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Old 28th June 2015, 04:02 PM   #1
rickystl
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Default Exceptional Algerian Long Gun

Hello everyone.
Here is another Algerian long gun from my collection. When I first saw this gun I thought it was a replica, due to it's condition. But then I immediatly thought: Who would make a replica of this? It's neither a replica or a tourist grade item. So the next thought was that the gun had been refinished. And their may be some evidence of some cleaning. But I can't detect any real evidence of refinishing. The simple wood ramrod has no evidence of sandpaper. All made with a file. The lock is authentic and seems to have a maker mark. It has only a thin, but even fading of the original brass overlay. The only issue being the broken corner of the frizzen (battery). Even the inside of the barrel looks like it's never been fired. The thin metal butt plate cap looks like it might have been a latter addition due to the style of screw heads. But the walrus butt plate and other inlays show only the slightest amount of aging. The silver barrel bands were done in typical Algerian fasion, but show virtually no aging.
Overall, the gun "looks" like it was made in the third or fourth quarter of the 19th Century, and then put in a closet to sit for the next 125+ years LOL. It certainly displays well.
I purchased this gun a few years ago from a reputible dealer in antique arms. He made an attempt to trace back the providence through previous owners. But the previous owner had passed away. His wife really new nothing about the gun. But she seemed to remember him purchasing the gun from a museum in California where it resided for many years, and that it resided in a mueum in Greece many years before that.
Anyway, picture heavy. So hope you enjoy. And thanks for looking.
Rick.
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Old 28th June 2015, 04:03 PM   #2
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MORE PICS........
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Old 28th June 2015, 04:06 PM   #3
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STILL MORE PICS......
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Old 28th June 2015, 04:08 PM   #4
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LAST ONES......
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Old 29th June 2015, 07:35 AM   #5
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Another nice piece Rick. Is the dog to hold the cock back, misplaced from it's peg? From the second pic, it looks to be just sitting there......
Stu
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Old 29th June 2015, 11:19 AM   #6
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickystl
LAST ONES......
Salaams rickystl, I was looking at examples of clear ageing and viewed http://www.oriental-arms.com/photos.php?id=4450 to see if there was anything I could compare it with... Your Gun is quite simply immaculately clean... Patina is there if you take a magnifying glass to find it otherwise its pristine condition reflects the history of a gun from a museum / collection perhaps from the getgo....The "made by" mark is all there ... I agree not a repro and not some cheap copy...

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Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 30th June 2015, 07:46 AM   #7
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The crown over M is interesting , looking very European .... what do you think the significance of that is ?
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Old 2nd July 2015, 01:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Another nice piece Rick. Is the dog to hold the cock back, misplaced from it's peg? From the second pic, it looks to be just sitting there......
Stu
Hi Stu.
The dog safety catch works perfect. When the hammer is pulled back, the dog safety is manually pushed forward to engage the hammer. Then, when ready to fire, pull the hammer back again and the dog safety falls backward out of the way and it's ready to fire.
Rick
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Old 2nd July 2015, 01:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
Salaams rickystl, I was looking at examples of clear ageing and viewed http://www.oriental-arms.com/photos.php?id=4450 to see if there was anything I could compare it with... Your Gun is quite simply immaculately clean... Patina is there if you take a magnifying glass to find it otherwise its pristine condition reflects the history of a gun from a museum / collection perhaps from the getgo....The "made by" mark is all there ... I agree not a repro and not some cheap copy...

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
Salaam a Ibrahiim.
Thank you for your comments. Yes, under magnafication, especially the thin edges of the stock where it meets the barrel, you can detect the aging. But there is no sign of real refinishing or chemical aging. As you say, the gun is in pristine condition. Other than an occasional handling mark, there is just no sign of any use. It' probably the best condition example I've ever seen. That's why I had to have it. LOL Thanks agin for you observations.
Rick
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Old 2nd July 2015, 01:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by thinreadline
The crown over M is interesting , looking very European .... what do you think the significance of that is ?
Hello.
I wish I knew what the barrel stamp meant. I'm a novice with marks. But I do recognize certain European/Belgium barrel marks. But I have no idea about this one. maybe another Forum will see this thread and recognize it?
Maybe I should post just the barrel mark on the European Forum to see if anyone recognizes it?
Rick.
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Old 4th July 2015, 11:21 AM   #11
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Hi . Sorry I cant help you much with the barrel mark. I have two of these guns both of which have stamped European looking marks ( a T within a diamond and numbers ) but the barrels are not I think European . One has an attempt at the Cominaz appellation to invite association with the famous Cominazzo family of barrel makers.

The odd thing about these guns is that they invariably turn up with crudely made and decorated stocks that are completely at odds with the locks and barrels which are of outstanding quality and this can make them look a bit suspect . My view is that they were originally high status guns that have moved down market and probably been re stocked several time in they're working life. The Royal Armouries , Leeds , UK has a garniture of firearms presented to the British Consul in Algiers in the 1770s which are profusely inlaid with coral carbuchons. The locks of which are as good but no better than the examples illustrated here. I think yours has been carefully refinished some time ago which has considerably improved its appearance as the stocks on mine are unutterably horrid.

You probably know all this but I will post it here anyway . They are usually described as Kabyle guns, but I think should be described as Arabian toe locks . Which are a variation of the seventeenth century Spanish aqujeta which is derived from the the romanlock or Italian toe lock (arguably) developed in Italy in the second half of the sixteenth century. Made in Morocco / Algeria , usually described as nineteenth century (isn everything ) but the Met, New York attributes their example to the mid eighteenth century and I can't see any reason why some may not be earlier.
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Old 4th July 2015, 07:09 PM   #12
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Hi Raf.
Thank you so much for your comments. And I comepletly agree with your theory of how these guns moved "down market" where they were re-stocked (more crudely) and/or the locks and barrels re-used numerous times. The toe-lock miquelets could have been made anywhere from 1650 to 1850. With the exception of small differences in decoration and size, it's almost as if the locks were all made in one shop LOL. Two other common themes on these guns I've noticed: The stocks are all made about 2/3 rds the length to the muzzle and have flat bottoms on the forends. And the locks are only inlet into the stocks about 1/3rd of the way. I've only seen one barrel that was shaped octagon-to-round. All others were tapered octagon.

The gun I posted: I can't believe this gun was not refinised at some point. Maybe a while back. If so, I sure wish I knew the methods used. LOL The biggest mystery to me is the walrus inlays. There is only the slightest sign of yellow/aging. The silver barrel bands I'm sure are a later addition. But done in the traditional Algerian style for these guns. Yes, it sure does display well. Thanks again for your comments.
Rick.
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