View Single Post
Old 20th May 2014, 12:57 PM   #10
Matchlock's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310

The attachments of restocked wall guns in the Graz Armory continued from post #6; for the description see post #2. The barrel tangs and pans of these barrels testify earlier amendments carried through in the Graz arsenal between ca. 1530 and 1560. The rear sights partly date back to either that period, or, as in the case illustrated here, were added during the first half of the Thirty Years War.

Photos #3 through #7 show one of the oldest Graz barrels, of octagonal section throughout, and terminating in a short, heavily swamped muzzle section, indented with the hammer to evoke the impression of a crown (German: Maximilianischer Krönlein-Mündungskopf).
For more on this Late Gothic design of both columns and barrels shaperd likewise, cf. my thread

The present stock may well be the first, or was replaced in the early 16th century the latest. The plate for a matchlock mechanism (with the serpentine missing) is a Thirty Years War addition.

Above the breech, and right in front of the rear sight, there is a wellknown, because often seen and deeply struck barrelsmith's mark, a so-called house mark, representing a certain workshop or maker by the symbol in a shield.
The author has documented this mark on about 80 various wrought iron wall gun barrels, all of them datable to ca. 1490-1510, among them a haquebut retaining its original ash wood stock, and a detached barrel belonging to the very same series, both specimens in the author's collection:

Most of these barrels are preserved in Bavarian museums nowadays, with the Veste Oberhaus in Passau housing the largest number of about 30 pieces; more barrels struck with this mark are kept in the Bavarian Army Museum in Ingolstadt, the Historisches Museum in Regensburg, the Stadtmuseum in Schweinfurt, and some more are in private collections like mine.

I was told by the Graz administration that Winfried Tittmann had attributed this mark to Peter Pögl of Thörl near Innsbruck, The Tyrol, who furnished large numbers of wrought iron haquebut barrels and cannon balls (!) for the Maximilian Armories.
This attribution may be doubted, on the grounds that the vast majority of those barrels struck with this very same mark has been in German, especially in Bavarian armories, since the time of their production more than 500 years ago, while only very few specimen have survived in Austrian museums.
The largest amount by far of those haquebut barrels, about 30, is preserved in the Veste (fortress) Oberhaus in Passau, Lower Bavaria.

One of the barrels in the author's collection, struck with this mark, originally comes from the Passau armory, and so does the historically highly important piece dated 1481, which is the world's second oldest known dated barrel of any 'long gun' small gun - apart from a very doubtful brass/bronze haquebut barrel in the museum of Gerolzhofen, Upper Franconia, Bavaria, which is struck ! with the spurious date 1474. Usually, and among other features of that piece in question, dates on cast barrels were founded integrally in high relief, and chiseled afterwards.
I will post more on this barrel in a thread of its own, proving that the date 1474 is a fake, obviously done in the German Historismus period, and most probably in 1874, to commemorate 'the good old Gothic period'. Futhermore, all three of the Gerolzhofen cast barrels were crudely transformed to percussion and obviously fired in the mid or second half of the 19thh century. As they could not cope up with the stronger 19th century black powder, two of them are in burst condition now.

Other haquebut barrels struck with this mark are preserved in the Historisches Museum in Regensburg, all of them bought from the Fortress Oberhaus in Passau, and via a dealer, during World War II; in the Bavarian Army Museum in Ingolstadt, all of them coming from the former Bavarian Hauptzeughaus (main arsenal) in Munich; in the Veste Coburg, and in the Stadtmuseum in Schweinfurt, and in a few private collections, among them that of the author.

Back to discussing the attribution of the barrelsmith's mark:
As Peter Pögl's father, Sebald Pögl I, used a mark depicting a short hammer, its fore end split and shaped like the foot of a goat (German: Geißfußhammer), employed to extract nails, it appears less likely for his son to create a mark of such a different design.
Moreover, the fact that only very few barrels have survived in Austrian museums, and with so many of them still existing in Bavaria, it seems more probable that they were originally made in a big workshop in Nuremberg, from where most of the 15th and 16th century weapons werde exported to literally the Old World.
In Germany, there is a Medieval saying: Nürnberger Tand geht in alle Land, meaning that the majority of all kinds of goods produced was made in Nuremberg workshops.


Finally, the last attachments:

- 3 photos of a 17th century wall gun (in the foreground), the stock screwed to a wooden stand (museum of the town of Gerolzhofen) - in the same manner that my arquebus was obviously 'secured'; cf. post #4, last paragraph.

All author's photos.


All author's photos.
Attached Images
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote