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Old 4th January 2018, 11:01 PM   #1
kahnjar1
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Default Sardinian Miquelet for comment and information

I have been chasing this one for quite some time, and eventually have become the lucky owner.
I can find very little information about these guns and hope that someone here will be able to elaborate.
Particularly I would be very interested to know the purpose of the hollow tube which serves as the comb of the stock. To me it would easily catch in clothing. This feature appears in pics which I have found in books, so is not a feature of this gun only.
From the information I do have, it would appear that this is probably from the 18th century. Certainly the style and lock pattern would suggest that it is quite possibly from this period.
Overall length is 60" (153cm) with the smoothbore barrel measuring 48"(122cm). The bore is approx 10mm, which is quite small compared with other North African guns.
Any information out there would be greatly appreciated.
Stu
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Old 4th January 2018, 11:04 PM   #2
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Default Sardinian Lock pics

Sardinian detached lock pics...........
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Old 5th January 2018, 06:29 AM   #3
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Congratulations on a very interesting gun (which really should be discussed on the European Armoury board since the island of Sardegna is European territory despite the very Oriental appearance of the piece itself). That aside, your piece is notable in that overall, the gun is a very workmanlike example of the form, which was produced on the island from the 18th through early 19th centuries (very rare earlier specimens with wheellocks are known, along with a few miquelet lock pistols). Compared to others with stocks overlaid with ornate pierced iron, yours has a straightforward functionality to its finish that sets it apart from most others seen in collections. Long barrels and relatively small bores are the norm; as I type this I am looking at images of 5 examples in the catalog of the Armeria Reale di Torino which has an outstanding collection of these.

The center of production seems to have been the town of Tempio Pausania on the northern side of the island; many of the finer examples are marked "Barbuti" which apparently was a family renowned for their manufacture.

The profile and cross-section of the butt on these guns appears to be an amalgamation of north Italian styles which developed in Piemonte and Lombardia beginning in the 16th cent. It is not hard to see the stylistic connection between the Sardegnan buttstock and that of the muskets of the Altit region of Morocco. The point of similarity is a somewhat triangular shape without a thumb-notch at the comb, although the Moroccan type has a slight extension at the heel of the butt which lacking on the form from Sardegna. (for comparison, see S. James Gooding, "The Snaphance Muskets of al-Maghreb al-Aqsa" in Arms Collecting Vol 34, No. 3, p 88, fig 2 (top). The geography of the western Mediterranean helps explain this to a large extent, I think. Your observation of the comparatively small bore of your gun is reflected in Mr Gooding's text "...in 1652, some London gunsmiths were allowed to export 'Small Birding peeces called Barbary Guns' to the Barbary Coast. Authorization to export was given on the grounds that the guns were 'soe smale boared as we conceive them to be noe way usefull for ye service of the State" (pp 87,89).

What I find truly interesting about your piece, and what makes it highly unusual ("unique" is a dangerous word in the field of collecting!) is the lock. Mechanically it is typical of those made on the island-- the Spanish miquelet properly termed llave de patilla, being also being the most prevalent variant in Iberia, the southern half of Italy, and most of the Ottoman Empire and Iran. It is atypical (on this gun) because STYLISTICALLY it does not fit the Sardegnan norm. The standard miquelet lock produced on the island is notable in that the two leaves of the V-shaped mainspring are of equal length. On your lock, the upper leaf (which bears on the heel of the cock) is a good deal longer than the fixed lower one -- this characteristic shared by patilla locks made in all the other above-mentioned areas.

Furthermore, the cock on your specimen has a C-shaped neck, whereas the common Sardegnan type has a columnar stem. The C shape, along with undulating lower edge and tapered tail of the lockplate, appear to be a rustic interpretation of what was current taste in Neapolitan gunmaking. The rounded shield below the priming-pan is similar to that same shape seen on later patilla locks made in Ripoll in CataluŮa, Spain as well as in southern Italy.

Last edited by Philip : 5th January 2018 at 05:15 PM. Reason: rephrase for clarity
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Old 5th January 2018, 05:07 PM   #4
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For better understanding here fotos of three Sardinian guns with miquelet locks ŗ la Sardegna
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Old 5th January 2018, 05:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
Congratulations on a very interesting gun (which really should be discussed on the European Armoury board since the island of Sardegna is European territory despite the very Oriental appearance of the piece itself)...

Moved ... if you don't mind, Stu .
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Old 5th January 2018, 05:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
... Particularly I would be very interested to know the purpose of the hollow tube which serves as the comb of the stock. To me it would easily catch in clothing. This feature appears in pics which I have found in books, so is not a feature of this gun only...

Anyone ... Philip ?
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Old 5th January 2018, 05:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by fernando
Anyone ... Philip ?


I haven't seen mention of it in the references I have so far; am waiting for Gen. A. Gaibi's Armi da Fuoco Italiane to arrive in the mail with hopes that me has addressed the question. When I prepared my original post for the thread I mulled it over, thought of a hypothesis but scrapped it upon reconsideration.

This is one of those weapons that we see all the time on the market (surprising that a relatively small, mainly rural island made so many guns!) but there seems to be no deep research about them.
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Old 5th January 2018, 07:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
I haven't seen mention of it in the references I have so far; am waiting for Gen. A. Gaibi's Armi da Fuoco Italiane to arrive in the mail with hopes that me has addressed the question. When I prepared my original post for the thread I mulled it over, thought of a hypothesis but scrapped it upon reconsideration.

This is one of those weapons that we see all the time on the market (surprising that a relatively small, mainly rural island made so many guns!) but there seems to be no deep research about them.

Hi Philip,
I am interested in your comment that Quote: "we see (these guns) all the time on the market".
Any reference from "modern times" I have seen, including from reputable dealers describes these as "rare".
Stu
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Old 5th January 2018, 07:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Hi Philip,
I am interested in your comment that Quote: "we see (these guns) all the time on the market".
Any reference from "modern times" I have seen, including from reputable dealers describes these as "rare".
Stu

I follow auctions in the States, the EU, and the UK via their online catalogs and through bidder alert services and these guns do pop up with some regularity. Examples of exceptional quality and condition donít show up often but I donít regard the genre as being rare within the universe of antique and collectible firearms.
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Old 6th January 2018, 07:55 AM   #10
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There must have been produced quite a lot of these guns, because after the establishment of the "Regno" in 1720 under Vittorio Amadeo II. of Savoia. The Sardenian militia troops have been armed with such guns. These militia troops then became the base for a Sardinian regiment, that has been fighting against the French in 1745 to 1747 and in 1792-1793.
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Old 5th January 2018, 07:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Anyone ... Philip ?

Interesting.... all 3 guns shown above have the same tube.......
Stu
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Old 6th January 2018, 06:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Interesting.... all 3 guns shown above have the same tube.......
Stu

Hi Stu

I notice the tube tapers with the comb of the butt stock. Does the hole run full length ? Or just a short distance ?

Rick
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Old 6th January 2018, 06:22 PM   #13
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Hi Stu

I notice the tube tapers with the comb of the butt stock. Does the hole run full length ? Or just a short distance ?

Rick

Hi Rick,
No, the hole goes approx 2" into the tube, and if you look at the top view pic above, you will see that there are 3 pins down thru the top of the tube holding it to the stock.
If the hollow tube is to hold some sort of sighting device (as suggested above) then 2" should be sufficient for this purpose.
Stu
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Old 7th January 2018, 04:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Hi Rick,
No, the hole goes approx 2" into the tube, and if you look at the top view pic above, you will see that there are 3 pins down thru the top of the tube holding it to the stock.
If the hollow tube is to hold some sort of sighting device (as suggested above) then 2" should be sufficient for this purpose.
Stu

Hi Stu

OK. Yes, now I see the pins holding the tube to the stock. Since the hole only travels about 2 inches, this might be evidence towards Ian's theory of some type of rear sighting apparatus. Hmmmm. At the moment, I can't think of anything else. Hopefully, if true, one of these sight pieces will turn up one day.

It's my understanding that the seperate rear sight pieces for the Japanese matchlocks are quite rare and would have easily been lost. I've only seen pictures of them from collectors in Japan.

In any case, it's a real nice piece for your collection. Hope you decide to get the missing brass decoration replaced.

Rick
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