Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
A Stunning High-Gothic Tiller Arquebus, ca. 1400?
Of wrought iron, multi-staged and fitted with two iron reinforcing rings, the socket for the tiller stock (missing) wrought integrally.
Overall length 29.5 cm.
The manufacturing techniques, the short actual barrel length just sufficient to receive a stone ball, the angularly reinforced breech with the big molded touch hole on top and the state of corrosion would all suggest a small stone-ball firing gun (Steinbüchse) of Northern European provenance and an age of ca. 600 years; the catalog description labeled it as 'Chinese, 19th c.' though.
Another fine example of a very similar small stone-ball firing gun, with an iron ring for employing it on horseback, 34.2 cm long, was sold Sotheby's London, 4.12.1988 (attached).
The small iron or bronze guns that I have seen offered with a Chinese or Indonesian provenance were often three- or four-barreled and reinforced with comparatively thin rings only, like the one fitted with percussion nipples (attached at bottom).
I would be interested to learn members' opinions on this topic - and to see more such Indonesian and Chinese primitive guns looking a lot like they were made in Old Europe 600 years ago!