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Old 4th February 2010, 04:18 PM   #1
fernando
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Default A Spanish escopeta

Very good condition, not many miles away from excelent; no repairs, no gaps, no loosenesses ... only a bit too cleaned (polished?), specially at the barrel front section, possibly due to the previous owner wishing to erase some pitting... not sure.
The patilha (Miquelete) lock, in the genuine late percussion version; dated 1840.
The barrel and lock bear the punctions of M Vicaº (Vicario) Rodriguez and the trigger guard bear those of Juan Rodriguez.
The caps box has inscribed Juan y Hermano en Cortegana, which confirms the gunsmiths were two brothers; Cortegana is in the Huelva area.
The caliber is around 18 mm; i am not certain if at this stage you could already call it a 12 gauge; can someone enlighten me?
The wooden ram rod could be the original ... a little bit short, though.
Traditional stock a la Catalana (or boot).
There is a threaded hole on the counter plate; missing some kind of ring ... i wouldn't say a hook. I will have to figure out what it was.
Would anyone care for coments?
Thanks a lot
Fernando

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Old 4th February 2010, 04:19 PM   #2
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Old 4th February 2010, 08:52 PM   #3
M ELEY
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Absolutely beautiful piece, Fernando! Where did you find such an intact piece! When I first saw that threaded hole, I thought perhaps there might be one on the other side (as in, mounted with a swivel base), but not the case. I am excited to hear what the experts have to say about this fantastic percussion piece. Congrats again!
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Old 4th February 2010, 09:47 PM   #4
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Hi Fernando,
I see you've now changed to miniature calibre firearms . On a more serious note, that is really a very nice piece! I'm not up on older firearms but the overall shape looks to be of an earlier form than 1840? I have the perfect blank shape on my wall should you ever tire of looking at it .
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 5th February 2010, 01:11 AM   #5
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A Miguelete in 1840? By this time, most Spain had switched to the French lock.

How about an 18th C reworked Flintlock, converted to Percussion ?

Who was Juan Rodriguez?





Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman McCormick
Hi Fernando,
I see you've now changed to miniature calibre firearms . On a more serious note, that is really a very nice piece! I'm not up on older firearms but the overall shape looks to be of an earlier form than 1840? I have the perfect blank shape on my wall should you ever tire of looking at it .
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 5th February 2010, 04:03 PM   #6
fernando
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Hola Manolin


Quote:
Originally Posted by celtan
... A Miguelete in 1840? By this time, most Spain had switched to the French lock ... How about an 18th C reworked Flintlock, converted to Percussion ? ...


I doubt it.
I had already heard in the grapevines that the caplock Miqueletes remained in use up to the advent of the catridge (1835). Considering this in a general manner, i wouldn't be surprised that some provincial gunsmith still made some pecimens in 1840, be it for nostalgic reasons from either himself or an exquisite customer.
I guess that, in weapons as also in other technologies, the introduction of new techniques doesn't necessarily demobilize the previous ones... look at me, so literate .
Amazingly the last flintlock weapon made in Portugal was the copy of the New Land Pattern pistol, produced in the Army Arsenal, dated 1846.

Quote:
Originally Posted by celtan
...Who was Juan Rodriguez? ...


Good question; i was expecting you to tell me .
It appears that gunsmiths (or other craftsmen) only come listed if they work in the country capitals or similar metropolis; who would know a couple 'handy' brothers from a Huelva little village.
But i am not particulary sad for that; at least the piece is not marked with a false name, 'borrowed' from a famous master, like so often happens.
Obviously i would love to their name somewhere .
Fernando
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Old 5th February 2010, 04:10 PM   #7
fernando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman McCormick
Hi Fernando,
I see you've now changed to miniature calibre firearms . On a more serious note, that is really a very nice piece! I'm not up on older firearms but the overall shape looks to be of an earlier form than 1840? I have the perfect blank shape on my wall should you ever tire of looking at it .
My Regards,
Norman.






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Old 5th February 2010, 04:28 PM   #8
fernando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M ELEY
Absolutely beautiful piece, Fernando! Where did you find such an intact piece! When I first saw that threaded hole, I thought perhaps there might be one on the other side (as in, mounted with a swivel base), but not the case. I am excited to hear what the experts have to say about this fantastic percussion piece. Congrats again!


Thank you Mark,
It must be some kind of suspension device, although this intrigues me, as such characteristic would better fit shorter items, like pistols or short blunderbusses and carbines.
This escopeta measures 1,25 mt (1ft 2"); if you held it from the belt by the spot where the threaded hole is, it would nearly touch the ground. And this is no cavalry weapon, i would say?
The truth is that this shotgun has no hanging belt, which is unusual. Maybe this hipothetical ring would do the job ... but how? .
Let them experts pop up and tell us something about that
Fernando
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Old 5th February 2010, 05:37 PM   #9
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Nando,

That's just what I thought. Yesterday I received a book.with copious illustrations of Napoleonic french soldiers, many of whom were dragoons.

They were depicted as carrying a carbine hanging from a shoulder belt, or even from the saddle's horn, attached to the gun in the same area yours has that hole. So I guess it was probably a ring, to carry the carbine at the ready while hunting from a horse.

BTW, the flintlock continued to be made and used in Spain until ~ 1850, never mind the more modern Percussion-locks.

Beautiful piece, nonetheless!

Best

M



Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Thank you Mark,
It must be some kind of suspension device, although this intrigues me, as such characteristic would better fit shorter items, like pistols or short blunderbusses and carbines.
This escopeta measures 1,25 mt (1ft 2"); if you held it from the belt by the spot where the threaded hole is, it would nearly touch the ground. And this is no cavalry weapon, i would say?
The truth is that this shotgun has no hanging belt, which is unusual. Maybe this hipothetical ring would do the job ... but how? .
Let them experts pop up and tell us something about that
Fernando
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Old 11th February 2010, 04:19 AM   #10
M ELEY
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Default Frontier escopeta

http://issuu.com/dreamedia/docs/catalog_148_comancheria

Check out lot #185 on pg 78-79. It resembles Fernando's very much. Interestingly, I thought these were percussion cap the first time I saw one. This one dates to the 18th c.?

I just love this catalog of Native American/Span colonial stuff-
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Old 12th February 2010, 03:11 PM   #11
fernando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M ELEY
http://issuu.com/dreamedia/docs/catalog_148_comancheria

Check out lot #185 on pg 78-79. It resembles Fernando's very much. Interestingly, I thought these were percussion cap the first time I saw one. This one dates to the 18th c.?

I just love this catalog of Native American/Span colonial stuff-


Great catalogue, Mark ... thanks a lot for the link.
Well, i think it resembles mine a lot because that type of stock has a definite influence and impact; so does the lock, although mine was born in the percussion type. I also have these locks converted, by the way.
A consistent difference between both is that mine has a 'full' stock, ie, the stock forend goes up to the barrel mouth. According to a specialist in Spanish arms, this is an unusual feature for the period.
The same specialist (Juan L. Calvó) also sugests that the barrel in mine could have well been from a 18th century flintlock, a practice most used by 19th century gunmakers. This is the so called barrel with 'culatin'; the barrel is intersected at the breech to assemble a percussion bolster section, and then coupled back to the original tang.
Another interesting particularity is that, the shoulder stock in mine, besides being more refined, has a groove on the right side, but not in the left, probably not to molest the shooter's face.
I am most pleased that this expert has well praised my example; and for what i see in the example shown in the catalogue (price wise) and some local opinions, i have made a good deal.
Fernando

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Old 12th February 2010, 07:45 PM   #12
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A good deal indeed, my friend! Yours is a beautiful piece that would honor anyone's collection.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 09:56 PM   #13
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Default Catalan stock / techno transition

Hi, Fernando
Congratulations on a piece in so fine condition, complete and not "monkeyed with"! It's obvious that it was made by someone with considerable skill, the fit and finish is very good and it appears to have had good care given to it during its working life.

In response to Norman's post: yes, the "boot" shaped Catalan stock dates from way before when this piece was made, the 17th cent. at least, it not before. James D. Lavin's A HISTORY OF SPANISH FIREARMS (1965) would be one place to learn about the development of this form.

Regarding the "late" appearance of the "llave de patilla": yes, it's true that the "French" lock and its percussion successors had made considerable inroads into the Iberian during the early 19th cent., as with anything else the transition was not uniform. Gunsmiths, and their customers, in the more sophisticated larger metro areas would have learned about and embraced the new styles earlier, whereas the provinces stayed rather conservative. Here in the US I have encountered over the years a number of mousequetons and blunderbusses brougnt to America by early Basque immigrants (they were mostly sheep herders who used the weapons for defense) and the majority of them had traditional miquelet locks like this one. Some were made as percussion, others were conversions judging from the filled holes in the lockplates for the now-unneeded screws and pins for the divers parts of the older flint system.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 09:26 PM   #14
fernando
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Hi Philip,
Thank you very much for your comprehensive input.
Yes, this time i was lucky to spot, may i call it, a fine piece ... and for a fine price, i should say.
Fernando
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