Lead Moderator European Armoury
Join Date: Dec 2004
Good catch on the Pyrard de Laval quotation. Actually a more complete approach may be read in his integral work, where he says:
These Chingalas are very propper for mechanical arts and they work very subtly and delicately in gold, silver, iron and steel, with great perfection, in ivory and other materials. They fabricate all sort of arms, lique arquebuses, swords, pikes and bucklers, which are the more well made and esteemed in all India... I never thought they would be so exquisite in well fabricating arquebuses and other arms, elaborated and ornated, which are the nicest made around here.
We also know that, as probably already mentioned here, the city of Colombo specialized in fine matchlock muskets, which were exported to several other islands.
Attached we see pictures of three matchlock muskets ...
The first one a Portuguese-Shingalese example, still made in the XVI century, with a Portuguese barrel. Total length 170 cms.
The second one Shingalese example of great dimensions (195 cms). Dated XVII-XVIII century, it follows in all the model introduced by the Portuguese in 1505.
The third one (sorry the poor pictures) a fine Shingalese example from the XVIII century, with its typical bifurcated butt stock.
(Rainer Daehnhardt collection).