Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 14th August 2019, 08:33 PM   #61
kahnjar1
Member
 
kahnjar1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: CHRISTCHURCH NEW ZEALAND
Posts: 2,443
Default

Well Jim, you really got me going on this thread! Makes me a little sad that I once owned a couple of other Jezails which in a hasty moment I sold.
Anyway I was surfing the 'net and came across this site describing guns from Nepal. Well worth a look, and there are EIC guns there also!
http://www.archivingindustry.com/Gu...rs/gunmarks.pdf
Stu
kahnjar1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th August 2019, 09:09 PM   #62
Jim McDougall
Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 7,569
Default The term jezail for these Afghan guns

In looking into the sources for barrels, after going through more on the seemingly invariable use of EIC locks on these guns, I wondered more where the term 'jezail' came from.

Online it simply notes it as a Pashto word for these guns. So looking further I found reference to the armies of Nader Shah, who seized control of the Safavid Empire of Persia in 1730s. Among his forces were musketeers in corps termed 'jazayerchis' for the heavy caliber musket called the 'jazayer'....and these forces had existed from the time of Shah Abbas II (c 1654) using these same guns.

Nader Shah however had these men mounted on horses or mules for strategic mobility, but as dragoons they fought on foot. According to the reference these guns were flintlock, some with miguelet locks and some matchlocks. The barrel bands (rings) were half silver, rest gold (?)

This material I found online in "The Army of Nader Shah", Michael Axworthy
Iranian Studies, Vol. 40, #5, Dec, 2007.
The notes on the jazayer musket are cited from,
"Tadhkirat al Muluk", V. Minorsky ed. , Cambridge , 1943, pp.32-34

Then in reference found the Persian term jaza'il for musket.

These details are of course subject to scrutiny, but I simply added here for further look into the etymology of the word jezail. As always looking forward to insights from the linguists.

It seems well noted that Persian influence was powerfully present in all these Central Asian regions, so it does not seem surprising that the Persian word would become cognate in the Pashto language. There were many Afghans in the forces of Nader Shah.

Last edited by Jim McDougall : 14th August 2019 at 09:21 PM.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th August 2019, 09:16 PM   #63
Jim McDougall
Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 7,569
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Well Jim, you really got me going on this thread! Makes me a little sad that I once owned a couple of other Jezails which in a hasty moment I sold.
Anyway I was surfing the 'net and came across this site describing guns from Nepal. Well worth a look, and there are EIC guns there also!
http://www.archivingindustry.com/Gu...rs/gunmarks.pdf
Stu




Me too Stu!!
I always wanted one, but as things often go, never got one (OK I wanted to climb on the pyramids too, and get a '32 Ford, but gotta be real!).
All of a sudden Im in the middle of the Southwest in the bookmobile, and bang! I got one!
So in my usual insane quest (=research?) I have been at it day and night.
I did come across some of this on many EIC weapons ending up in Nepal, so there's another quest.

What I hoped to do here is get all you guys together who have collected these and experience with them, so I can learn about 'em and so can anyone else out there curious on them can have a good reference source.

Thank you again for all your help on this.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th August 2019, 10:10 PM   #64
Victrix
Member
 
Victrix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Sweden
Posts: 307
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
A VERY good question, and I returned to Egerton (p.136),
"...Postons describes the Sindian arms as being of very superior quality, particularly the matchlock barrels, which are twisted in the Damascus style. The nobles and chiefs procure many from Persia and Constantinople, but nearly as good can be made in the country".

Op.cit. p.136,
"...the Amirs have agents in Persia, Turkey and Palestine for the purchase of swords and gun barrels".

In the listings in Egerton there are many torador matchlocks listed from Sind, all of which have the remarkably long barrels noted on the jezails, and a good number are Damascus. Many of these are from Sind, but noted with 'Afghan' type stocks.
In other listings are a good number of matchlocks, again with long barrels listed from Lahore and Delhi. Here we can see the long use of matchlocks by the Sikhs well into 19th c. These also had notably long barrels.

While the import of the quality barrels from Ottoman and Persian sources seems occasional, the making and diffusion of these long matchlock barrels would seem to have of course gone well into Khyber and environs, It seems the crafting of these barrels may well have been among the skills that developed in these areas as well.


Thank you, Jim. Fascinating how there has always been trade, transfer of knowledge for local manufacturing, and loan words, etc. Nothing new under the sun...
Victrix is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 14th August 2019, 11:01 PM   #65
Jim McDougall
Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 7,569
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Victrix
Thank you, Jim. Fascinating how there has always been trade, transfer of knowledge for local manufacturing, and loan words, etc. Nothing new under the sun...



How right you are.All this information is out there, but it takes asking the right questions and finding it. I had not realized about the barrels and was focused on the locks, so thanks to you I was able to look further. I cannot believe how much I have learned on these guns since starting this thread, yet how far from so much more there is to learn.
Its all an adventure !!
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th August 2019, 11:51 AM   #66
Richard G
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 247
Default

Other than EIC or locally made locks there is possibly, or probably,a third type of lock that can confuse the issue.
It is known the EIC purchased lesser quality arms for trading purposes, in Africa on the voyage out, and to customers in India etc.
How many, and how they were marked? - I don't know; but it is certainly a possibility that there were British made EIC 'style' locks, but not actually EIC owned, in circulation in India.
Regards
Richard
PS Harding says he does not know why the 'flaunched' balemark was used, but implies it may have strayed from the ownership mark on other EIC owned goods e,g. the lead seals on bales of cloth.
Richard G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th August 2019, 02:53 PM   #67
corrado26
Member
 
corrado26's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Black Forest, Germany
Posts: 669
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Me too Stu!!
I always wanted one, but as things often go, never got one


If you have problems in getting a nice Afghan jezail just visit him, he has enough for sale
corrado26
Attached Images
 
corrado26 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th August 2019, 06:35 PM   #68
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 4,307
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default

Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th August 2019, 06:38 PM   #69
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 4,307
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by corrado26
If you have problems in getting a nice Afghan jezail just visit him, he has enough for sale
corrado26


Chicken Street was awash with guns locally made but they are easy to spot and many are more or less the same decoration when no two could be the same..the give aways being various like inside-out letters or no wear on the swivels and look at the trigger guards which are flimsy useless things on the newly knocked up stuff. (the trigger guard on the gun held by the chap in the picture is one of those.)
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th August 2019, 06:51 PM   #70
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Member
 
Ibrahiim al Balooshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Buraimi Oman, on the border with the UAE
Posts: 4,307
Send a message via MSN to Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Default

There was an interesting question on gun barrels and I think elgood points to areas where they were made . certainly Sinde made barrels and also Persian variants were traded...as would barrels be traded in by Ottoman and other countries. I have a couple of pictures of Sinde guns below... which were almost made on the doorstep and in the manner of traditional twist barrel technology.
Attached Images
  
Ibrahiim al Balooshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th August 2019, 07:20 PM   #71
Jim McDougall
Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 7,569
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard G
Other than EIC or locally made locks there is possibly, or probably,a third type of lock that can confuse the issue.
It is known the EIC purchased lesser quality arms for trading purposes, in Africa on the voyage out, and to customers in India etc.
How many, and how they were marked? - I don't know; but it is certainly a possibility that there were British made EIC 'style' locks, but not actually EIC owned, in circulation in India.
Regards
Richard
PS Harding says he does not know why the 'flaunched' balemark was used, but implies it may have strayed from the ownership mark on other EIC owned goods e,g. the lead seals on bales of cloth.




Very good points Richard, and in examining the varying character of the locks we might find on these jezails, it is necessary to consider the ever present dynamic of trade.
'The evil trade', that is the 'slave trade' was indeed an element of British networks, and the Royal African Company was formed in the late 17th c. where muskets were among the commodities traded for slaves.
Most of the British involvement in this dark trade system was throughout the 18th century, but manufacture of trade muskets continued long after the abolition of slavery in 1833.

Without venturing further into these complex areas, what is known is that the primary source of these 'trade' muskets was in Birmingham, where several thousand 'gunmakers' worked in the 'gun quarter' of that industrial city. Actually, the components were produced by many subcontractors and the locks produced in the regions along road to Birmingham later known as the 'Black Country' (coal presence) and heavy industry.

In addition to those trade muskets produced for the African trade, were the famed 'Northwest Guns' which were made for the North American markets.
These muskets for the Northwest Fur Trade became well known from c1775 and were traded to American Indian tribes. In about 1805, guns for the Hudsons Bay Company trade began using a snake or dragon on the sideplate which became the key criteria for acceptance by the Indians.

As with the African guns, many of these were of notoriously low quality, and their reputation for blowing up with disastrous results brought the terms 'blood merchants' to the makers who produced these, and to the African examples as well. Naturally this poor character did not apply to all examples but was still well known.

One of the most prolific makers of these trade guns (or at least on the locks) was BARNETT . I believe that name was only one I have seen on a Northwest gun, but never on an African example as far as I have seen.

I have not found any particular lock markings on the locks of the African examples of flintlock trade guns but the Royal African Company had a castle and an elephant, so perhaps that might be considered.

With the 'Northwest' guns, the locks were marked often with a circle enclosing a sitting fox like animal facing right below the pan.

While it seems that these varied locks were typically placed on guns to the appropriate distributions, it is always possible that they became diffused into the components of guns being sent to other contract completions. With huge volumes of components to many 'setters up' to assemble them there are many possibilities in the Birmingham context.

Even after the production stages, distribution via trade, there are still many circumstances where weapons may have been captured, traded away, or taken by individuals moving or transporting to other contexts.

All of these situations from 'one off' to larger circumstances such as surplus or replaced arms should be recognized as potentially viable considerations in evaluating weapon examples.

For example, the sale of over 400,000 India pattern muskets to Mexico in 1821 after the end of the Napoleonic campaigns left huge surpluses.
As far as I know, although these were 'India' pattern Brown Bess muskets, they were not marked with EIC trademarks but the standard government inspection and TOWER.


Pictured Barnett flintlock 'Northwest' gun with sitting wolf cartouche below pan.
The flintlock remained in demand well into the 19th century due to the difficulty on procuring percussion caps in remote circumstances, where obtaining flints and powder was far more accessible.
Attached Images
 

Last edited by Jim McDougall : 15th August 2019 at 08:13 PM.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th August 2019, 08:30 PM   #72
Jim McDougall
Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 7,569
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
There was an interesting question on gun barrels and I think elgood points to areas where they were made . certainly Sinde made barrels and also Persian variants were traded...as would barrels be traded in by Ottoman and other countries. I have a couple of pictures of Sinde guns below... which were almost made on the doorstep and in the manner of traditional twist barrel technology.



Thank you for these great pics! I am always puzzled by the shape of these stocks. I had the idea that Sind examples were straighter, but in some of the reading I have done the Sind guns are noted with 'Afghan' stocks.
So were these guns being made for Afghan sale or trade, or was there really not such a distinct denominator in the preference?

There can be no doubt of the trade diffusion through all these regions which would have carried Persian goods including arms and parts. The Damascus or twisted steel barrels seem to have been traded considerably rather than fully assembled guns in many cases. I think the thing to remember is that typically, whether England, Europe or Middle East, the components of weapons were often if not typically, produced by various vendors.

I was also reading about octagonal barrels, which seem to come up on many of these guns. It suggests that the octagonal shape on steel stock is far easier to complete as a drilled barrel than the round, and if I am understanding correctly better for hunting and range with sturdier (thicker?) structure.
I don't recall if there were specific areas in Sind for guns or barrels, and while there must have been many places, the one that comes to mind in the Khyber is Darra Khel.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th August 2019, 08:49 PM   #73
Jim McDougall
Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 7,569
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard G

PS Harding says he does not know why the 'flaunched' balemark was used, but implies it may have strayed from the ownership mark on other EIC owned goods e,g. the lead seals on bales of cloth.



I think this is a hard question as during the times it was simply a practical matter of marking goods, and probably not of vital strategic importance.
It seems there was a certain level of autonomy in the Presidencies, but Bengal seems to have been the only one to deviate with this 'flaunched' heraldic design in its interpretation of the EIC chop mark. If I recall correctly, Harding did not choose to use the term bale mark despite the purpose of these markings for ownership on goods.

As the 'flaunched' mark seems 'officially' used on the coinage of the Bengal presidency (even though Penang) it seems more than simply a storekeepers mark, which is what Harding suggested. With that, its use on these gun locks, it would seem that the makers whose name appear with them may have had specific contracts to that Presidency.

Returning to the question of the 'four' atop the heart, again I recall that Harding did follow the idea that this was an extra line added to the cross (the original GCE mark of early EIC was a cross and orb) to avoid offending Muslim trade partners. He did not agree with my suggestion that it may be the 'mystical sign of four' and representing astrological Jupiter and with talismanic properties in protecting EIC ships and goods.
Also the idea of the '4' being a sail is interesting, as to signify the sail over the heart and VEIC initials signifying their maritime worldwide trade.

The heart itself has been regarded as a Christian symbol, and the idea of the cross being disguised as a '4' to me seems unlikely.
Attached Images
 
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th August 2019, 11:05 PM   #74
kahnjar1
Member
 
kahnjar1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: CHRISTCHURCH NEW ZEALAND
Posts: 2,443
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
I think this is a hard question as during the times it was simply a practical matter of marking goods, and probably not of vital strategic importance.
It seems there was a certain level of autonomy in the Presidencies, but Bengal seems to have been the only one to deviate with this 'flaunched' heraldic design in its interpretation of the EIC chop mark. If I recall correctly, Harding did not choose to use the term bale mark despite the purpose of these markings for ownership on goods.

As the 'flaunched' mark seems 'officially' used on the coinage of the Bengal presidency (even though Penang) it seems more than simply a storekeepers mark, which is what Harding suggested. With that, its use on these gun locks, it would seem that the makers whose name appear with them may have had specific contracts to that Presidency.

Returning to the question of the 'four' atop the heart, again I recall that Harding did follow the idea that this was an extra line added to the cross (the original GCE mark of early EIC was a cross and orb) to avoid offending Muslim trade partners. He did not agree with my suggestion that it may be the 'mystical sign of four' and representing astrological Jupiter and with talismanic properties in protecting EIC ships and goods.
Also the idea of the '4' being a sail is interesting, as to signify the sail over the heart and VEIC initials signifying their maritime worldwide trade.

The heart itself has been regarded as a Christian symbol, and the idea of the cross being disguised as a '4' to me seems unlikely.

I can not comment either way regarding the FLAUNCHED EIC mark, but according to the records I have of English Gun Proof marks, the QUARTERED EIC heart surmounted by the 4, was in use up 'til 1860.
Stu
kahnjar1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th August 2019, 03:54 PM   #75
Jim McDougall
Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 7,569
Default The EIC bale mark or chop dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
I can not comment either way regarding the FLAUNCHED EIC mark, but according to the records I have of English Gun Proof marks, the QUARTERED EIC heart surmounted by the 4, was in use up 'til 1860.
Stu


I think it is probably right that the quartered heart was likely in use until then in degree as it seems there were certain disparities in the chosen markings used by the Company through its existence ending officially in 1874.
Effectively the East India Company was ended by the Mutiny in 1857, and became governed by the Crown.

I have always been surprised (perhaps not really) that so little is known of the reasons behind chosen symbols used in the time and that mostly such detail seems to be thought of later from assumptions or contrived notions. The logo (bale mark or chop) of the EIC is often regarded as one of the earliest official trademarks, and seems to have begun in with the formation of the Company in 1600.
The first mark, essentially a cross and orb enclosing the initials GCE
'Governor and Company of merchants of London trading to the East Indies'.

In 1698, the Company was reorganized as the English East India Co. and a heart, quartered by a St. Andrews cross enclosing initials VEIC (United East India Co.) was adopted. It is tempting to think that perhaps the St. Andrews cross (the X) represented the Royal House of Stuart then in power, but that would lend to the same line of thinking of the '4' being a disguised cross to avoid offending Muslim trade partners.

While this bale mark does not seem to have appeared on arms that early, it probably was found on cargo etc. I have not yet found when these marks became placed on Company weapons but we know they were on gun locks by latter 18th c. seeming to have been around 1790s.

While the quartered heart appears to have been standard, the curious occurrence of the flaunched heart (half circles from either side of the heart) seems to have taken place from about 1805-1815 and on locks marked by many of the usual known makers.
The only evidence of other use of this distinctive variation of the heart is in the cent coin from Penang (Malay peninsula) in 1786. That was the year this area was taken over by the Bengal presidency. The coins of the next year no longer used this heart marking.

By 1808, it is claimed that the standing lion became the official marking of the EIC, at least on the gun locks, and was said to have remained in such use until c. 1839.

Clearly these dates are not hard and fast, and it would seem by the noted longevity of the quartered heart, that these markings were contemporary to each other. But the phenomenon of the flaunched heart, which remained somehow in place amidst these others for at least a decade, remains unexplained.

It would be interesting to see examples of these EIC locks with dates and whichever marks accompanied them.

Most of the locks dated seem to be from 1790s to around 1815. It is noted that locks were not date marked before 1770s, and it does not seem many after 1815 that I recall offhand.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th August 2019, 08:37 PM   #76
kahnjar1
Member
 
kahnjar1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: CHRISTCHURCH NEW ZEALAND
Posts: 2,443
Default Penang, EIC and Charles Cornwallis

Hi Jim,
You mention Penang as having a connection to EIC. Here is a little history linking the two through Charles Cornwallis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charl...uess_Cornwallis Particularly relevent is the section on the CORNWALLIS CODE.
Also some pics of Fort Cornwallis in Georgetown, Penang taken when we were there a few years back. Hope this is of interest.
Stu
Attached Images
    
kahnjar1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th August 2019, 04:02 PM   #77
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,456
Default

Jim: Again, thanks for starting this super interesting Thread. And thanks for your research. Most helpful.

LOCKS: Every flintlock lock I've examined on a Jazail of Afghan origin was either a genuine EIC lock or a locally made copy. (Although I now recall seeing one with an unmarked European lock that I believe was from Belgium). It's likely the EIC Armories would have spare locks in their inventory to replace broken/worn locks on their muskets. While the British were known for keeping good records, it is conceivable that many of these spare locks found their way into Afghan hands one way or the other. LOL
It would seem that the Afghan gunsmiths/customers considered the India pattern Brown Bess lock and trade variants to be the "standard" for building Jazails (?) Even the locally made copies attempt to stylistically copy the same lock. Also, as mentioned above, we can't exclude the probability of exporting the locks only for sale/trade in the Region.
BARRELS: The barrels on Afghan made Jazails seem to originate from regions elsewhere. Persia, Sindh, even Ottoman. I've even seen one with a Northern Indian style Torrador barrel. One common theme was the re-use of older barrels from different regions. You even see this on better quality Jazails.

Here is another good example from my collection: Also in unmolested condition, this Jazail is heavily decorated with pierced brass and punched iron mounts. The genuine EIC lock is marked HIRST (another prolific British maker) and dated 1799. The lock plate and hammer are flat versus round faced. The most interesting feature is the barrel, which is chiseled and fluted. The barrel (probably Persian) is much earlier than the rest of the gun. There is a Persian style makers stamp on the top breech of the barrel that looks like it was originally gold filled (now missing).I need to study this gun further.

Rick
Attached Images
      
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th August 2019, 04:05 PM   #78
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,456
Default

SOME MORE PICS...........
Attached Images
      
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th August 2019, 04:15 PM   #79
Kubur
Member
 
Kubur's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,591
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickystl
SOME MORE PICS...........


Woaw Rick this is a masterpiece!!!
The same barrels are on the abufitila Omani matchlocks and according to Elgood they are Persians...
Kubur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th August 2019, 04:36 PM   #80
Jim McDougall
Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 7,569
Default

Rick, this topic has indeed become totally fascinating with this thread, and thanks to you and the guys who have brought your experience, examples and expertise into these pages. For me it has been an entire learning curve, and actually it was my goal to learn more on these after I finally found one!
I hoped that this discussion would not only become a kind of resource for material and observations on these guns, but increase awareness of them in the collectors field, and that has definitely been achieved thanks to you guys.

It does seem like the character of these jezails indeed represents that of 'frontier weapons', that is arms which are often, if not typically, assembled with composite components and locally made elements bringing them together.
With the formidable reputation of the jezail itself as a deadly weapon with the skills of both the artisans crafting them and the tribesmen using them, it would seem the British locks became the standard for that particular element.

While the locks themselves seem to have been in abundant supply, the tribal armourers of course learned to duplicate the markings of British EIC locks in degree. Naturally these were more crudely applied and unawareness of the proper associations of the markings' purpose led to incongruent combinations such as VR (Queen Victoria) with 1815 date or similar pairings.
It seems like even when markings were worn off, there were even attempts to 'touch them up'. It is as if the markings themselves carried some sort of imbuement to the power or quality of the weapon.

As you have noted, the possibility of export of these locks into these regions by vendors dealing with the EIC for specific trade with tribal groups is a distinct possibility. There were many instances of such 'private enterprise' with arms in India before and during the 'Raj', and while most weapons filtered through government channels for forces there, there are many cases where items were sent there outside these administrative venues.

I agree with Kubur, this example you have posted with the wonderfully marked lock, the maker who seems well represented in these, and especially that fantastic barrel!! This example perfectly illustrates the kind of comprehensive quality of these guns quintessentially !!

Stu, thank you for that link.....I had no idea of Cornwallis involved with EIC. Naturally we know him well in the US from our Revolutionary War history but totally unaware of his extended career into EIC.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th August 2019, 04:40 PM   #81
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,456
Default

Hi Kubur

Very observant of you. LOL I feel confident that the barrel started life mounted to an Omani matchlock. It's style and proportions are identical. I need to remove the lock and study the area around the vent hole. The Omani matchlock barrels had their priming pan mounted integral with the barrel. There should be evidence of the original priming pan having been cut off/removed for reuse with a flintlock.
Again, more evidence of reuse of a barrel from a different gun from a different location.

Meantime, here is one more from my collection. The lock on this one is another genuine EIC lock marked WRIGHT, and dated 1803. The barrel is somewhat of a mystery. It reminds me somewhat of the Torador style barrels from Northern India, but lacks the swollen breech area common with those barrels. At some point, the barrel looks like it was subjected to a harsh chemical cleaning. Which probably erased any evidence of damascus pattern. Too bad. I'll have to take the barrel off and study the breech plug area to confirm my initial guess. But I do have a latter period munitions grade Torador with a broken stock that has a very similar barrel. I need to study this gun further also. The trigger guard and front sling swivel (which would have been made from horn in this instance) are missing. As well, the wood ramrod is a modern replacement. Yet another project. LOL

Rick
Attached Images
      
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th August 2019, 07:11 PM   #82
Jim McDougall
Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 7,569
Default

Rick, you have a truly amazing collection, and your observations and insights are great as I try to learn more on these Afghan guns. As noted, with the EIC locks invariably used on these, it is important to understand as much as possible on the dynamics of EIC supply and how these components filtered into Afghan armorers hands.

It would seem that a primary source of many guns and components were probably attained during the First Anglo-Afghan war 1839-42 where forces of primarily EIC native troops and numbers of British units invaded Afghan regions. There were staggering numbers of the EIC guns about, particularly in the disastrous retreat from Kabul to Jallalabad, where over 4000 troops (and over 12,000 civilians) were killed or died in the trek through terrible winter conditions. Only one medical officer survived.
The weapons from these forces must have provided huge numbers of parts as well as others supplied in subsequent years.

While we assume that many of the locks on these jezails were often misjoined and duplicated by native tribal armourers, while it seems that in actuality there may have been certain curious alignments in the production of the India pattern guns before they even got to India.

Apparently the lock plates themselves were fashioned by makers in the Wolverhampton area of Birmingham, while hammers etc. were produced by other vendors. Then the entire guns were assembled by other producers and proved. With these dynamics it is easy to see where certain anomalies might occur, and trying to set exact dates for changes very difficult. One thing emphasized was that the EIC weapons seemed to have carried a higher quality standard, for example using the bun type hammer screw which strengthened the shaft of the tumbler.

Putting together these kinds of particulars I think will be important to better understanding the locks used in these jezails, and apparently reused over generations.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th August 2019, 04:17 PM   #83
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,456
Default

Hi Jim

Thanks for your kind comments. One thing I find amazing is the volume of original (non-tourist) specimens still available today. They show up at auctions and websites all over North America and Europe. This, along with other reference material leads me to believe these Afghan style Jezails must have experienced a sort of renaissance type period along the frontier. Maybe from about 1790 to say 1860 in both flintlock and eventual percussion variations. We then see the use of the 1853 British Enfield style rifled muskets and their later Snider conversions, and eventually the Martini-Henry (of which many local copies were made).
The locally made flintlock locks on most I've examined generally copy the Third Model British/EIC lock pattern. The percussion locks somewhat copy the British Enfield pattern percussion locks. The fact that locally made copies of these locks were made would appear to be evidence that the local demand for these Jazails exceeded the supply of readily available British/European made locks.

Rick
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2019, 09:51 PM   #84
kahnjar1
Member
 
kahnjar1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: CHRISTCHURCH NEW ZEALAND
Posts: 2,443
Default Some Frontier History

Hi Jim,
Though not entirely related to Jezails, but including some information about them, is this link placed on the current Martini Henry thread. I thought it of interest as it tells of arms smuggling to the Frontier during the 19th and 20th centuries. Interesting reading IMHO.
https://www.thefridaytimes.com/gunr...-crash-of-1910/
Further, the map shows that Baluchistan and Afghanistan were originally next door to each other, which would also explain why the Jezail and "Sindi" guns were both described as Afghani.

I wonder if what we collectors have called "Sindi" guns should more correctly be called Baluch......food for thought.

Just as an observation....in the first pic both the long guns shown are matchlocks, while the guy on the right has what appears to be a percussion pistol tucked into his belt.

Stu
Attached Images
  

Last edited by kahnjar1 : 27th August 2019 at 07:10 PM.
kahnjar1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th August 2019, 07:11 AM   #85
Jim McDougall
Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 7,569
Default

Ricky,
It truly is amazing how many non tourist items there really are, and it is hard to imagine the volume of these guns made through the years that ended up stashed away for countless years. I know that a arms collections themselves can end up stashed away for generations, and ultimately end up being revealed and of course sold off.

In my early fascination with "King of the Khyber Rifles" (uh, many many moons ago, the movie was 1953!!) and I got caught up in researching it all in the 80s. I was intrigued by the 'Khyber Rifles' unit, and pretty much wanted to have a progressive grouping of the guns they used. I got the Snider Enfield and Martini Henry OK, but it wasn't til earlier this month I finally got a jezail.

Stu,
Excellent article!! and great insight into the dynamics of the gun trade in these regions, which really explains a lot.
These 'borders' were exceptionally diaphanous in the 19th century, and even more so were tribal territories so it is quite understandable how the terms Sindhi, Baluch and Afghan became often interpolated or collectively used.
Thanks very much for the great input.
Interesting on the photo to see matchlocks in parallel to percussion !

Thanks guys,
Jim
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th August 2019, 10:36 AM   #86
kronckew
Member
 
kronckew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: CSA Consulate, Rm. 101, Glos. UK: p.s. - Real Dogs Have Feathering.
Posts: 3,029
Default

Watch it again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM_jVv1RDk8

Cool, but too much khukuri throwing.

Saw a few jezhails too. I gather the cartridge grease religious thing was a lie - and they were actually greased with vegetable based grease.

"We have blades of steel"
Attached Images
 
kronckew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th August 2019, 08:33 PM   #87
Jim McDougall
Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 7,569
Default

Thanks Wayne!!! An absolutely great nostalgic movie, with the pageantry of those great films of yesteryear. Forget accuracy, in those days it was all just the magic of the big screen .

Not sure I recall kukri throwing.
I had not recalled the Indian Mutiny being in this either. Like much of the lore of India and the Raj, the 'greased cartridge' case was dramatically seized upon, though the circumstances causing the rebellion were far more complex.
The cartridges for the new rifled Enfields were indeed initially greased, through horrendous oversight by the British administration with pig tallow in those issued from England; the ones made at the Dum Dum arsenal with cow tallow....thereby totally alienating the Muslim as well as Hindu sepoys.

The huge faux pas was realized quickly and orders from Bengal directed all extant cartridges be issued only to European forces; the native troops to create their own tallow of choice; and the entire drill to have cartridges broken open by fingers rather than teeth.
It was too late, the battle cry issued, and the disinformative info claiming vegetable fat fell flat on its face.

In all, a bit of a 'sticky wicket' which exploded catastrophically.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 07:39 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.