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Old 4th February 2009, 03:22 PM   #1
Matchlock
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Default A very archaic wrought iron handgonne, ca. 1360

Sold at Christie's Rome, June 18, 1975.

Of wound band iron (cf. the Aljubarrota barrels) but of more archaic form, with small breech (Pulverkammer) and wider fore piece to receive the stone (?) ball (Flug). Overall length 23 cm.

Originally probably attached to a stock by two iron bands.

Present whereabouts unknown.

Michael
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Old 4th February 2009, 03:45 PM   #2
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Another, similar, but somewhat later piece was sold at Hermann Historica, Munich, in April 2008, overall length 20 cm. It is no longer made of iron bands but retains its wider fore piece to receive the ball.

Michael
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Old 4th February 2009, 03:54 PM   #3
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The balls did not really get much guidance from those short barrels.
In the case of the latter piece, the ball literally could be seen sticking almost out of the muzzle.

The only explanation that seems to make any sense is that these gonnes were only employed at short distance and for firing into a mass of people, or - less probable - that they were aimed in a parabola to hit a city with what may have been incendiary gun arrows.

Michael
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