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Old 13th November 2008, 01:35 PM   #1
Matchlock
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Default A matchlock chronology, ca. 1520 to 1720

All (and many more) in my collection, many of them belonging to complete guns, some just being detached.

Michael
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Old 13th November 2008, 01:54 PM   #2
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Default First half 16th century

Note the cute sea-horse shaped snap serpentine of the smallest mechanism, which belongs to a small Landsknecht type harquebus in my collection that was most probably made in Brescia, Val Trompia, Northern Italy, in about 1520. I will post that gun later.

The one in the middle is a snap matchlock of Nuremberg make, ca. 1540.

The one at the bottom is North Italian, ca. 1550, retaining its original finely wrought tiller trigger. It also highly unusual in having a safety catch: a wing nut can be turned to block the sear inside the lockplate!

Michael
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Old 13th November 2008, 05:52 PM   #3
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Default Combined snap and sear matchlocks, ca. 1550-60

Tho two bigger ones from wall guns. The two photos taken in the Militärmuseum (Army museum) Dresden show the complete guns.

Michael
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Old 13th November 2008, 05:57 PM   #4
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Default Serpentines, Nuremberg, ca. 1580, to Suhl, ca. 1620

It takes a long study to be able and state the differences in both form and the style of engraving.

Michael
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Old 13th November 2008, 06:04 PM   #5
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Default Nuremberg matchlock mechanisms, ca. 1550-60

The one with the leaf shaped lockplate ends bearing the crossed sabers marks together with the initials HH of Hans Herold (aka Hörl), Nuremberg, active around 1550-60.

Michael
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Old 13th November 2008, 06:34 PM   #6
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Default Mid 17th century matchlock mechanisms retaining all of their orignal blueing!!!

Extremely rare to find! This is the way they looked like when handed out to the musketeers almost 400 years ago, who - of course, soon scrubbed off the blueing.

The image of three illustrates the comparison between the earliest known complete matchlock mechanism in existence, ca. 1510-15 (defined as all parts being mounted on a common plate - you may remember this from a previous post here), its snap serpentine released by the push button projecting out of the rear end of the plate (on top).

Most people would hardly notice any significant differences between this 500 year old ancestor and the two blued mechanisms below, the first Suhl, ca. 1640, the second Swedish, 1650's. 150 years of developmemt and yet they look almost all the same; even the size of the lockplate did not considerably change. Simple and reliable simultaneously, it was almost perfect from the start. That's why it used to dominate the battle fields for about 300 years, starting from its most primitive beginnings in the early 15th century (please cf. my post on the earliest known handgun in existence) till its most recent examples built in the 1720's.

It's a rarely plowed field ...

Michael
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