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Old 20th March 2012, 01:47 PM   #1
Matchlock
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Default An Unusual Haquebut (Ganzer Haken), ca. 1440-1500

Dating this item is extremely difficult as it lacks almost all clear dating criteria, both technically and stylistically. It might even be earlier than the mid-15th c. It somehow reminds me of the so-called Bohemian pipes of the Hussite Wars, ca. 1420-40. If the hook originally belongs I should assume a date post-1430 as that seems to be the period when the first integral hooks appeared. On the other hand, barrels around as late as 1500 looked much the same, so I allowed an unusually wide span of dating.

Overall length 88 cm, barrel 49.2 cm, bore 25 mm, touch hole diameter 5 mm, weight 8 kg.

Of both rather crude manufacture and stylistic esthetics but doubtlesly of imposing impact ...

The wrought iron barrel round throughout, with only slightly swamped muzzle area, the wooden stock secured to the socket by three nails. Behind the touch hole a bulge which may have acted both as a fire shield for the gunner's eye and as a pan molding for applying the igniting powder at the same time.

The stout hook is forged-welded to the barrel as usual. The bottom of the stock is painted in red with an old inventory no. in 16th/17th century numerals.

Sold at Bonhams, London, 1st Dec 2009.


Best,
Michael
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Old 20th March 2012, 01:50 PM   #2
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More.
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Old 20th March 2012, 01:52 PM   #3
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The last few images.
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Old 21st March 2012, 11:10 PM   #4
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Hello, Michael! Thank You for sharing this. This weapon has really strange shape especially the shape of the stock. It seems that stock is product of recycling of broken lance I think that the shape of the rear end of the stock may be a hint for a more correct dating. Of course, only if it's really part of the lance. Else I want to say some word about bulge behind the touch hole. It's not unique. I know at least one more barrel with the bulge of absolutely similar shape (look at attachment(Length: 14,8 cm; Caliber: 19 mm; Weight: 2,5 Kg))
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Old 21st March 2012, 11:25 PM   #5
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Hello Alexander,

I know the barrel you posted; unfortunately it is mounted on a new stock but the bulge behind the touch hole is the same. I would date it to the first half of the 16th c., which is almost 100 years later than the one I posted.

Best,
Michael
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Old 21st March 2012, 11:25 PM   #6
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The most common form of hook was trapezoid but barrel which You have uploaded has hook of rectangle form. But It's not unique to
p/s unfortunately I can't give the link because the website is dead now
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Old 21st March 2012, 11:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
Hello Alexander,
I would date it to the first half of the 16th c.
Hmmmm... I was sure that this barrel much earlier
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Old 21st March 2012, 11:40 PM   #8
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Exactly!

Btw, the fine piece you posted is well-known to me as well; actually it is huge, a doppelter Doppelhaken, retaining its original oaken full stock painted in the Austrian (Habsburg) colors white and red (the white now faded to yellow), weighing 51 kg! This of course was not a long arm (Handfeuerwaffe) but, like all Doppelhaken, a stocked piece of cannon (geschäftetes Geschütz).

The maker's mark may be that of Peter Pögl, Thörl near Innsbruck, who supplied the Maximilian army. If my thesis is correct, it is not of Styrian manufacture as the present owner assumed but was made in the Tyrol. The very same Gothic majuscule P mark is on a heavy wrought-iron barrel which you saw in my collection when you were here:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=7102

I attach two details of that enormous piece, and another close-up of the P mark on my barrel.


Best,
Michael
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Last edited by Matchlock; 22nd March 2012 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 21st March 2012, 11:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiridonov
Hmmmm... I was sure that this barrel much earlier

I don't think so; it formerly was in my collection and I still own similar ones; this kind of punched decoration does not usually occur on all kinds of ironwork, e.g. axe heads and halberds, before the early 16th century.

m
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Old 22nd March 2012, 12:51 AM   #10
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I once photographed a small Late Gothic hand cannon with a similar notable bulge behind the touch hole. I would not date this before ca. 1460-70, the short tang was pierced for a stock or grips.

m
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Old 25th March 2012, 09:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
I once photographed a small Late Gothic hand cannon with a similar notable bulge behind the touch hole. I would not date this before ca. 1460-70, the short tang was pierced for a stock or grips.

m
Michael, why do You never shared this before? It's one of the most beautiful barrels! Especially decoration! Tang look unusual. It is similar to tangs of knives. This barrel belongs to my favorite period of Burgundian wars. It is possible to get information about caliber and barrel length?
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Old 25th March 2012, 11:19 PM   #12
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Just because lack of money pressed me to sell it - I guess all avid collectors know what I mean: there are times when you feel that you just need to have a certain item, and you got to lay your money down immediately. So when you know someone special who has been offering you fair money for an item from your collection, you sell it. Today, I guess I would not deaccession it.

On the other hand, I guess I still own the finest collection of earliest handgonnes I can imagine . You are no doubt the only mate around to judge this because you were in my collection!

I do remember it was tiny, about 30 cm in all, the bore being about 12-14 mm.

Anyway, I know where it went and will try and get the data. Please allow some time.

Just one more thought: as the only handgonnes I have ever noticed to have pierced tangs/tillers intended for attaching grips doubtlessly dated from the early 16th c. there is a chance that the tang on the barrel in question was added later during its working life.

For a better understanding, I attach images of several early 16th century tiller haquebuts with long and flat tangs obviously intended to be originally mounted with grips - just like the Landsknecht messers of the same period. As is evident in one close-up, some of them even retained their original grip nails!
Author's photos, taken in the Bayerisches Armeemuseum Ingolstadt some 30 years ago.

Please note that the date of 'ca. 1480' for the Ingolstadt haquebut in the bottom image given by a friend of mine actually should read 'ca. 1515-20'.


Best,
Michael
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Old 26th March 2012, 03:00 PM   #13
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Addendum to post #10:

The overall length of the handgonne is 28.6 cm, the bore 13 mm.

m
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Old 26th March 2012, 07:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
Addendum to post #10:

The overall length of the handgonne is 28.6 cm, the bore 13 mm.

m
Michael, thank You! As You know exactly measurements is very important for me It's very pleasure that You've got it for me and another members of forum.
By the way, the grips like the grips of Landsknecht messers appears earlier than in begin of 16 century
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Old 26th March 2012, 07:22 PM   #15
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Do you have sources for this thesis?

I would be glad to see them.

m
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Old 26th March 2012, 09:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
Do you have sources for this thesis?

I would be glad to see them.

m
I have made this photo in Sforza Castle when I was in Milan. This wall-painting is about 1460. And this is not earlies example of this type of tiller
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Old 26th March 2012, 09:27 PM   #17
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That's true for Early Renaissance Italian edged weapons, Alexender,

Thank you so much!

My experience of doing research in earliest firearms for some 30 years has proved though that guns generally used to fall behind other stylistic trends in arts and crafts by at least some decades. E.g., if you find a Late Gothic roped frieze (Schnürlband) on some everday use item of ca. 1450, let's say a beaker, you will not find the same decorative element on barrels before the end the 15th c.

This I feel should be kept in mind when it comes to dating earliest guns. In the samples I posted above, the shape and length of the muzzle section, as well as the pronounced Renaissance-style sectioning of the Ingolstadt barrel by friezes, both give a fixed date of post quem, which is 1500 to 1510.

Best,
Michael
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Old 29th March 2012, 01:20 PM   #18
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Another haquebut with long and flat integral tiller retaining transerverse nails for the missing grips, ca. 1500-15, in the Historisches Museum Bern, Switzerland.

Overall length 151 cm
weight 14.5 kg
barrel length 92 cm
bore length 90.5 cm
bore diameter 2.1 cm
outer muzzle diameter 4.7 cm
outer rear end diameter 6.1 cm
hook 10 x 5.8 cm
tiller length 59 cm

m
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Old 3rd April 2012, 05:19 PM   #19
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As all development in the history of small guns seems to derive from large cannons/artillery pieces, here is the predecessor of the above posted haquebuts with long tillers: a piece of artillery, illustrated in a Swiss Gothic manuscript (codex), on the adventures of the first crusade, preserved in the Stiftsbibliothek St. Gallen, Cod.Sang. 658, fo. 61, detail.

Please also note the tiller arquebus fired by a soldier in the second close-up.

As this profusely illumniated book, hitherto virtually unknown, offers vast and manifold sources on 15th century weapons of all kinds, here is the link for download:

http://www.e-codices.unifr.ch/de/preview/csg/0658

Best,
Michael
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Old 3rd April 2012, 07:16 PM   #20
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Another arquebus depiction, from the same codex, 1465, fol. 38.
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Old 3rd April 2012, 09:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
Another arquebus depiction, from the same codex, 1465, fol. 38.
Great find, Michael! One of this barrels from image seems does not have a stock It's too short.
P/S
Michael, You have created a lot of interesting topics at last time. I feel morally obligated to comment them all but I don't have enough time at last days (but I'll try to do this :-) ). I always read that You've written with the great interest.
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Old 3rd April 2012, 09:40 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiridonov
Great find, Michael! One of this barrels from image seems does not have a stock It's too short.
P/S
Michael, You have created a lot of interesting topics at last time. I feel morally obligated to comment them all but I don't have enough time at last days (but I'll try to do this :-) ). I always read that You've written with the great interest.

Alexender, my dear friend,

Thank you so much for sharing your precious time and coming in once more!

Please do not worry! I know that you are observing my posts (which I feel in a way have always really been ours , as you seem to be the one here to share my my knowledge best) and I jump for joy every single time I hear from you.

As to the seemingly missing tiller stock of the arquebus depicted, I am afraid that what I have learned from more than 3O years of studying 400 to 600 year-old period artwork is that it was almost never absolutely exact. I guess artists then just did not care to be that exact. E.g., animals like bears, lions and elephants were depicted like dogs or pigs.

Best from Lower Bavaria,
and having my last sip of tea for today from the beautiful St. Petersburg cup you brought when visiting me ,

Michael

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