Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > European Armoury
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 1st July 2010, 09:10 PM   #1
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default A Beautiful Mid-14th Century Handgonne

Now this one is especially to both you, Alexander and Fernando (in alphabetical order) but of course to all the others as well.

It is an extremely rare German wrought iron handgonne (German Handrohr) datable to ca. 1350-60. Its rarity is based on its special form, with the smaller breech to receive just the powder (German Pulverkammer) and the wider section for the ball (German Flug), both copied from bigger cannon. The small touchhole, placed near the rear end of the breech, and the fact that the whole barrel is wound of band iron give further evidence that we have here one of the earliest iron handguns ever made.

I do not trust the stock though it doubtlessly is a piece of old wood (so it makes an optimal replacement anyways) and the "hook" obviously is just a long nail which would never have successfully acted as a recoil stop. Apart from that, and as I have pointed out before, hooks on barrels do not seem to have appeared any earlier than ca. 1430. The "barrel band" is of course just a ridiculous piece of modern iron wire and there seems to be some clearance between the barrel and the forestock, according to which the barrel has slipped to the right a bit; the touchhole originally would have been on top of the breech.

This fine High Gothic hand cannon was in an Italian auction in 2004, and I am sorry not to have any measurements but on the basis of my experience I would estimate the length of the barrel to be ca. 30 cm all over. I remember the sale estimate was 3,000 euro (which I sadly did not have at that time) but it failed to sell and has never come my way again.

Best,
Michael
Attached Images
      
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st July 2010, 09:17 PM   #2
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default

Oh my, this came out so big that is literally bursting the screen width - sorry.
m
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st July 2010, 11:49 PM   #3
fernando
Lead Moderator European Armoury
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 6,404
Default

Hi Michl, what a great specimen .
But what am i missing here? Is the barrel made of two (separate) parts, or are the pictures that give such idea?
The caliber is quite a large one, right?
The stock might be a replacement, but the wood is rather nice.
'Nando
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd July 2010, 10:39 PM   #4
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default

Hi 'Nando,

Great minds think alike (and so do ours! )

I had the same impression when first looking at the pictures but the staff of the auction house assured me that the barrel actually consisted of one singular piece throughout. I think the caliber could be about 30 mm. The balls at that period of time were most probably made of stone; I got a few in my collection. That's where the special name of this kind of earliest guns came from: stone gonne (German Steinbüchse).

Best,
Michl
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd July 2010, 02:47 PM   #5
fernando
Lead Moderator European Armoury
 
fernando's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal
Posts: 6,404
Default

Hi Michl,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
... Great minds think alike (and so do ours! )

Such an appreciation is a trap for me . If i politely contest, in that my mind is a rather humble one, i end up simultaneously minimizing yours, which would undoubtedly be unreal .


Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
... I had the same impression when first looking at the pictures but the staff of the auction house assured me that the barrel actually consisted of one singular piece throughout. I think the caliber could be about 30 mm. The balls at that period of time were most probably made of stone; I got a few in my collection. That's where the special name of this kind of earliest guns came from: stone gonne (German Steinbüchse). ...

A great specimen, anyway.
At first sight i thought the caliber was some wider, but 30 mm should be the right thing.

'Nando
fernando is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd July 2010, 04:50 PM   #6
Spiridonov
Member
 
Spiridonov's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Russia, Leningrad
Posts: 348
Send a message via ICQ to Spiridonov
Default

Thank you, Michael! It seems that the barrel and the nail is not a one piece
Spiridonov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd July 2010, 08:42 PM   #7
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Hi Michl,


Such an appreciation is a trap for me . If i politely contest, in that my mind is a rather humble one, i end up simultaneously minimizing yours, which would undoubtedly be unreal .

'Nando



Hi 'Nando,

Though your comment made me blush I guess that unreal is almost the correct expression, considering all the absolutely crazy thoughts and ideas my mind is forced to comprise!!! - but in no way is it apt to describe the mental relations between you and me concerning earliest weapons and the love for cats! Just imagine where I would be today without my dear friends Ed and Jim inviting me to the forum?! Before that point, I was extremely lonesome and literally lost in the oceans of very few individuals thinking alike and seeking for a mind mate ...


Best,
Michl

Last edited by Matchlock : 4th July 2010 at 01:14 AM.
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 12:37 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.