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Old 9th February 2009, 03:52 PM   #1
Matchlock
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Default Late Gothic Tiller/Stick Guns, mid to late 15th century

The first samples of this type of tiller or stick guns, with wooden sticks attached to a socket behind the actual barrel and no lock mechanisms, seem to have entered the weapon scene in about 1440 and left it again around 1500.

On some early pieces of ca. 1440-60, the tiller consisted of an iron stick welded to the rear end of the barrel, its end sometimes bent upwards for aiming it held in the arm pit.

The fine sample with the copper alloy (brass or bronze) barrel and the stamped decorated limewood tiller stock ranges among the latest ones made, its priminig pan attached to the right side of the barrel - the swiveling cover now missing - allowing for a date of ca. 1500.

The stamped decoration between lozenge friezes, comprising six pointed stars and flower heads, corresponds closely to the decorative stamping on contemporary book bindings and gun stocks all reflecting the Late Gothic decorative taste.

The arsenal inventory of the City of Landshut/Lower Bavaria of 1485 illustrates two copper alloy barrels with wooden tiller stocks referred to as "older handguns" (allter handtpuchsn), which leads to the conclusion that they had been in the arsenal for quite some time by 1485 and had become regarded as obsolete (see attachment below).

The actual guns U.S. and German private collections.

Michael
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Last edited by Matchlock : 10th February 2009 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 9th February 2009, 04:10 PM   #2
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The poor b/w photos picture many iron stick haquebuts of mid-15th century date preserved at the museum of the City of Hasselt/The Netherlands.

The b/w photo at the bottom shows a copper alloy stick gun with a wooden tiller stock drilled out to receive the ramrod, ca. 1500, preserved at the Musem Polskiego in Warsaw. For a stock hollowed for the ramrod cf. my four barrel Landsknecht mace posted here earlier.

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Old 10th February 2009, 05:17 PM   #3
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More details and the indistinct founder's mark, a stag's head and a pair of antlers, or possibly a fork (?).

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Old 27th April 2012, 02:44 PM   #4
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A tiller arquebus from an illuminated manuscript by Daniel Aubert, 1461, Biblilothèque Nationale de France.

As in many medieval depictions, the actual act of manual ignition is not illustrated.

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Old 27th April 2012, 02:46 PM   #5
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For similar items, please also see

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=15381
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Old 28th April 2012, 04:15 PM   #6
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Tiller-stock arquebuses with what seem to be brass barrels, in illustrations from the Wolfegg Hausbuch, Bavaria, ca. 1480.

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