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Old 25th September 2008, 05:58 PM   #1
Matchlock
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Default A unique 1530's tinder snap-lock haquebut

... in a private collection (but not mine).

Overall length 153 cm, barrel 117 cm, caliber 19 cm, weight overall 8 kilograms.

Wrought-iron round and staged barrel decorated with stylized snakes, lozenge ornament and trifoliate decoration in the shape of three dots, and struck twice with a mark, an unidentified shield. Rectangular back sight with aperture for inserting an interchangeable sheet of metal pierced for narrowing the shooter's sight and making him concentrate on the fore sight.

Note the small, round powder pan with its swiveling cover, the "lengthened" muzzle section characteristic of the 1520's to the 1530's and the limewood stock painted green. The tinder snap-lock with the horizontally acting push-button trigger has been introduced by the example of an even earlier detached mechanism here before.

Similiar barrels are quite common in museums in Thuriniga/East Germany, especially in the Waffenmuseum Suhl and the Schloss Heidecksburg in Rudolstadt. This, among other features, makes me believe that they were wrought by earliest Suhl workshops in the 1530's which had come over from Nuremberg where barrel smiths had faced encreasing unemployment since at least the early 1530's.

Michael
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Old 25th September 2008, 06:06 PM   #2
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Old 25th September 2008, 06:16 PM   #3
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Caliber is 19 mm, of course, instead of 19 cm.

Also note the roped decoration marking the barrel stages and the long muzzle section (head) left free by the stockmaker. We have noticed that stylistic feature on many hand firearms ranging from ca. 1520 to the early 1540's.
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Old 27th September 2008, 12:10 AM   #4
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In looking at this great example of an early firearm, and determined to learn more about these 'guns' (for me basically starting from scratch my questions and initial reading as always leans toward terminology and etymology of those used.

Having difficulty finding definitions of harquebus/ hackbut or hagbut, references I found suggest that the harquebus term is also 'arquebus' which was easier to find. The German hakinbihse = hook gun, referring to the bent shape of the butt, as opposed to the straight stocked guns. One other explanation suggested a metal hook near the muzzle to take aim and secure for recoil.

Apparantly improvements by Strozzi c.1530 included standardizing calibers of these in French army. The musket followed about the 1570's.

As always I am keyed to markings, and on the barrel notice the roped design at locations around the barrel , and these remind me of barrel rings to secure the barrel, stylistically of course. It seems that in many cases with weapons, the shapes and designs in features sometimes recall vestigially things no longer required or used. I am curious though, why actual bands would not be secured around the barrel to hold it to the stock.

I notice the fletching marking, which recalls of course the arrow, and wonder about the suggestion to the esteemed crossbow. The arrow marking became well known with the establishing of ordnance department by Henry VIII in England (these with the arrow head) but I wonder if the idea of the fletching the intent might have been in concept of the shot flying true to its target?
The three dots are well known in markings in many instances in sword blades and likely carry the often discussed symbolism.
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Old 19th October 2008, 10:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
In looking at this great example of an early firearm, and determined to learn more about these 'guns' (for me basically starting from scratch my questions and initial reading as always leans toward terminology and etymology of those used.

Having difficulty finding definitions of harquebus/ hackbut or hagbut, references I found suggest that the harquebus term is also 'arquebus' which was easier to find. The German hakinbihse = hook gun, referring to the bent shape of the butt, as opposed to the straight stocked guns. One other explanation suggested a metal hook near the muzzle to take aim and secure for recoil.

Apparantly improvements by Strozzi c.1530 included standardizing calibers of these in French army. The musket followed about the 1570's.

As always I am keyed to markings, and on the barrel notice the roped design at locations around the barrel , and these remind me of barrel rings to secure the barrel, stylistically of course. It seems that in many cases with weapons, the shapes and designs in features sometimes recall vestigially things no longer required or used. I am curious though, why actual bands would not be secured around the barrel to hold it to the stock.

I notice the fletching marking, which recalls of course the arrow, and wonder about the suggestion to the esteemed crossbow. The arrow marking became well known with the establishing of ordnance department by Henry VIII in England (these with the arrow head) but I wonder if the idea of the fletching the intent might have been in concept of the shot flying true to its target?
The three dots are well known in markings in many instances in sword blades and likely carry the often discussed symbolism.



Hi Jim,

Actually, the term Hakenbüchse does not derive from a hooked stock (in fact, all stocks before ca. 1520 were more or less quite straight!) but from the iron support hook welded to the underside of the barrels from ca. 1430 onwards.

Best,
Michael
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Old 20th October 2008, 03:58 AM   #6
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Hi Michael,
Thank you for the clarification on the origin of the term. In the reference I had it gave two options, so its good to know the correct one.
Great to have you back!!!

All the best,
Jim
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