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Old 16th April 2014, 06:00 PM   #295
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
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Two Late Gothic cranequins in the Deutsches Jagd- und Fischereimuseum Munich.
The first Nuremberg, ca. 1480-90, the crank making a bad fit and most probably not belonging. The maker's mark inlaid in brass, two crossed arrows, is a well known Nuremberg workshop mark that obviously was struck over more than 50 years and, of course, from various stamps. It is found on cranequins ranging from the late 15th (this cranequin in discussion) to the mid-16th century (a cranequin dated 1540 in the collection of a friend is the latest dated sample I know of), many of which are dated. It is also known in some variations from a heavy wrought-iron haquebut barrel of ca. 1460/70 and from finely wrought Nuremberg arquebus barrels dated 1537 and 1539 respectively. Thus it must have belonged to a prolific Nuremberg ironworks workshop.

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The second ca. 1500, combining old stylistic elements like the claws and the brass inlaid lid of the gear case pierced with Gothic tracery, with new features characteristic of the Early Renaissance period, like the relatively broad and short rack.
The date assigned by the museum, 'ca. 1560', falls far short of reality.
The maker's mark, a serpent inlaid in brass, is known from other contemporary cranequins. The side of the gear case is pierced twice with the Gothic ornament of a quatrefoil.
There is a recess on both sides right before the claws, possibly a former dovetail for two small brass plates that would have perfectly matched the brass covered gear case. The combination of wrought iron and brass is characteristic of ironworks of the transitional Late Gothic/Early Renaissance style at the turn of the 15th to the 16th century.

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