Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 24th February 2014, 11:52 AM   #1
Raf
Member
 
Raf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 98
Default a seventeenth century matchlock ?

A nice example which a lot of people would be pleased to own .

Scroll down and you may change your mind.
The same gun before being restored by an internationally recognised firearms restorer some years ago . Its whats not their thats the the worrying bit . No flashpan , no trigger , and crucially , no sign of a lock. The whole thing now crumbling to dust . Makes you think...
Attached Images
       
Raf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th February 2014, 04:48 PM   #2
cornelistromp
Member
 
cornelistromp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 906
Default

It's a Dutch musket,well a musket used in Holland in first half of the 17thc.
the decoration in this style is Dutch, as one as pictured on the night watch by rembrandt
extremely rare, herewith another example.

best,
Jasper
Attached Images
     

Last edited by cornelistromp : 24th February 2014 at 05:32 PM.
cornelistromp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th February 2014, 05:04 PM   #3
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default

Hi Raf,


I must say that I have my severe doubts as to the authenticity of this matchlock musket.
It is definitley not Dutch as its general shape denotes but German, either Suhl or Zella made. The sample that Jasper posted can be dated ca. 1620 and must be of greater length, ca. 156-160 cm, and so are all the other muskets in his post. They have nothing to do with our piece in discussion.

First of all, the overall shape of the gun - the form of the buttstock, barrel and lock, disregarding the stock decoration - suggest that this is a characteristic German military matchlock musket of ca. 1645-50. Many specimen of this perculiar type are known in both public and private collections, and the octagonal breech of the barrel usually is struck with maker's marks and the town marks of either Suhl or Zella, both Thuringian centers of 17th c. firearms mass production.
Representing the latest French style that was a guide line in that period, the barrel shows a short 16-sided stage in between the octagonal breech and the round forward section.
The trigger gurad on your gun is missing, and the grip of the pan cover is writhen in a way that denotes that it is a later addition. All the pan covers of that type were identical in shape, please refer to the attachments in detail.
Could we see the barrel marks, please?

The overall length of the gun should be ca. 1,40 m.


Now comes the tricky point: the beechwood full stock shows a profuse inlay work comprising materials such as bone and mother-of-pearl that would be characteristic of Dresden muskets of the Trabanten-Leibgarde of the Elector Christian I of Saxony, which means 1580's! Of course, these guns really looked archaic, with their great overall length of 156 cm and their long tiller triggers that were employed without trigger guards.

Thus we face a temporary discrepancy that cannot be easily solved. I do not know of one single instance that would prove that that kind of late-16th c. stock decoration was used almost without any stylistic alterations in the mid-17th century.

Poland however is known to have 'embellished' a great number of originally plain German and Austrian military guns in ca. the 1680's to ca. 1700 but in a completely obsolete style of ca. 1600. This one could be such a Polish-embellished gun.


Attached on top please find a number of typical plain matchlock muskets of this Zella/Suhl manufactured 1640's type:

- in my collection (with Zella marks), coming from the former Blell/Zeulenroda colln., the barrel and lock struck with Zella marks

- a group of 8 of these muskets preserved in the Musée de l'Armée, Paris, all with Zella marks (author's photos, 1994)

- Dorotheum Vienna, 29 Febr thru 3rd March 1912



Following a few samples of 1580's Saxon (Dresden) matchlock muskets with highly decorated stocks.


Best,
Michael
Attached Images
           

Last edited by Matchlock : 24th February 2014 at 07:25 PM.
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th February 2014, 05:08 PM   #4
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default

The muskets in Paris and in a 1912 Dorotheum auction.

The Paris muskets are, next to an extremely long sharpshooter's Italian wheellock musket of ca. 1640 and an 8-shot matchlock musket with 8 pans and touch holes and movable lock (!) of ca. 1600:
- a German/Suhl matchlock musket of ca. 1615-20 with sparse bone inlay
another of ca. 1600-10
- a characteristic military Dutch/Emden matchlock musket, the barrel and lock made in Suhl, ca. 1615-20
- a German matchlock musket with long tiller trigger and inlaíd stock, 1590's
When comparing the latter two in both style and period please keep in mind that they are 20 to 30 years apart!


I also attached photos of some Saxon/Dresden matchlock muskets of the 1580's, with their characteristic mother-of-pearl and bone inlay.
The first photo depicts the obverse side of a matchlock musket on the right-hand side. Please note the tiller trigger and typical lock plate with the early-style serpentine.

It can be generally stated that matchlock muskets with inlaid stocks did normally not continue to be made after ca. 1630, the Dutch ones being the latest in existence.
When dating a musket, the shape of the buttstock is very relevant: the still flared upper curve of the butt is accompanied by a notable belly on the underside, and the sharp edges of the buttstock start vanishing when the formal development comes near the mid-17th century when the new Baroque style replaces the former Renaissance sense of style. But the barrel, lock and mounts made large stylistic progress as well after the end of the Thirty Years War.

m
Attached Images
            

Last edited by Matchlock : 24th February 2014 at 07:27 PM.
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th February 2014, 05:54 PM   #5
Raf
Member
 
Raf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 98
Default

Thanks Michael. I knew you you would have something to say about it .Yes it does look like a standard German military musket and no I too am struggling to reconcile this with the decoration. Attached are the marks.
The whole of the flashpan and cover have evidently been added by the restorer
Attached Images
 
Raf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th February 2014, 07:13 PM   #6
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default

That's what I thought: the town mark ZEL and the Saxon coat-of-arms (in the 17th century, Zella belonged to Saxony while being part of Thuringia today), two marks that are identical on my musket and can be found on all guns from that Zella series, prove that this originally was a plain military musket of ca. 1645.

The riddle has been solved - sorry for the bad news, Raf!


As for the question mark in your title: yes, this once was a genuine 17th c. matchlock musket, the stock however prettified later-on, and in an earlier style than the rest of the gun.

Btw: the fire shield as well is a fantasy addition - please refer to the fire shield on my gun.


m

Last edited by Matchlock : 24th February 2014 at 08:40 PM.
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th February 2014, 08:45 PM   #7
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default

Here are close-ups of some of the Zella marks on the barrels of the group of 8 muskets in the Musée de l'Armée Paris.

m
Attached Images
    
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th February 2014, 07:46 AM   #8
Marcus den toom
Member
 
Marcus den toom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 464
Default

Some years back Hermann Historica (auction 60, lot number 21) sold this matchlock gun. It had damages at the stock and some other defects (like the tang and serpentine which has been broken).
No expert as of yet on these weapons, but i think the auction labbeled it right as a German matchlock gun. It has the same kind of decorations as the Wheel lock carbine from suhl i used to own. So possibly suhl (not sure though )
third image: the middle one is how it looked like, the others are just an attempt from my side to see how it might have looked like when restored.





Marcus den toom is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25th February 2014, 10:05 AM   #9
Raf
Member
 
Raf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 98
Default

Thanks for your contribution Marcus. A useful comparison since the quality , or lack of it , of the bone inlays is very similar. To say that this style of decoration died out in Germany in the early seventeenth century and in Holland by the 1630s may in principle be correct. However the products of the German armouries of the 1640s must have moved around Europe , some of which may well have ended up being decorated according to regional tastes. For example the detail below is from a Tschinke dated 1667.
Your example also illustrates my original point about the practicability or desirability of restoration of firearms in this state of advanced decay.
Attached Images
 
Raf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th February 2014, 10:47 AM   #10
cornelistromp
Member
 
cornelistromp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 906
Default

There was a lively arms trade in the 16th and 17th centuries, I assume that the Petronel and muskets shown on 16/17 century Dutch paintings are mainly of German origin.

The typical Dutch style deer antler/ mother of pearl decoration was seen as early as the last quarter of the 16th century in the Netherlands.

See a German/Dutch Petronel 1579 in the Emden weapons rooms and compare this decoration with the one in post 1 and the musket in #2


One can assume with high probability that the decoration of post#1 is the orginal one done in the first half of the 17th century.



where this decoration has been done is not yet clear to me.

best,
Jasper
Attached Images
   

Last edited by cornelistromp : 25th February 2014 at 11:00 AM.
cornelistromp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th February 2014, 11:47 AM   #11
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default

It is a fact that, in the High Baroque period of ca. 1700, no other country but Poland widely used a Renaissance style that had become outdated for almost 100 years (!) in order to embellish military firearms that were manufactured in Germany but, just as the style, had become obsolete long since.


The matchlock musket posted by Marcus in post #8 is all the more remarkable as it basically is a very early piece, of the period and type of the Dresden muskets, with highly decorated stock. We should closely study the shape of its lock mechanism with the long tiller trigger and the early serpentine, its barrel and stock.
Now what was wrong with that piece? Have a close look and you will notice it is too short: 149 cm overall length is not enough as to proportion when the standard length was 156 cm-160 cm. So the piece must have been shortened. Next, the back sight does not show the correct style; it should be a long tubular back sight chiselled as a bearded face. Finally, the screw entering the barrel tang from above denotes a complete fake as tang screws between ca. 1560 and 1700 always entered the stock from the underside!
Of course it was dated completely wrong 'ca. 1620' by Hermann Historica. 1580's-90 would be the correct date assiged to it but concerning what had been done to it - leave it alone! That's what I did.

I am proud to say that a fine specimen of that very same type of heavy (9 kg!) early matchlock musket of ca. 1570-80 is in my collection, the barrel struck with the Gothic minuscule p mark of the famous Munich gunsmith Peter Peteck who worked for the Electors of Saxony and the Emperor Charles V, and whose guns are preserved in world famous collections like the Met and the Real Armería Madrid!


Looking at the muskets Jasper posted we should keep in mind that they cover an early range from 1579 (the Emden petronel) to ca. 1625 (the long muskets with trigger guards), their overall and especially their decorative style being forerunners and totally incomparable with Raf's musket in discussion. Originally, there just never existed a decorated version of the latter!


m
Attached Images
    

Last edited by Matchlock : 25th February 2014 at 01:06 PM.
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th February 2014, 12:40 PM   #12
Marcus den toom
Member
 
Marcus den toom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 464
Default

Not a matchlock gun, but considering the discussion i post this carbine with a barrel from suhl. The decorations are in renaisance styl. the carbine however was without a doubt a later production since the barrel marking (suhler hen) was that of 1680's (if i remember correctly). So, as Michael pointed out, there are a lot of later productions which resemble the renaisance styl to meet the demands of Polish noble man.






Marcus den toom is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25th February 2014, 02:19 PM   #13
Matchlock
(deceased)
 
Matchlock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
Posts: 4,310
Default

Exactly, Marcus,


Thank you so much, you definitely got the point!

That was the kind of input I had been waiting for: an originally plain military Prussian wheellock saddle carbine , Suhl, ca. 1670, the saddle bar and ring now missing, and embellished in Poland in around 1700 in the obsolete Renaissance Mannerism style of ca. 1580-1600.

Attached please find images of two Suhl wheellock carbines from the same series retaining their original unaltered appearance, with their plain walnut full stocks, saddle bars and rings.


Best,
m
Attached Images
  
Matchlock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th February 2014, 03:39 PM   #14
cornelistromp
Member
 
cornelistromp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 906
Default

Of course this later inlaid paddle butt has nothing to do with the musket in Item # 1 nor with the style of inlay of this musket.

I believe the musket of post 1 is inlaid around 1630-1640 and probably used in Holland in the second quarter of the 17thC.
it might have been an Original plain military musket (maybe they all were) but the decoration/inlay is not much later than the production of it.

See a painting by Frans Hals, the skinny company ( de magere companie) from 1633 with the same style of decoration at the musket.

and the decoration at the muskets on the painting ; platoon of the cluveniers civic quard, Harlem 1594.

Rembrandts nightwatch and others.

best,
Jasper
Attached Images
       

Last edited by cornelistromp : 25th February 2014 at 04:40 PM.
cornelistromp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th February 2014, 05:54 PM   #15
Raf
Member
 
Raf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 98
Default

regarding a Dutch connection are we not missing the obvious ? Tulipomania 1637...
Attached Images
 
Raf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th February 2014, 06:55 PM   #16
cornelistromp
Member
 
cornelistromp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 906
Default

Hi RAF,

well , the time span is exactly right between 1634-1637 there was a tulip buying anger with ridiculously high prices that were paid for it in the Netherlands.

I have also dated the musket with Dutch decoration in previous posts between 1630-1640.

some facts about the Tulp(en)manie;
In January 1637 tulip bulbs were sold for more than ten times the annual salary of a skilled craftsman, and they were about as much worth as an Amsterdam canal house. this was of course absolutely ridiculous, but did happen.

this situation in 1637 was quite similar to the banking crisis we just had/have now, a huge bubble that collapses.

The inlay on muskets that were used in Netherlands had often symbolism in the images.
see for example the oranges on musket from post 2, these represent the royal house of Orange (oranje Nassau) from the 16th century until now.
further oranges were like tulips a very expensive status product in the netherlands, William of Orange (WIII) every winter had his orange trees by his gardeners put inside where the temperature was right.

best,
Jasper
Attached Images
  

Last edited by cornelistromp : 26th February 2014 at 09:09 AM.
cornelistromp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th February 2014, 04:19 PM   #17
cornelistromp
Member
 
cornelistromp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 906
Default

another dutch musket, essentially another dutch style decorated version of the northern European military muskets of the 16th - 17th century.
the barrel is inscribed with the Dutch phrase; EENDRACH MAK MACH

in latin "concordia res parvae crescunt" unity makes strength in the 16thC Dutch Republic took over the phrase as its motto and it appeared on several of its coins and coats of arms.

and another in the rijksmuseum.

best,
jasper
Attached Images
       

Last edited by cornelistromp : 26th February 2014 at 04:38 PM.
cornelistromp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd March 2014, 12:56 PM   #18
Raf
Member
 
Raf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 98
Default

And finally , a matchlock dated 1629 , Musee de l' Armee , Paris , which I think shows that this decoration can be consistent with this style of butt.
Attached Images
 

Last edited by Raf : 2nd March 2014 at 01:11 PM.
Raf 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 02:14 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, 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.