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Old 16th January 2009, 03:43 PM   #1
Matchlock
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Default A highly important four barrel Landsknecht mace, ca. 1540

This Landsnecht combination weapon is an almost unique piece which was originally in the famous Meyrick Collection in Herefordshire and is illustrated in the 1830 Skelton/Fincke catalog.

After being "guest" in such esteemed private collections as Robert Curzon Baron Zouche of Haryngworth (sold Sotheby's London, Nov 10/11 1920, lot 110), Edward Hubbard Litchtfield (sold Sotheby's London, Dec 5, 1951, lot 79) and Herbert G. Ratner jr. (sold Christie's London, Nov 20, 1991, lot 138) afterwards and illustrated in three more books (for details, please see list in one of the pics), it has been in my collection since the Christie's sale.

About 3 inches are missing from the rear end of the beechwood stock which is drilled out to receive the ramrod, and one of the four wooden pan covers is missing as well. Otherwise it is in fine, perfect patina overall.

Interesting enough, only one single very similar piece in known to have survived (apart from a few later, decorated samples, one originally in the Counts of Giech collection) but is nothing more than a fragment now, with all the thorn rings and the muzzle cover and spike gone. It is preserved at the Hermitage, St. Petersburg and I attach the only available, very poor photo.

Enjoy.

Good to be "back" though I never really left you.

Michael
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Last edited by Matchlock : 16th January 2009 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 16th January 2009, 03:52 PM   #2
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The rest.

Provenance and illustration referrals second from bottom, the Hermitage piece bottom.
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Old 16th January 2009, 03:53 PM   #3
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very intresting piece never seen anything like it before.
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Old 16th January 2009, 05:28 PM   #4
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Fantabulous piece.
Such a rare combined weapon, worthy of the greatest collection.
My mouth was wide open for so long that my jaw joints are aching.
Fernando
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Old 16th January 2009, 05:38 PM   #5
Jim McDougall
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Truly amazing Michael!!! Your photographic treasury is priceless, and this piece looks like it really meant business....never thought of a one barrel, let alone four barrel. It has always interested me that the early pistols, being single shot of course, were designed to use as clubs when the charge was spent.....this would be dramatically the same concept.
Looks like a Landsknecht 'pepperbox'

Thank you, and welcome home!!!

All the best,
Jim
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Old 16th January 2009, 06:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
... were designed to use as clubs when the charge was spent.....

Or the other way round, in this case; your enemy aproaches you with the assumption that you are only armed with a mace and suddenly you open the thing and give him the best


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Looks like a Landsknecht 'pepperbox'


Never so true

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Old 16th January 2009, 07:32 PM   #7
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Thank you both, Fernando and Jim,

"Landsknecht pepperbox" is no doubt the very best term I've ever heard, Jim - great!

Fernando, I cherish your idea of surprising an appoaching enemy by flinging the cover open just in time to make him look into these four "promising" holes - before they will issue the balls!

Michael
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Old 16th January 2009, 07:35 PM   #8
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Default Landsknecht pepperbox

I should add that the stops of the sliding wooden pan covers are just wooden pins. It's all the more surprising that three of them are still there.

m
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Old 17th January 2009, 02:14 PM   #9
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What an amazing weapon.

It will tenderize, pierce, and sears.
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Old 19th January 2009, 01:59 PM   #10
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When I first saw this, I remembered I'd seen it in HL Peteron and R. Elman's book, 'The Great Guns"

Holy water sprinkler....(!) what a grand and droll name !
I had been under the impression that it belonged to the Tower collection but on looking again, saw it was in Meyerick collection at the time.

Unique, and well looked after.
Thank you for showing it here Michael.

All best wishes,

R.
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Old 19th January 2009, 03:12 PM   #11
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holy crap!
That's awesome, the Landsknecht were always known for their work with zweihandlers but its not often you get to see or hear of their combination weapons and primitive firearms!
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Old 20th January 2009, 04:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pukka Bundook
When I first saw this, I remembered I'd seen it in HL Peteron and R. Elman's book, 'The Great Guns"

Holy water sprinkler....(!) what a grand and droll name !
I had been under the impression that it belonged to the Tower collection but on looking again, saw it was in Meyerick collection at the time.

Unique, and well looked after.
Thank you for showing it here Michael.

All best wishes,

R.



Hi Richard,

Thank you for mentioning the cute nickname for this kind of weapons: holy water sprinkler.

May I add that, in the Landsknechts' jargon, "to sprinkle holy water" was the cant phrase for fetching blood.

This piece was in the Ratner collection at the time when it was illustrated in Peterson/Elman's book.

The long stocked holy water sprinklers of Henry VIII's army now preserved at the Tower and the Royal Armouries Leeds respectively have three barrels each which are hidden by swiveling small iron plates. Thus, their central spike was no doubt more robust than on my Meyrick piece. I attach a detail of one of Henry VIII's three barrel maces which was referred to as "holy water sprinkles with thre gonnes" in the 1547 Tower inventory.

m
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Old 21st January 2009, 04:21 AM   #13
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Ah yes, Michael....The Ratner collection. I should not go by memory!

Thank you for the picture of the Henry V111 type.....the same only different!!

Best wishes,

Richard.
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Old 21st February 2009, 04:25 PM   #14
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Default One of Henry VIII's Holy Water Sprinklers in The Tower of London

From the web.
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Old 21st February 2009, 04:33 PM   #15
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One more.
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Old 1st October 2012, 03:27 PM   #16
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Default measurements?

Dear, Matchlock.
Maybe you can say what a measurements approx ( length and bore caliber) this mace have?

Thanks, Alex .
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Old 1st October 2012, 09:55 PM   #17
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Great piece Michael, I still see Herb Ratner at US antique gun shows. I want to reproduce this for those who would like to shoot them as a sport, so please wrap it carefully and send it to me, I will not need it for more than about 6 months.






sure
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Old 20th February 2014, 08:48 AM   #18
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The measurements of that mace are:

overall length 86 cm
max. outer diameter 8-9 cm
length of barrels from touch hole to muzzle 24 cm
bore 12 mm

m
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