Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Two Rare Composite Landsknecht Matchlock Arquebuses, Italy, ca. 1540-60
These two were sold at auction at von Morenberg, Trento, Italy, June 19, 2010.
Please note the heavy and stout three-stage barrels with their long muzzle sections left unstocked, which is stylistically absolutely correct for that period.
The first gun features a recycled Late Gothic barrel of ca. 1480 changing flats, shortened at the rear and with removed back sight, and with zoomorphic fire breathing sea monster shaped muzzle section, and a later mechanism of ca. 1560-70, just like the pan and cover. The fruitwood stock, as on the second arquebus, is a later replacement though not too bad in style. Considered as a whole, this piece gives a roughly good impression of how early 16th c. arquebuses looked like, though far from being a homogenuous item and therefore not worthy of joining a serious collection. Nevertheless it fetched over 6,500 euro, auction fees included.
The overall length is characteristic at 85 cm.
The second arquebus is, as stated above, also restocked in limewood using a ca. 1520 fluted and carved North Italian barrel - I could not identify the maker's mark - retaining its original pan, the cover missing its handle - and a ca. 1500 lock mechanism, the primitive serpentine without wingnut equipped with a length of original matchcord. The original tubular back sight is missing.
The overall length of 106 cm is also consistent with completely original arquebuses.
It reached about 6,000 euro.
Both ramrods are missing.
For similar but original Landsknecht short arquebuses, please cf.