pistol.

fernando 4th December 2012 03:17 PM

At first reaction i realized these could be Portuguese; the tradional so called "egg butt" pistols. This eventuality brought me a significant enthusiasm ;) . But after consulting someone experienced in this area, who dealt with several egg butt pistols from both XVIII-XIX century, with the three different types of lock, i was told these could be indeed Spanish versions.
If you have James Lavin "A history of SPANISH FIREMARS", you may be interested in observing gunmaker's mark #96 (page 277) named Seria. Maybe this is your guy.

dana_w 4th December 2012 03:33 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
If you have James Lavin "A history of SPANISH FIREMARS", you may be interested in observing gunmaker's mark #96 (page 277) named Seria. Maybe this is your guy.


I guess that could be a "Y", It looks like a "T" to me and the style seems 17th century. These marks can really be critic. Looks like the barrel mark says CERRA. Have you seen a place name in one of these marks?

Here is the mark from the other pistol in the set.

fernando 4th December 2012 05:02 PM

You are quite right in that these things are often a dilemma to solve.
Weapons smiths weren't necessarily fine writers; the are lots of their names wrongly spelled.
The barrel maker is often a person other than the lock maker; the similarity in both marks lettering would just be a coincidence.
Cerra doen'st sound spanish (Castillian); Cierra would sound better ... but Sierra would sound best.
Serrat is a Catalunian name and matches with the lock mark letters; who knows?
XVII century ? I would be deeply surprised :confused: .

dana_w 4th December 2012 05:05 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
XVII century ? I would be deeply surprised :confused: .


You didn't say what you think.

fernando 4th December 2012 06:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dana_w
You didn't say what you think.

I am no expert ... mid-end XVIII ... hardly beg. XIX. Remember the miquelet lock lasted til very late. But if i had no third party opinion, i would date it as XVIII ... even if late.

dana_w 4th December 2012 06:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
I am no expert ... mid-end XVIII ... hardly beg. XIX. Remember the miquelet lock lasted til very late. But if i had no third party opinion, i would date it as XVIII ... even if late.


I would love to hear what everyone thinks about that. Looks earlier to me. You are right about the Miquelet. They were in use a long, long, time, and for good reason.

fernando 4th December 2012 06:40 PM

I will in the meantime try and ask the opinion of this person i asked about the pistols origin.

Just phoned him ... transition XVIII-XIX :shrug:

dana_w 4th December 2012 06:44 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
I will in the meantime try and ask the opinion of this person i asked about the pistols origin.


That is great. I am here to hear what other knowledgeable people think. Even if I don't always agree! ;)

fernando 5th December 2012 05:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dana_w
That is great. I am here to hear what other knowledgeable people think. Even if I don't always agree! ;)

Probably you didn't notice my later paragraph in my post #10.
The opinion of Eduardo Nobre, author of As Armas e os Barões, a book where he dedicates a chapter to Egg Butt pistols, with an introduction to this species plus some twenty multi angle ilustrated examples, is that yours is from the transition period XVIII - XIX centuries.
Obviously you are not compelled to accept such opinion :shrug: .

dana_w 5th December 2012 05:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Probably you didn't notice my later paragraph in my post #10.
The opinion of Eduardo Nobre, author of As Armas e os Barões, a book where he dedicates a chapter to Egg Butt pistols, with an introduction to this species plus some twenty multi angle ilustrated examples, is that yours is from the transition period XVIII - XIX centuries.
Obviously you are not compelled to accept such opinion :shrug: .


Please thank him for me! I wish we could find the maker. That would clear things up. If it really is Seria (#96 Levin) that would be ~ c1739.

Zwielicht 5th December 2012 06:37 PM

What a beautiful thing... :)

dana_w 13th December 2012 02:08 AM

Egg Butt pistols
 
I haven't had much luck searching for the term "Egg Butt" pistols. Unfortunately I can't read "As Armas e os Barões" as I only speak English :( .
Can someone point me at another search term or a link?

Also is there a proper term for the large decorative side plates on the handles of these pistols?

Fernando K 13th December 2012 11:50 AM

Hello:

Although Portuguese is not my language, the phrase "butt Egg" refers butt plate, which is egg-shaped, and can be seen in the second image.

Affectionately. Fernando K

dana_w 13th December 2012 12:06 PM

No luck searching for Egg Butt Pistols or Ovo pistola bunda. Google results Zero.

Fernando K 13th December 2012 12:26 PM

Hello:

Working with Google's translator, "ovo gun bunda" translates into Spanish as "gun butt Egg" and the English "egg pistol butt" ....... (?)

Affectionately. Fernando K

dana_w 13th December 2012 12:40 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fernando K
Hello:

Working with Google's translator, "ovo gun bunda" translates into Spanish as "gun butt Egg" and the English "egg pistol butt" ....... (?)

Affectionately. Fernando K


That is the best I can up with. I am using Google's translator too. If "egg butt pistol" was an English term in common use, something would turn up. Maybe Fernando has a better Portuguese term that I can search for.

fernando 13th December 2012 01:10 PM

Watch out for automatic translations. The term you got for 'butt' was the brazilian vulgar term for women's butt (bunda).
The actual portuguese name for these pistols is 'pistola de coronha de ovo'; it would be 'cureña de huevo' in Spanish. But i guess that, even this butt shape originates in Spain, the term coronha de ovo is genuine portuguese, with no pracrical translation.
Therefore the only chance to find the term in the internet is in portuguese. I have found a couple pistols in auction sites but the image was gone, as the items were sold.
I will be back with further info.

fernando 13th December 2012 04:45 PM

9 Attachment(s)
Here you have them of all kinds; ignition systems of all types ... patilla variations, 'half French-half Portuguese', 'Goats foot', English type, percussion and converted to percussion. Iron and brass butt plates ... and even one with rotary barrels.
One thing in common is the egg shaped butt ... that can be pointing to either direction.
One of the details that distinguishes Portuguese pistols from Spanish is that, the butt plate in the Spanish models is limited to the butt shape whereas in the Portuguese pistols there is a rim 'folding' to the stock

Sorry for the poor pictures. The book is a bit to heavy and large for me (one handed) to handle on the scanner.

.

dana_w 13th December 2012 05:40 PM

Some of those butt plates really do look egg shaped. Thanks for sending me the Portuguese and Spanish names. I have had a lot better luck searching with those.

dana_w 13th December 2012 07:19 PM

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What do you make of these pistols from Dr. Lavin's book on page 222? He discuses the stocks on page 192.

..."appears to be directly descended from an earlier Brescian shoulder stock. The use of an almost identical pistol stock in Spain would seem to support this. However, no Spanish example of this stock appears until late in the seventeenth century in Ripoll or in the eighteenth century in Castilla (Plate 87). Extremely popular, it lasted until well into the nineteenth century, when the downward curve became more pronounced (Plate 88).

fernando 14th December 2012 03:35 PM

2 Attachment(s)
We also had our share of this stock style in Portugal.
The attached pair, dated 2nd half XVIII century, fully mounted and decorated in chizeled silver, belonged to General Povoas (1773-1852). Having later belonged in the collection of Dom Fernando II, is now in the Ducal Palace of Vila Viçosa ( House of Bragança).

.

dana_w 14th December 2012 05:11 PM

That really looks like a Ripoll style lock. Do you think / know that they were made in Portugal?

Fernando K 14th December 2012 05:14 PM

Hello, Fernando

I wonder what that piece is decorated, retained by a screw, located in front of the bowl (pan) and its flange (bridge)

Affectionately. Fernando K

fernando 14th December 2012 06:00 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fernando K
Hello, Fernando

I wonder what that piece is decorated, retained by a screw, located in front of the bowl (pan) and its flange (bridge)

Affectionately. Fernando K


There is also one in front of the hammer base. They are finely filed. They are described as mirrors (espelhos=espejos). I ignore their pourpose ... decoration, protection, dust guards.
I can see similar ones in a pistol made in Oporto dated 1780 and also in one made in (Ex-Portuguese Indian territory) Goa in 1776. I will try and find out what they are for.

fernando 14th December 2012 06:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dana_w
That really looks like a Ripoll style lock. Do you think / know that they were made in Portugal?

Yes,
The pistols described in post #27 are Portuguese and have the same type of stock. The one made in Oporto also has an egg shape butt, pointing upwards (quoting).

dana_w 14th December 2012 06:58 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Yes, The pistols described in post #27


I was under the impression that fan-shaped bridles were exclusive to Ripoll, or a maker from Ripoll. Here is an example made by Armanguer and dated 1675 on the inside of the lock.


"Cock and battery bridles seldom lacked decoration, even when the lock was otherwise plain. In Espinar’s day, except in the case of luxury arms, this rarely consisted of more than could be done by the gunsmith with file and chisel. In the beginning, it was restricted to spirals carried over directly from the Spanish wheel-lock. This ornament disappeared shortly after the middle of the seventeenth century.
Frequently, both bridles took the same form; that of the cock had a straight forward edge, while the rear had a pronounced S curve. The lower extreme was notched to form an inverted V. In the battery bridle, the design was merely reversed and placed horizontally. Fluted, fan-shaped bridles appear to have been restricted entirely to Ripoll, excepting the products of transplanted gunsmiths."

A History of Spanish Firearms, page 169

Attached photo

fernando 15th December 2012 01:19 PM

2 Attachment(s)
The fact that:

(Quote) Fluted, fan-shaped bridles appear to have been restricted entirely to Ripoll, excepting the products of transplanted gunsmiths.(Unquote)

Doesn't prevent from a fashion being spread all over ... specially facing a Country situated just across the border, which has also been occupied by Spain during 1580-1640. For such reason very often there is a preference to name a period weapon as Iberian, instead of Spanish or Portuguese.

.

dana_w 15th December 2012 01:36 PM

It is a little confusing to see Castilian style and Portuguese applied to that first pistol in post #30. I see the butt and butt plate distinctions you spoke about, are there any other differences that make this "Castilian style and Portuguese"?

Where did the image come from, your friends book? Do you have a closeup of the lock?

fernando 15th December 2012 03:11 PM

6 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dana_w
It is a little confusing to see Castilian style and Portuguese applied to that first pistol in post #30. I see the butt and butt plate distinctions you spoke about, are there any other differences that make this "Castilian style and Portuguese"?

Where did the image come from, your friends book? Do you have a closeup of the lock?

The Castillian style only refers to the lock (fecho) type. As there were also Portuguese versions, the authors make a point in distinguish them.
I don't have any close ups; i have a mere couple books and i scan them or i picture them while i discuss things in here.
These images are taken from the book ESPINGARDA PERFEYTA/ THE PERFECT GUN, a work written in the XVIII century by two (suspectedly three) Portuguese gun smith brothers, considered a unique achievement for the period, when the revealing of such techniques was considered a secret. This book became bilingual in 1974 when Rainer Daehnhardt and Keith Neal decided to translate it to english (ISBN 0 85667 014 6). You should buy one of these for your library ;) .
Here are some close ups of patilha locks à Castelhana. Perhaps you may recognize the differences; i wouldn't :o .


.

dana_w 15th December 2012 03:53 PM

I have a copy of Espingarda Perfeyta somewhere. I'll go do a little more reading. Thanks for the info.

dana_w 15th December 2012 04:18 PM

What Neal & Daehnhart call "Castilian style" in fig 16 (top two photos of your post #32) and fig 29 (third photo of your post #32) seem VERY different. I'd enjoy seeing some more precisely defined and explicit examples.

After reading both of their books, I am a big fan of Dr. Lavin's scholarship when compared to Neal. Don't get me wrong both books are great, but Lavin likes to use contemporary terms and names ("llave ala moda"), while Neal uses locations ("Madrid Lock"). Lavin seems to be the expert when it comes to Etymology.

fernando 15th December 2012 05:29 PM

I wouldn't sustain an academical discussion on this subject, as i don't have enough luggage for that. It could be a matter of interpretation, or a matter of being locks of different periods belonging in the same timeline, or a matter of only wishing to call a lock "à Castelhana" to define it as non Portuguese (for the matter); i wouldn't bet on which interpretation to adopt.
... Neither i would contradict you on which author has more authority in this area.
I know that the terminology is not entirely the same in either Country. I often see the patilha lock being called over here "patilha de invenção" (invention patilla), for one.
The fact is that Daehnhardt has in his collection locks by the thousand (thousand). In a quick (three hour) visit to his museum/residence i have seen several hundreds of them ... while my attention was locked on his vast amount of weapons. So i gather he should now a reasonable deal about locks.
Just as an aside, the curator of the Victoria Albert Museum paid him a visit to appreciate his locks colection and, at sight of the situation, decided to stay i the house for three days to fully cover the whole bunch.

dana_w 15th December 2012 06:01 PM

Added another Rainer Daehnhardt link
 
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I would LOVE to see a collection like the one you are talking about. I knew nothing about Professor Rainer Daehnhardt's collection until now. Thanks for putting me on the path! http://www.arscives.com/bladesign/history.htm http://www.arscives.com/bladesign/RDCollection.htm

A big problem I have in studying this subject is so much contradictory information on some of the details, and how much wrong information. For example Christies called this a Miquelet lock. I guess it could be a "Madrid" type Miquelet lock, but it sure doesn't look like it from the photo. Where are the horizontal sears?

http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/...42-details.aspx

Fernando K 15th December 2012 08:23 PM

Hola:

Creo que no hay confusion por lo sostenido por NEAL y LAVIN: uno habla de "a la moda" y el otro "a la moda de Madrid" porque esta llave fué producida, mayormente, por los arcabuceros de Madrid. Se trata de una llave (lock) con los "calzos" en el gatillo, el de media monta (half-cock) en la parte delantera, y el de disparo (full-cock) en la parte trasera.

LAVIN incluye un dibujo en página 183, y en el apendice A, en pagina 183, incluye un documento de Palacio sobre el precio a cobrar por los armeros al Rey.
En pàgina 287, del GLOSARIO, incluye una mencion: "Media llave a la moda con el juego al revés", o sea, con los "calzos" colocados de manera inversa, como sucede en el arma militar descripta por Barcelo Rubí en su Armamento Militar Español.

Afectuosamente. Fernando K

Fernando K 15th December 2012 08:26 PM

Hello:

I think there is confusion about what is claimed by NEAL and LAVIN: one speaks of "fashionable" and the other "fashionable Madrid" because this key was produced, mostly, by the arquebusiers of Madrid. This is a key (lock) with the "wedges" on the trigger, the mounting medium (half-cock) on the front, and the shutter (full-cock) in the rear.

LAVIN includes a drawing on page 183, and Appendix A, on page 183, includes a document Palace on the price charged for the dealers to the King.
On page 287, the glossary includes a mention: "Media key to fashion with the game backwards", ie the "chocks" placed in reverse, as in the military weapon described by Barcelo Rubi in Armament Spanish Military.

Affectionately. Fernando K

dana_w 15th December 2012 08:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fernando K
one speaks of "fashionable" and the other "fashionable Madrid" because this key was produced, mostly, by the arquebusiers of Madrid.


Both agree about the "llave ala moda" style being mainly from Madrid. Lavin likes to use the contemporary name. Neal named the lock for the place aka "Madrid lock" in his 1955 book (was the term used before then?). Most people have adopted Neal's term, but I like Lavin's. Lavin also translates "llave" as lock, not key. All of this is a little harder for those of us who don't speak anything but English. :shrug:

In any case Fernando K, I was just talking about the deferences between the two authors, and picked the "Madrid lock" as an example. I like both books.

Fernando and I are really talking about what makes a stock or a lock "Portuguese" in origin. That is what I am trying to understand. One example Fernando has given is the butt plate of the "egg butt" pistol, and how in wraps around the butt and up the sides of the stock for a short distance.

fernando 16th December 2012 03:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dana_w
.... For example Christies called this a Miquelet lock. I guess it could be a "Madrid" type Miquelet lock, but it sure doesn't look like it from the photo. Where are the horizontal sears? ...

Dana, you have enough knowledge to know this isn't at all a patilha (Miquelete) lock; even i know it.
(Commercial) people like to put appealing names on things. If you browse on antique cannons you will notice that the majority of them for sale are pretended to be Portuguese. Well, hardly one is :shrug:


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