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Old 4th July 2010, 11:10 PM   #9
Matchlock
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default Some very similar handgonnes, ca. 1350-1400

The first little Steinbüchse was sold Christie's Rome, June 18, 1975.
It only measures 23 cm overall, no further measurements provided. And it, too, is made of wound band iron.
As it is very small, with a relatively little touchhole, there is a high probability for it to be of very early date (ca. 1350). All beginnings, whether in nature or technology, are small, and this is especially true for earliest firearms.

Next follows another, later Steinbüchse, ca. 1450, telling from its reinforcement rings and its general shape, of wrought iron, is in the Army Museum Bukarest, Romania. I doubt whether the stone ball shown next to it would actually fit the bore of this specimen. I estimate its length to be ca. 40 cm.

The third is a fragment of a larger ship cannon of ca. 1400 and made of iron staves and hoops (German Stabring-Geschütz), preserved in the museum at Maldon, Essex. Although it was found in an early 16th century shipwreck, together with stone balls and remnants of its original elm wood carriage, it is some 100 years older than that ship. The relic demonstrates its special way of construction, as well as another similar Stabring-Geschütz in the Musée de l'Armée Paris does, which is shown here next in line.

Next follows a series of 6 images depicting the cannon courtyard at the Musée de l'Armée Paris and details of a very special Steinbüchse, ca. 1380, which may even retain its original stock of characteristic Gothic form with stepped folded edges. I estimate its overall length to measure about 1 meter. In one of the pics it is seen together with an early 15th century breech loading cannon, its breech now missing.

Please cf. my former thread on early breech loading.

To be continued!

Best,
Michael
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