View Single Post
Old 25th June 2012, 04:21 PM   #8
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default

Hi Rick,


I am glad you found my contribution helpful, thanks.


As to the direction the serpentine moved: this is quite a demanding request but I will try and reply shortly within the given frame of this post.


In the earliest known illustration of a matchlock, Cod.vind. 3069, dated 1411, the serpentine - holding not a length of match but a piece of tinder!! - acts forward (top attachment).
It does likewise on the oldest known actually surviving completely preserved arquebus, ca. 1400-10, the spring-loaded serpentine and hook both working-time replacements of ca. 1430; in my collection (two photos attached).

It is only by the early 16th c. that we find the next-in-line illustrations in the Maximilian armory inventories, with serpentines for tinder depicted acting mostly backward, but in one instance also acting forward.

In the Marienkirche Reutlingen, Southern Germany, there is a sculpture of an arquebusier at the Holy Selpucher, 1513, the serpentine of his arquebus acting backward (2 photos).

In the Museum of the Fürstentum Lüneburg, Northern Germany, I photographed an altar piece of the Last Judgement, of ca. 1520, depicting a skeleton firing his tinderlock (!) arquebus with the serpentine acting forward (1 att.)

On tapestries on the Battle of Pavia, 1525, the tinderlock serpentines act forward, and from the 1530's to 40's we have instances of surviving arquebuses (four in the author's collection, attached) with matchlock serpentines acting in both directions, but mostly backward.

By the 1560's thru the early 18th c., the backward-acting matchlock has established itself as the standard military weapon while on special-purpose guns, e.g. target guns and muskets with combined matchlock and wheellock or combined snap- and lever-matchlock mechanisms, we still find serpentines acting towards the muzzle.


Please also check out my other threads on early tinder- and matchlocks!

Just a few:

- http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=15668

- http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=10029

- http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...=oldest+handgun

- http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...=oldest+handgun

- http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...=oldest+handgun

- http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...+1540+harquebus

- http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...+1540+harquebus

- http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...andsknecht+1540

- http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...necht+harquebus

- http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...necht+harquebus

- http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...tchlock+muskets

- http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...tchlock+muskets

- http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...tchlock+muskets




Best,
Michael
Attached Images
            
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote