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Old 15th November 2008, 02:59 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default A very fine Tusco-Emilian snap matchlock Landsknecht's harquebus, ca. 1525

The arquebus on top of the photos of four is the object of this post.

The finely wrought and iron carved barrel in three stages, with tubular backsight and pan with swiveling cover, the long, heavily swamped muzzle head left unstocked, as is characteristic of guns from ca. 1500-40.
Delicate snap matchlock mechanism, the zoomorphic serpentine in the shape of a sea horse, with wing nut.
The finely figured walnut stock of early Landsknecht form, with a small butt trap and sliding cover at the underside. The original contents are retained and document that it was not a "patch box". Stored in it are two small iron tools threaded to fit in the rear iron finial of the original ramrod: a ball extractor, with a horn spacer to fit exactly the barrel bore and keep the extractor from being slanted, and a scourer. Those two extremely rare tools are wrapped in their original sleeve made of staghorn skin to prevent them from rattling around. Furthermore this trap retains an original caliber lead ball, now oxidized to a light gray surface and showing a small drilled hole from the extractor.

On the left underside of the rear of the barrel there is a deeply struck mark in the shape of the horizontal Gothic miniscule e, resembling a w at first sight. Without a doubt it stands for Emilia and is known in identical form from the barrel of a wonderful wheel-lock harquebus, ca. 1540, in the Wiener Waffensammlung. Cinquedeas (cinquedeae?) of early 16th century date bear almost the same e mark, e.g. a fine blued and gilt piece in the Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milano.

Overall length 82 cm, cal. 14 mm smoothbore.

When I had the chance to purchase that piece I could not believe in what perfectly untouched condition it was, and even now, after more than ten years, it strikes me each time anew.

Proud as hell ,

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