Three remarkable wrought-iron barrels from Montjuic Castle, near Barcelona, Spain:
They came from a U.S. dealer who had many more, all deacessioned from that castle.
The first one is the plainest of this group of three; it is in my collection.
It is a small tiller gun (German: Viertelhaken
), ca. 1430-40
, of round section throughout, with short, early-style reinforced, octagonally accentuated breech
!), small touch hole (ca. 2 mm) on top, in the center of a hollowed trough, the round socket retaining a heavily wormed portion of its original wooden tiller stock; the crudely wrought barrel tapering towards the short, swamped, round and bell-mouthed muzzle section; no sighting.
The socket inscribed in ink now turned yellowish:
CASTiLLO de BERNAT (the rest illegible)
BARCELONA SPAIN (again the rest illegible)
1331 . A.D.
Very few other barrels are known to feature a notably reinforced breech section; they all date of the beginning and the first half of the 15th c.
Preserved in optimum, virtually untouched condition.
Overall length 72.6 cm, barrel length 56.2 cm, bore ca. 21 mm, somewhat irregularly.
The second is highly notable for its socket folding for transport: another Viertelhaken
, ca. 1440-50
, of round section throughout, with seven reinforcing rings, the short rounded breech pierced with an irregular small touch hole on top amidst a round trough, the round socket inscribed similar to the first, equiped with a threaded double-scroll wingnut and folding down with the wingnut loosened (the wooden tiller stock missing), and short, round, swamped muzzle section.
Barrel length 45.5 cm, bore 12 mm.
The third of similar small dimensions
, of round section throughout, the long, reinforced, round breech with small touch hole on top, accentuated by three raised bands, the foremost two crudely roped, the long, round, integrally wrought iron tiller bent upwards and terminating in a swamped mushroom-shaped knob. On the ground of the two roped bands, I would tend to date this 'late 15th c.', but then again, all the remaining criteria are so close to the other two barrels that these roped friezes may be a later addition.
In all, this tiller gun should be attributed to the mid-15th c
Exact measurements not recorded.