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Old 16th June 2009, 12:01 AM   #1
searcher1970
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Default Matchlock website

Howdy all, I just found this forum today. Looks like a great place. Heres a link to my website on matchlocks. http://www.geocities.com/matchlock35/ I'm in the process of rebuilding it elsewhere because geocities is shutting down. The Spanish guns on my site were recovered from the treasure ship Atocha which sank off Florida in 1622. Heres a little history on the ship http://www.atocha.com/atocha_history.php

Rob
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Old 17th June 2009, 08:14 PM   #2
Spiridonov
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We do not have 100 % of proofs that lock precisely of this kind existed in the end of 15 centuries.
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Old 19th June 2009, 05:03 PM   #3
Matchlock
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Exactly, Spiridonov,

This kind of tinder snap lock, with only a part lock plate of brass for the serpentine and all other parts mounted separately on the stock, was traditionally dated "late 15th century" in literature from ca. 1900-1980. Hundreds of harquebuses and haquebuts with this kind of mechanism are preserved at the Západoczeské Muzeum Pilsen, Czechia, and I photographed and examined many of them in 2000.

As I pointed out in an earlier post, due to the shape and place of their back sights (the original tubular sights all missing now), their barrels in general with their long muzzle sections left unstocked, and their stocks, clearly denote that they are Nuremberg productions of ca. 1525-30.

A longer gun with the same mechanism at the Landeszeughaus Graz, also posted here earlier, was dated "late 15th century" by Arne Hoff before I identified its maker's mark: Peter Hofkircher started to make such haquebuts for the Graz Arsenal in 1526.

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Old 19th June 2009, 05:05 PM   #4
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The key symbol branded into to the butt stock is the Pilsen arsenal mark.

m
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Old 20th June 2009, 10:58 PM   #5
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Thank you, Matchlock! Nice fotos. Do You have the data about snapping-matchlock in the end of 15 centuries?
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Old 21st June 2009, 05:24 PM   #6
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Hi Spiridonov,

Unfortunately we do not have secure records of what late 15th century matchlock mechanisms looked like. None of them seems to actually have come down on us.

Interesting enough, we do know of some historic illustrations of ca. 1480-1516 showing quite contradictory types of lock mechanisms. While the earliest illustrations seem to show more developed locks, with all mechanical parts united on a lock plate (!), those of slightly later date depict much more primitive and rudimentary snap tinder mechanisms, with their single functional parts just nailed or clamped to the stock. We therefore must assume that both types were employed alongside for a few decades.

I attach, from top to bottom:

- line drawings from the Ingenieurkunst- und Wunderbuch (Book of the Art of Engineering and Wonders), Weimar, ca. 1500-20

- two details from a woodcut by Hans Schäufelein, ca. 1512, clearly depicting fully developed back action snap tinder locks with lock plates

- (at the bottom): the earliest known actual snap tinder lock mechanism worldwide with its laterally acting button trigger mechanism, ca. 1510-15, from my collection; this one greatly resembles the Schäufelein illustration

- three details of a Landsknecht harquebus, ca. 1500, in the Royal Armouries Leeds; although all lock parts are missing now you can see that they were fixed to the stock separately and that there never was a lock plate

- a detail of a colored woodcut from the Theuerdank, ca. 1516, showing the Holy Roman Emperor Maximlian I. aiming a short copper alloy barrel harquebus with the serpentine cocked and with no lock plate yet

- two details of an almost identical Nuremberg harquebus preserved at the Hermitage Museum St. Petersburg, with all its lock parts still present, the stock painted with the coat of arms of the Nuremberg family of Behaim.

Spiridonov, I would be very grateful if you could take good and detailed photos of that latter one, from various points of view and all sides!

Regards,
Michael
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Old 23rd June 2009, 02:16 PM   #7
Jim McDougall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by searcher1970
Howdy all, I just found this forum today. Looks like a great place. Heres a link to my website on matchlocks. http://www.geocities.com/matchlock35/ I'm in the process of rebuilding it elsewhere because geocities is shutting down. The Spanish guns on my site were recovered from the treasure ship Atocha which sank off Florida in 1622. Heres a little history on the ship http://www.atocha.com/atocha_history.php

Rob



Nicely done Searcher! Great site, and thank you for the link to the Atocha, one of the true pinnacles of nautical archaeology and history of Spain's new world.
I would like to welcome you here and look forward to your contributions in the ever growing and valuable material on these weapons.

All the very best,
Jim
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