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 21st December 2016, 03:52 PM   #1
Norman McCormick
Member
 
Norman McCormick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,162
Default Balkan ? Pistol.

Hi All,
A flint lock pistol which I assume emanates from the Balkan region although I have been known to be wrong in the past . I would appreciate your comments and ideas on the where and when. It is a substantial pistol and quite workmanlike with a solid 'skull crusher' type butt. Thanks in advance for all and any replies.
Regards,
Norman.
Attached Images
           

Last edited by Norman McCormick : 21st December 2016 at 06:37 PM.
Norman McCormick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st December 2016, 03:53 PM   #2
Norman McCormick
Member
 
Norman McCormick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,162
Default

More Photos
Attached Images
     

Last edited by Norman McCormick : 21st December 2016 at 06:09 PM.
Norman McCormick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st December 2016, 04:30 PM   #3
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,147
Default

Hi Norman.

Yes, appears to be a typical Balkan made pistol. But with extra good workmanship, and in very nice condition. A good textbook example. Congratulations. Maybe someone can make out the markings/script that is also well done. This pistol was made by a good craftsman.

Rick
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st December 2016, 06:14 PM   #4
Norman McCormick
Member
 
Norman McCormick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,162
Default

Hi Rick,
Thanks for the interest. The pistol is 17 1/2 inches overall with a 10 1/2 inch barrel. I like the all steel construction with a little brass inlay, made for business. I've put a better photo of the lock plate on post No 2, do you think the 'serpent' detail is purely decorative or maybe a makers mark? It would seem to be in a rather obscure place for pure decoration i.e. only visible when the piece is cocked. Thanks again.
My Regards,
Norman.


P.S. It is in complete and original working condition.

Last edited by Norman McCormick : 22nd December 2016 at 10:38 AM.
Norman McCormick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd December 2016, 02:35 PM   #5
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,147
Default

Hi Norman

I have no idea the relevence of the serpent. It would be great if someone can translate any of the letters or markings. Unless made as a pair, you never see any two Balkan style pistols look alike. The "general" style of these pistols seem to follow the French pattern of the first half of the 18th Century. But the carving, engraving, and decoration usually follow a generic pattern. This was probably done so as to attract a wide variety of prospective customers, without offending any religious sensibilities or tastes. Also, these pistols are usually unsigned, without a makers mark. This is likely so that the pistol could not be traced back to any specific gunshop since they were sold to friend and foe alike. LOL I too like the iron mounted guns. I think they are the most attractive. Especially if tastefully decorated with brass or silver, such as this one. The barrel on this one is especially attractive. The extra wide breech end quickly tapering and fading to round. I would not be surprised if the barrel was European made. The pistol is extra nice. Wish I had seen it first. LOL
Question: Is the ramrod full length, about the same as the barrel length? Or is it shorter ?

Rick
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd December 2016, 05:12 PM   #6
Oliver Pinchot
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 272
Default

As early as the 17th century, these pistols were sold at arms fairs which certain Italian makers (notably Brescians) held on the Balkan coast of the Adriatic, principally at Split (It: Spolato) as well as other locations. One could buy a complete weapon or the mounts alone.

The mounts are decorated with what were called "al orientale" (oriental) motifs (typically though not invariably crescent moons and stars.) The marks on the lockplate and triggerguard of this particular example were probably done locally (i.e. in the Balkans) after it was acquired. They cannot be translated because they are not inscriptions; rather, they are intended to emulate Latin characters (which they did, with varying degrees of success.) Most of the owners of these pieces were illiterate. Those that could read might know Greek, Glagolitic or Ottoman characters. Hence, these marks were taken, not as inscriptions per se, but as quality marks. This is roughly comparable to people who cannot read Latin characters nonetheless recognizing the prestige of the Rolls Royce logo. The dragon is also likely a local addition. Before it became the Christian sign of evil, the dragon represented power and strength throughout the East.
Oliver Pinchot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th December 2016, 08:29 PM   #7
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,147
Default

Oliver: Thanks for posting your comments. I was not aware of the historic arms faires. Most interesting. Thanks for adding to my knowledge base on these pistols. Much appreciated.

It's amazing how popular these pistols remained for near 200 years. That probably accounts for the many specimens available today.

Rick
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th December 2016, 11:08 PM   #8
Oliver Pinchot
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 272
Default

They were in use in more isolated areas of the Balkans and Anatolia up until WWII... imagine.

Last edited by Oliver Pinchot : 24th December 2016 at 11:35 PM.
Oliver Pinchot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th December 2016, 03:25 PM   #9
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,147
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver Pinchot
They were in use in more isolated areas of the Balkans and Anatolia up until WWII... imagine.

LOL. Unbelievable. It's like looking at photos taken in the 1870's of Caucassian warriors still wearing chain mail armour. Traditions in this Region of the World did not die easily.

Rick
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th December 2016, 06:23 PM   #10
Norman McCormick
Member
 
Norman McCormick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,162
Default

Hi Oliver and Rick,
Thanks for the continued interest, very informative. Rick, the ramrod is an integral part of the stock like a lot of 'Balkan' style pistols. As you'll know a separate ramrod 'suma' was carried instead of an integral rod. Thanks again guys.
Regards,
Norman.
Norman McCormick 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 10:55 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, 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.