Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
A Very Fine Brass Barrel Tiller Arquebus, ca. 1490-1500
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).