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Old 13th June 2012, 04:34 PM   #1
Matchlock
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Default Two Good Wrought-iron Hackbut Barrels, Late 15th Century - Sold for Record Prices!

Although preserved in unusually good condition, with all edges very crisp and the surfaces retaining much of their original bued or blackened finish, they fetched tremendous prices in yesterday's sale at the Dorotheum, Vienna. Together they sold for more than 35,000 euro, which in my eyes is sheer madness ...

Both are very similar, of octagonal section throughout, and with heavily swamped muzzle section, the hook fire-welded. The touch hole is located on the top right-hand side.
The most interesting of their features, I think, was that they were neither equiped with sockets, nor were their hooks pierced or did the barrels show pin loops.
Thus, they must have been fixed to the stocks by iron rings, which is an instance rare to find.

Their outer surface was partly covered by remains of grass, and the heavily swamped muzzle of the first barrel was damaged.


The measurements:

- barrel #1: length 100 cm, bore 27 mm
- barrel #2: length 95 cm, bore 25 mm


Enjoy the many close ups!


Best,
Michael
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Last edited by Matchlock; 13th June 2012 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 13th June 2012, 04:42 PM   #2
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One more close up of the first barrel, and images of the second, which is very similar to the first.

Even the high probability that they originally came from the very same workshop, and were kept together for five centuries, does in my eyes not account for such a price.

The second one even went considerably higher than the first - a phenomenom I have often noticed in auctions when two almost identical items turn up in succession.


m
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Old 13th June 2012, 04:53 PM   #3
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The remaining photos.
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Old 13th June 2012, 05:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
One more close up of the first barrel, and images of the second, which is very similar to the first.

Even the high probability that they originally came from the very same workshop, and were kept together for five centuries, does in my eyes not account for such a price.

The second one even went considerably higher than the first - a phenomenom I have often noticed in auctions when two almost identical items turn up in succession.


m
Sorry to say, but if these barrels are no fakes, then I'm going crazy. The surface shows not the slightest patination as 500 years old iron should have.
No socket or loops for a tiller, the hook of unusual shape, but similar to that of Bronze barrels, both with exactly the same surface with a bit of fresh dirt.
It is not the first time that after an item has reached a good price at auction, (in this case a real hackbut barrrel sold at 30.11.11 at the Dorotheum) similar fakes appear at auction a half year later.
In my non expert opinion these two barrels are really ridiculous fakes.

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Last edited by Swordfish; 13th June 2012 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 14th June 2012, 06:34 PM   #5
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Matchlock is so quiet.

If I'm totally wrong, there will never come a better opportunity to call me crazy!
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Old 16th June 2012, 05:48 PM   #6
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Good

No answer sometimes says more than an answer.

I sum up:

These hackbut barrels are surely not genuine, but ridiculous fakes, easily recognizable at first sight, very probably forged within the the last six month.
Therefore all charakteristics described by Matchlock such as 'unusually good condition; all edges very crisp; the surface retaining their original blackened finish!?!?!; both are very similar; covered with remains of grass' (cut fresh?) are clear indications that forged new.
I can't imagine how an 'expert' like Matchlock can fall for such simple fakes.

The prices realized for these barrels show again that some crazy bidders have much more money than knowledge. In this case I take no pity on them, and it doesn't matter if these barrels are fakes or genuine pieces, which have a value of max. 3000-4000 Euro. But it is very unfotunate that such colletors decay the prices, and make it more difficult to acquire genuine items for a reasonable price.

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Last edited by Swordfish; 17th June 2012 at 10:33 AM.
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