Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
I guess the problem is definitely sorted out.
When it is about facts, I basically never rely on just a sketch, a line drawing, plus some assertions, from what side ever.
Not in the 1950's, that is, when Elllacott published his thesis.
Cameras had been invented more than 100 years before, and it is also a fact that he could have written a letter, or just rung up the staff of the Dresden Museum, requiring additional photos, and asking their opinion on the item.
So why didn't he? What actually made him phantasize and woolgather on strange theories, rumors and hearsayings.
The author cannot accept such a method completely contradictory to basic logical thinking and mental sanity - let alone any academic approach based on humanics and/or science.
What is the outcome?
The author's theses have been proven right. Even the close range he suggested for assigning a definite date of production for the so-called Monk's gun is very close to the timeline of origin speculated by Ellacott, although "ca. 1510-15" would be a bit too early, even for the stylistic feature Ellacott's line drawing shos, though definitely exaggerated: the clear formal staging of the barrel, with the filed moldings, as well as the already elongated and slightly swamped muzzle, both defining the timeline of origin given by the author of this thread, and post: ca. 1525-40.
Ellacott, on the contrary, like all weapons experts so far, was not able to explain the reason for the period of time he was supposing.
More material soon to be attached, including closely related mechanic ironwork like padlocks and dated cranequins, will show that the punched decoration identified and defined first by the author is found only on objects not only assigned to, but actually dated within, that narrow span of ca. 15 years.
It is all about facts.
One of these facts is that the author has demonstrated that the defining stylistic criteria set up by him are exact, and transferable to other period objects of arts and crafts alike, proving their doubtless reliability.
With regard to the ludo globi pointed out by the author, the Monk's "Gun", in all probability, was never actually meant to be a gun. This is the reason why the autor chose to term it the so-called Monk's Gun and, from the beginning, and has put the name set on that item in inverted commas, between quotes.
Cusanus, in Rome in 1463, at the dawn of the Renaissance age in Italy,
wrote a dialogue. It started
"... with Cusanus resting after having played a newly invented ball game. "No honest game is entirely lacking in the capacity to instruct." observes Cusanus. Having compared the motion of the misbalanced ball used in the game to the soul of man, set in motion by god, he moves on to discuss a game he had been toying with:
I thought to invent a game of knowledge, I considered how it should be done. Next I defined it, making it as you see."
The so-called Monk's gun was an ingenious lockmakers' mechanical joke represented by a master piece of ironwork (German: Scherzgefń▀). By its outer perception, and with the upcoming of new techniques like the watch and the wheellock, both acting on the fundamental invention of mankind, the wheel, it perfectly met the Renaissance taste, conveying the external impression of a firearm.
It may even never have been used as a gun but also as a tinder lighter, construed both beautifully and ingeniously, and for amusement on the ceremonial level of the courtly society. Its fine state of condition denotes that it ordered, and made, for a stunning Renaissance Cabinet of Arts and Curiosities (German: Kunst- und Wunderkammer): an object of wonder, joy and play, and for aristocrats to delight in.
At the same time, though, it represents what the mechanical ideas at the break of the Modern Age around 1500 were all about, and what, as all profound thinking, doubtlessly generated a byproduct.In this instance, it was the wheel applied for ignition: the flint or pyrite ignited sparks that would generate fire, for easy and practical everday use.
It was a sophisticated object of arts and crafts alike,
combining various mechanical refinement all of which represented the state of both art and "high tech" of ca. 1525-50:
those of a gun, a padlock, and a tinder lighter.
In each case it was a beautiful, refined and thrilling plaything, and certainly meant to be sort of a riddle from the beginning - by the nobleman who ordered it, and the locksmith who wrought it.
The flint had been in use for milions of years. The century of the Renaissance period was the interval age of the pyrite, also used in both wheel- and snaphaunce locks - before the (flint-)Stone Age was to take over once more, by the early 17th century, and carry on until the 21st.
For more than a decade, the author has knowlegde, and photos, of the only known actually surviving mechanical pyrite-ignited tinder lighter; it is of wrought iron throughout, rock solid, fully working and apt for everyday use - which the so-called Monk's Gun was definitely not. Still it is tiny enough to be covered by a hand - and its Late Gothic/Early Germanic Renaissance decoration, obvious though spare it is, just as that on the so-called Monks' gun and on both door- and padlocks, bears proof of its being its contemporary, and was wrought by a lock maker.
It will definitely enter The Michael Tr÷mner Collection soon, as the ultimate sensation. The pact is sealed.