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Old 15th November 2008, 02:59 PM   #1
Matchlock
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Default A very fine Tusco-Emilian snap matchlock Landsknecht's harquebus, ca. 1525

The arquebus on top of the photos of four is the object of this post.

The finely wrought and iron carved barrel in three stages, with tubular backsight and pan with swiveling cover, the long, heavily swamped muzzle head left unstocked, as is characteristic of guns from ca. 1500-40.
Delicate snap matchlock mechanism, the zoomorphic serpentine in the shape of a sea horse, with wing nut.
The finely figured walnut stock of early Landsknecht form, with a small butt trap and sliding cover at the underside. The original contents are retained and document that it was not a "patch box". Stored in it are two small iron tools threaded to fit in the rear iron finial of the original ramrod: a ball extractor, with a horn spacer to fit exactly the barrel bore and keep the extractor from being slanted, and a scourer. Those two extremely rare tools are wrapped in their original sleeve made of staghorn skin to prevent them from rattling around. Furthermore this trap retains an original caliber lead ball, now oxidized to a light gray surface and showing a small drilled hole from the extractor.

On the left underside of the rear of the barrel there is a deeply struck mark in the shape of the horizontal Gothic miniscule e, resembling a w at first sight. Without a doubt it stands for Emilia and is known in identical form from the barrel of a wonderful wheel-lock harquebus, ca. 1540, in the Wiener Waffensammlung. Cinquedeas (cinquedeae?) of early 16th century date bear almost the same e mark, e.g. a fine blued and gilt piece in the Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milano.

Overall length 82 cm, cal. 14 mm smoothbore.


When I had the chance to purchase that piece I could not believe in what perfectly untouched condition it was, and even now, after more than ten years, it strikes me each time anew.

Proud as hell ,

Michael
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Last edited by Lee : 13th March 2011 at 03:04 PM. Reason: Edit first line to make clarification per request of initial poster
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Old 15th November 2008, 03:03 PM   #2
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More.
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Old 15th November 2008, 03:07 PM   #3
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Even more.
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Old 15th November 2008, 03:10 PM   #4
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The rest.
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Old 15th November 2008, 03:13 PM   #5
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Photos of the Vienna harquebus with finely etched and fire gilt barrel, as well as of the Milano cinquedea, attached, both bearing the same Tusco-Emilian e mark.

Michael
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Old 15th November 2008, 04:19 PM   #6
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Absolutely breathtaking Michael!!!
Thank you again a million times!! for presenting these wonderful photos with such detail, even to dismantling the weapons to examine each element....this is better than any museum tour ever dreamed of.

Excellent presentation showing the seahorse alongside the serpentine......brilliant illustration which really shows the creative imagination of these artisans in applying subtle and stylized reflection of traditional or popular themes. Often in ethnographic pieces the stylized zoomorphic creatures remain unidentified positively, but here is a perfect match!

You indeed have great reason to be proud of these, and we are fortunate to have you sharing them with us!!! Thank you so much.


All the best,
Jim
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