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Old 5th January 2018, 12:01 AM   #1
kahnjar1
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Default Sardinian Miquelet for comment and information

I have been chasing this one for quite some time, and eventually have become the lucky owner.
I can find very little information about these guns and hope that someone here will be able to elaborate.
Particularly I would be very interested to know the purpose of the hollow tube which serves as the comb of the stock. To me it would easily catch in clothing. This feature appears in pics which I have found in books, so is not a feature of this gun only.
From the information I do have, it would appear that this is probably from the 18th century. Certainly the style and lock pattern would suggest that it is quite possibly from this period.
Overall length is 60" (153cm) with the smoothbore barrel measuring 48"(122cm). The bore is approx 10mm, which is quite small compared with other North African guns.
Any information out there would be greatly appreciated.
Stu
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Old 5th January 2018, 12:04 AM   #2
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Default Sardinian Lock pics

Sardinian detached lock pics...........
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Old 5th January 2018, 07:29 AM   #3
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Congratulations on a very interesting gun (which really should be discussed on the European Armoury board since the island of Sardegna is European territory despite the very Oriental appearance of the piece itself). That aside, your piece is notable in that overall, the gun is a very workmanlike example of the form, which was produced on the island from the 18th through early 19th centuries (very rare earlier specimens with wheellocks are known, along with a few miquelet lock pistols). Compared to others with stocks overlaid with ornate pierced iron, yours has a straightforward functionality to its finish that sets it apart from most others seen in collections. Long barrels and relatively small bores are the norm; as I type this I am looking at images of 5 examples in the catalog of the Armeria Reale di Torino which has an outstanding collection of these.

The center of production seems to have been the town of Tempio Pausania on the northern side of the island; many of the finer examples are marked "Barbuti" which apparently was a family renowned for their manufacture.

The profile and cross-section of the butt on these guns appears to be an amalgamation of north Italian styles which developed in Piemonte and Lombardia beginning in the 16th cent. It is not hard to see the stylistic connection between the Sardegnan buttstock and that of the muskets of the Altit region of Morocco. The point of similarity is a somewhat triangular shape without a thumb-notch at the comb, although the Moroccan type has a slight extension at the heel of the butt which lacking on the form from Sardegna. (for comparison, see S. James Gooding, "The Snaphance Muskets of al-Maghreb al-Aqsa" in Arms Collecting Vol 34, No. 3, p 88, fig 2 (top). The geography of the western Mediterranean helps explain this to a large extent, I think. Your observation of the comparatively small bore of your gun is reflected in Mr Gooding's text "...in 1652, some London gunsmiths were allowed to export 'Small Birding peeces called Barbary Guns' to the Barbary Coast. Authorization to export was given on the grounds that the guns were 'soe smale boared as we conceive them to be noe way usefull for ye service of the State" (pp 87,89).

What I find truly interesting about your piece, and what makes it highly unusual ("unique" is a dangerous word in the field of collecting!) is the lock. Mechanically it is typical of those made on the island-- the Spanish miquelet properly termed llave de patilla, being also being the most prevalent variant in Iberia, the southern half of Italy, and most of the Ottoman Empire and Iran. It is atypical (on this gun) because STYLISTICALLY it does not fit the Sardegnan norm. The standard miquelet lock produced on the island is notable in that the two leaves of the V-shaped mainspring are of equal length. On your lock, the upper leaf (which bears on the heel of the cock) is a good deal longer than the fixed lower one -- this characteristic shared by patilla locks made in all the other above-mentioned areas.

Furthermore, the cock on your specimen has a C-shaped neck, whereas the common Sardegnan type has a columnar stem. The C shape, along with undulating lower edge and tapered tail of the lockplate, appear to be a rustic interpretation of what was current taste in Neapolitan gunmaking. The rounded shield below the priming-pan is similar to that same shape seen on later patilla locks made in Ripoll in CataluŮa, Spain as well as in southern Italy.

Last edited by Philip : 5th January 2018 at 06:15 PM. Reason: rephrase for clarity
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Old 5th January 2018, 06:07 PM   #4
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For better understanding here fotos of three Sardinian guns with miquelet locks ŗ la Sardegna
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Old 5th January 2018, 06:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
Congratulations on a very interesting gun (which really should be discussed on the European Armoury board since the island of Sardegna is European territory despite the very Oriental appearance of the piece itself)...

Moved ... if you don't mind, Stu .
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Old 5th January 2018, 06:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
... Particularly I would be very interested to know the purpose of the hollow tube which serves as the comb of the stock. To me it would easily catch in clothing. This feature appears in pics which I have found in books, so is not a feature of this gun only...

Anyone ... Philip ?
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Old 5th January 2018, 06:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Anyone ... Philip ?


I haven't seen mention of it in the references I have so far; am waiting for Gen. A. Gaibi's Armi da Fuoco Italiane to arrive in the mail with hopes that me has addressed the question. When I prepared my original post for the thread I mulled it over, thought of a hypothesis but scrapped it upon reconsideration.

This is one of those weapons that we see all the time on the market (surprising that a relatively small, mainly rural island made so many guns!) but there seems to be no deep research about them.
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Old 5th January 2018, 08:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
I haven't seen mention of it in the references I have so far; am waiting for Gen. A. Gaibi's Armi da Fuoco Italiane to arrive in the mail with hopes that me has addressed the question. When I prepared my original post for the thread I mulled it over, thought of a hypothesis but scrapped it upon reconsideration.

This is one of those weapons that we see all the time on the market (surprising that a relatively small, mainly rural island made so many guns!) but there seems to be no deep research about them.

Hi Philip,
I am interested in your comment that Quote: "we see (these guns) all the time on the market".
Any reference from "modern times" I have seen, including from reputable dealers describes these as "rare".
Stu
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Old 5th January 2018, 08:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Anyone ... Philip ?

Interesting.... all 3 guns shown above have the same tube.......
Stu
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Old 5th January 2018, 08:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Hi Philip,
I am interested in your comment that Quote: "we see (these guns) all the time on the market".
Any reference from "modern times" I have seen, including from reputable dealers describes these as "rare".
Stu

I follow auctions in the States, the EU, and the UK via their online catalogs and through bidder alert services and these guns do pop up with some regularity. Examples of exceptional quality and condition donít show up often but I donít regard the genre as being rare within the universe of antique and collectible firearms.
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Old 6th January 2018, 08:55 AM   #11
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There must have been produced quite a lot of these guns, because after the establishment of the "Regno" in 1720 under Vittorio Amadeo II. of Savoia. The Sardenian militia troops have been armed with such guns. These militia troops then became the base for a Sardinian regiment, that has been fighting against the French in 1745 to 1747 and in 1792-1793.
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Old 6th January 2018, 03:51 PM   #12
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I'm definitely not an antique gun guy but this gun interests me, particularly the small tube on the top of the stock.

The gun has a long barrel and is of relatively small bore, suggesting it would be reasonably accurate at some distance. However, there is no obvious aiming device to facilitate accuracy at any distance. The tube on the stock obviously held something, and I'm going to suggest that it held an aiming device (a sight) that could be adjusted up and down for aiming at various distances. The tube lines up with the center of the barrel, which would support my theory. However, there is no foresight and I'm not sure how the gun was aimed without one.

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Old 6th January 2018, 06:53 PM   #13
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Hi Stu.

Congratulations. Nice find. As mentioned, this one seems to have been made in a more "utilitarian" manner. Simply meaning less decoration than usually seen like the ones posted by Corrado. And as Philip mentioned, it has a typical patilla style miquelet lock. Perhaps the owner of this piece already had access to the lock and was also on a more restricted budget (?) Just speculating.
But the profile, decoration, trigger guard, etc. are all similar to others. It's hard to believe that this very paticular style of gun came from one little island. And as Philip mentions, a real mix of styles and cultures.

Philip and Corrado: Thanks very much for the explainations. I really was not that familiar with the guns history.

Stu: That missing brass piece on the right side of the stock should be easy to replace since you have an identical piece on the left side. Especially if you know an engraver in your area. It's so much easier to duplicate when you have an original physical piece to work from. Strange that it is missing with all those tiny brass nails that were holding it in place. Does not look like it was broke off. Just removed for some reason. Curious.

Anyway, it's a great looking piece and appears in good condition. And an interesting variation of what you normally encounter. I like it.

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Old 6th January 2018, 07:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
I'm definitely not an antique gun guy but this gun interests me, particularly the small tube on the top of the stock.

The gun has a long barrel and is of relatively small bore, suggesting it would be reasonably accurate at some distance. However, there is no obvious aiming device to facilitate accuracy at any distance. The tube on the stock obviously held something, and I'm going to suggest that it held an aiming device (a sight) that could be adjusted up and down for aiming at various distances. The tube lines up with the center of the barrel, which would support my theory. However, there is no foresight and I'm not sure how the gun was aimed without one.

Ian.

Hi Ian.

Well, that may be the best guess yet. When you first mentioned this it made me think of the Japanese matchlocks that used seperate rear sight pieces (depending on anticipated range) that were removable.
So maybe this tube held different rear sight pieces used for the same purpose (?) Hmmmm. But they all seem to have this same tube. A really curios feature with these guns.

Rick
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Old 6th January 2018, 07:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Interesting.... all 3 guns shown above have the same tube.......
Stu

Hi Stu

I notice the tube tapers with the comb of the butt stock. Does the hole run full length ? Or just a short distance ?

Rick
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Old 6th January 2018, 07:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
I'm definitely not an antique gun guy but this gun interests me, particularly the small tube on the top of the stock.

The gun has a long barrel and is of relatively small bore, suggesting it would be reasonably accurate at some distance. However, there is no obvious aiming device to facilitate accuracy at any distance. The tube on the stock obviously held something, and I'm going to suggest that it held an aiming device (a sight) that could be adjusted up and down for aiming at various distances. The tube lines up with the center of the barrel, which would support my theory. However, there is no foresight and I'm not sure how the gun was aimed without one.

Ian.

Hi Ian,
There acutally IS a brass foresight but it is fairly small and appears somewhat worn down.
Stu
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Old 6th January 2018, 07:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickystl
Hi Stu

I notice the tube tapers with the comb of the butt stock. Does the hole run full length ? Or just a short distance ?

Rick

Hi Rick,
No, the hole goes approx 2" into the tube, and if you look at the top view pic above, you will see that there are 3 pins down thru the top of the tube holding it to the stock.
If the hollow tube is to hold some sort of sighting device (as suggested above) then 2" should be sufficient for this purpose.
Stu
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Old 7th January 2018, 05:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Hi Rick,
No, the hole goes approx 2" into the tube, and if you look at the top view pic above, you will see that there are 3 pins down thru the top of the tube holding it to the stock.
If the hollow tube is to hold some sort of sighting device (as suggested above) then 2" should be sufficient for this purpose.
Stu

Hi Stu

OK. Yes, now I see the pins holding the tube to the stock. Since the hole only travels about 2 inches, this might be evidence towards Ian's theory of some type of rear sighting apparatus. Hmmmm. At the moment, I can't think of anything else. Hopefully, if true, one of these sight pieces will turn up one day.

It's my understanding that the seperate rear sight pieces for the Japanese matchlocks are quite rare and would have easily been lost. I've only seen pictures of them from collectors in Japan.

In any case, it's a real nice piece for your collection. Hope you decide to get the missing brass decoration replaced.

Rick
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Old 7th January 2018, 08:02 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickystl
Hi Stu

OK. Yes, now I see the pins holding the tube to the stock. Since the hole only travels about 2 inches, this might be evidence towards Ian's theory of some type of rear sighting apparatus. Hmmmm. At the moment, I can't think of anything else. Hopefully, if true, one of these sight pieces will turn up one day.

It's my understanding that the seperate rear sight pieces for the Japanese matchlocks are quite rare and would have easily been lost. I've only seen pictures of them from collectors in Japan.

In any case, it's a real nice piece for your collection. Hope you decide to get the missing brass decoration replaced.

Rick

If, has been suggested the tube is for holding a "sighting piece", would one recognise the sight if one found one? Not knowing what it looks like would make correct identification nigh impossible. I have not seen anything attached in pics in any books I have, though there are pics of the guns.
As an aside, these would obviously have been used with a powder flask of some sort. Does anyone have an idea of what these flasks might have looked like?
Stu
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Old 7th January 2018, 08:58 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
If, has been suggested the tube is for holding a "sighting piece", would one recognise the sight if one found one? Not knowing what it looks like would make correct identification nigh impossible. I have not seen anything attached in pics in any books I have, though there are pics of the guns.
As an aside, these would obviously have been used with a powder flask of some sort. Does anyone have an idea of what these flasks might have looked like?
Stu

Hi Stu

Probably no one would reconize what it was for. LOL The tubes are obviously intentially made with that hole. And all the guns seem to have them. So there has to be some specific purpose. The tube does travel quite a ways up the comb and wrist area of the gun. With the hole ending a similar distance as a peep sight. So there may have been one or more seperate pieces utilized as a rudimentry rear sight for longer range shooting, similar to the seperate pieces on the mentioned Japanese matchlocks. Would easily be lost. Of course this is just conjecture on my part. But I believe Ian's thought is the best guess at the moment. Hope we find out one day.

Flasks: That's a good question. I don't recall ever seeing a flask that was directly attributale to the Island. Hmmm. Maybe Artzi has seen one ? Might be worth asking.

Rick
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Old 8th January 2018, 07:41 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
However, there is no obvious aiming device to facilitate accuracy at any distance. The tube on the stock obviously held something, and I'm going to suggest that it held an aiming device (a sight) that could be adjusted up and down for aiming at various distances. The tube lines up with the center of the barrel, which would support my theory. However, there is no foresight and I'm not sure how the gun was aimed without one.
Ian.


Hi guys,

I believe too that Ian is right.
I don't know the topography of this island.
Is it possible to have an aiming device to shot from above, from a cliff for example?
Mainly for hunting purpose... Then this thing will make sense...

Kubur
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Old 8th January 2018, 11:48 AM   #22
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Hello

The lock is not of Italian production, but it is a lock of miquelete, imported, or at least, produced having like model the classic lock of miquelete, produced in Catalonia. Its characteristic, in addition, the frizzen spring, which is curved instead of being folded, the end of the plate and the characteristic shape of the hammer, in the form of a

affectionately. Fernando K
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Old 8th January 2018, 08:46 PM   #23
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........................C......................... ................
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Old 12th January 2018, 06:12 AM   #24
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Just discovered this illustration in Alarico Gattia's Fucili e Pistole (Milan, Rizzoli Editore, 1968, p 40. Three versions of the lock commonly known to collectors as "miquelet" are shown. On the left is the traditional Spanish version in pretty much its pristine 17th cent. stylistic format, which was widely copied in Italy (primarily the southern half, but made for export in Brescia as well. Major points for comparison, germane to this thread, are the wasp-waisted lock plate, mainspring leaves of markedly unequal length, the reversed frizzen-spring largely concealed behind the priming-pan shield, and the obtuse angle of the cock jaws to the columnar stem.

On the far right is the typical Sardegnan version of the above -- mechanically identical but stylistically distinct in terms of the four design elements identified above.

In the center is the central Italian version of the miquelet, very popular in the regions around Rome and Naples, commonly known as the Roman lock (acciarino alla romana). The most notable points of departure from both of the above is that the mainspring exerts force in the opposite direction (downward, and on the toe rather than the heel of the foot of the cock), and a sear system (the levers and springs that link the action of the trigger to the release of the cock during firing) that is markedly different, being derived from that of the typical wheellock.
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Old 12th January 2018, 07:34 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
Just discovered this illustration in Alarico Gattia's Fucili e Pistole (Milan, Rizzoli Editore, 1968, p 40. Three versions of the lock commonly known to collectors as "miquelet" are shown. On the left is the traditional Spanish version in pretty much its pristine 17th cent. stylistic format, which was widely copied in Italy (primarily the southern half, but made for export in Brescia as well. Major points for comparison, germane to this thread, are the wasp-waisted lock plate, mainspring leaves of markedly unequal length, the reversed frizzen-spring largely concealed behind the priming-pan shield, and the obtuse angle of the cock jaws to the columnar stem.

On the far right is the typical Sardegnan version of the above -- mechanically identical but stylistically distinct in terms of the four design elements identified above.

In the center is the central Italian version of the miquelet, very popular in the regions around Rome and Naples, commonly known as the Roman lock (acciarino alla romana). The most notable points of departure from both of the above is that the mainspring exerts force in the opposite direction (downward, and on the toe rather than the heel of the foot of the cock), and a sear system (the levers and springs that link the action of the trigger to the release of the cock during firing) that is markedly different, being derived from that of the typical wheellock.

Very interesting drawings....thank you. It would appear that none of these is the style on the subject gun....
Stu
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Old 17th January 2018, 06:03 AM   #26
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Can anyone tell me what style of flask would be used with these Sardinian guns? A pic would be useful if you have one.
Stu
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Old 17th January 2018, 04:19 PM   #27
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Here a foto of a Sardinian powder flask out of a catalogue of a former Thomas Del Mar auction.
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Old 17th January 2018, 04:22 PM   #28
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The description was as follows:

A VERY RARE IRON POWDER-FLASK, PROBABLY SARDINIAN 17TH/18TH CENTURY
of tapering horn-shaped form, chiselled around the base with a panel of foliage carrying a long hunting gun, horns, boar spears, and oak fruit and foliage, a further panel at the top including a pair of differing game birds put up by a hound, and along the seam with laurel foliage (areas of pitting, very small holes at one end )
17.8cm; 7in
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Old 17th January 2018, 05:40 PM   #29
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Thank you very much.
Stu
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