Join Date: Dec 2004
Nando: Congratulations on a very interesting blunderbuss! First Portuguese lock I've seen with a brass lockplate.
For the benefit of forum readers at-large, it's the type called pé de cabra or goat's foot, for the projecting "hoof" at the base of the cock which engages the half- and full-cock sear studs. The foot appears to be an adaptation of the Spanish patilla as seen on the common miquelet lock originating in that country, here incorporated in a mechanism that uses an internal mainspring as on other flintlocks.
Goat's foot locks, which are generally seen on guns dated to the first quarter of the 19th cent., appear to be an offshoot of the Portuguese fecho de nó or "knot" lock, originating in the late 17th cent. The knot lock has a similar exterior appearance but lacks the "foot"; an internal tumbler with half- and full-cock detents in the French style provides the sear engagement (see Daehnhardt, Espingarda Perfeyta , photoplates Figs. 19, 20 for an example).
These goat locks usually have lockplates shaped in the French style, as seen on this example. Daehnhardt / Gaier, Espingardaria Portuguesa, Armurerie Liègeoise has two analogous goat's foot locks mounted on pistols, in plate 11.
Udo: Thanks for posting your example of a goa'ts foot lock, whose uniquely shaped and curved lockplate revives that on the earlier and iconic Portuguese fecho de molinhas or "spring lock" (which you also illustrate in your post). A typical case of the Portuguese love of hybridization, and the strength of tradition.
This peculiar style of lockplate illustrates the persistence of the external styling of the molinhas type which is also retained in an outwardly similar and later hybrid called fecho de três parafusos (three-screw lock, from its method of mounting to the stock). But in this instance, the more complex and expensive-to-produce sear mechanism of the original molinhas design is replaced by the simpler "guts" of the typical "French" flintlock.
(to forum readers: please refer to Corrado's post immediately preceding for two views of a molinhas lock, one of which shows the internal workings which as can be seen have a sear system notably different from the familiar, so-called French lock that we commonly see. For those so inclined, Daehnhardt, Espingarda Perfeyta contains two diagrams of a molinhas inside and out with all its parts identified in Portuguese and English, plus photo images Figs 23-27 of several examples all with the curved lockplates). But let's keep our eyes on the goat for now...
A final note of comparison is that both the molinhas and the later hybrid três parafusos locks do not have the projecting foot on the cock and the miquelet-type transverse sears of the fecho pé de cabra seen on Nando's blunderbuss. This, despite any similarities in cock jaws, lockplate, or frizzen spring. Below is an example of a três parafusos probably of Liège manufacture for the Portuguese colonial trade. This external view shows something that is practically indistinguishable from the molinhas locks that Daehnhardt illustrates (supra):