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Old 1st March 2016, 05:51 PM   #17
Lead Moderator European Armoury
fernando's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 7,851

Now you caught me, Philip
I confess i do not have Hoffmeyer’s work. I took it that these arguments are more based in the offer and demand phenomena, resulting from economic conveniences and in the most, to mystics applied to each case and not in factual scientific judgement. You know, Toledo with its steel brought from Mondragon (País Vasco), the secret tempering recipes, the river Tejo waters and all that. Like Larrañaga and Azpiazu, each one pulls the ember to his sardine.

But i happen to have Lavin's book. Although i only consult it to check on a determined smith or a gun example, i have now actually read a number of pages; as many as the cats allowed me to, with their everlasting interfering curiosity, jumping over to the book while i read it. What i have learnt so far is that the Germans were not that bad; reason why Carlos V and Prince Filipe had acquired a number of arquebuses with the wheel-lock system to furnish the Royal gunsmiths patterns for their manufacture in Spain. That the same Carlos V brought to Spain the famous Marquarts, considered the best he found in Aubsburg, then considered the center of firearms in Europe, to work for him and later Kings. And so it seems as these Marquarts became the local stars, for the King ordered them to come to court (then Toledo) as being two Master Armorers, who were doubtless the two finest in that Empire.
On the other hand, naturally also Portuguese smiths, sometimes quoted by Lavin, would have a say in this subject; but the country been obscured by Spanish Filipes domination during 1580-1640 and the very little material written in this area makes us think that only a residual number of them existed. I am lucky to have a work done by an expert in these things, Sousa Viterbo called A ARMARIA EM PORTUGAL (1907), where he lists hundreds (hundreds) of smiths, makers of armor, swords, crossbows and firearms, of which a master Pero Vasques is recorded to have made the first example in 1461. It is indeed a precious and comprehensive work, where he lets us know not only the smith’s specialities but also the date of their Royal letters of privilege (licenses) and often their production activities, personal events, problems with justice and all.

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