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Old 13th July 2011, 03:47 PM   #1
Matchlock
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Default A Good and Rare Austrian Combined Wheellock and Matchlock Musket, ca. 1665-70

This is an item of a group of early Hapsburg infantry long arms rarely enough to appear on the market.

A sample of the same type of gun, made in Suhl/Thuringia, ca. 1665-70, for Austria, is in my collection, but in optimum condition and retaining its original side mounted knife bayonet (see top three images).

The fact that the expensive wheellock mechanism was still combined with the matchlock ignition, though almost obsolete by then, may be seen as sort of period 'high tech' but on the other hand the fact is undeniable that the 'primitive' match holder was simply more reliable than the complicated (and delicate) wheellock. This I can testify by my own test firings.

Beechwood full stock with original rough surface. Original wooden barrel pins, back sight but no foresight (not missing!).
Overall length 151 cm, barrel 111 cm, ca. 19 mm, weight 6.5 kg.

Sorry for the poor-resolution close-up images, they are not mine.

Enjoy!

Best,
Michael
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Last edited by Matchlock : 13th July 2011 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 13th July 2011, 03:49 PM   #2
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And the rest.
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Old 14th July 2011, 07:16 PM   #3
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This is basically the same type, made just a few years later, which is denoted by the less belly shaped buttstock which already resembles that of today's English shotguns.

It is recorded as the Austrian infantry musket model M 1686, referring to the year it was acknowlegded as a standard model and built in Suhl for at least 10 years.

This specimen illustrated in b/w only is preserved in the Hapsburg Army Museum (Heeresgeschichtliches Museum), Vienna.

Best,
Michael
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Old 22nd August 2011, 06:23 PM   #4
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Another musket of the very same type but heavily cleaned and the stock inaptly leached and polished, sold Galerie Fischer, Lucerne, in September 2010.

Best,
Michael
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Old 15th March 2012, 10:24 PM   #5
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Another piece from the same series, misdated as 'ca. 1630', but actually ca. 1670, sold in a German auction.
Heavily cleaned overall, the wood roobbed of all its original varnish and inappropriately polished like that of a sporting gun.

The Suhl control and dealer's marks clearly visible, the deeply struck mark on the right flat of the octagonal barrel section is that of the barrel smith.

m
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Old 15th March 2012, 10:34 PM   #6
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Another musket from the same series, preserved in the Army Museum Dresden and combined with a contemporary military plug bayonet. The upper ramrod pipe is missing.

Best,
Michael
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