Join Date: Dec 2004
I'd be interested in updating my reference material, please provide the source of the contention that the 1332 Chinese handgun is a fake. Though I am familiar with the gun only in photographs, the thought did cross my mind at one time when considering the piece's fairly crude exterior, in contrast to the careful attention to casting and finish on practically all of the other Chinese hand-cannons of the late medieval period (as well as slightly later Korean and Vietnamese examples) which have survived. The discrepancy is also notable when compared with the quality of casting of various utilitarian objects (bells and vessels, among other things) from China during the same time span.
That leaves the other dated examples in Blackmore's article which also predate 1481 by a good margin, but of course the argument is now moot since you have advised that the scope of your chronology excludes non-European cultures.
Please keep up the interesting posts. I am especially interested in the south German / Bohemian Schnappluntenschloss and its Portuguese and Oriental descendents, so look forward to being able to discuss these eventually.