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Old 30th January 2019, 04:56 PM   #1
AHorsa
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Default Miquelet Lock Pistol end 17th c

Dear all,

a couple of month ago I aquired this pistol, which is likely Italian (Brescia?) and from the end of the 17th century (other opinions warmly appreciated). The first part of the shaft was missing, so I used the long evenings nowadays to replace it.
I like the metal fittings with the dragon heads and the grotesque head at the knob and the guard.
Does anyone know the marking on the lock?

Best regards
Andreas
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Old 30th January 2019, 09:08 PM   #2
Fernando K
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Hello

Of course it's Italian. Lock of miquelete, to the Roman, It is very old, for the length of the cannon, of the middle / ends of the 17th century. Regarding P. F. I am going to bucar if I find something in my papers

The stone screw seems not to be original

affectionately
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Old 31st January 2019, 10:04 AM   #3
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In Agostino Gaibi, Armi da Fuoco Italiane there is an extensive list of Italian gunmakers from 1500-1850. I found there three gunmakers with the initials "PF" working in the time from ca. 1660 to 1720. These are

FRANCESE, Paolo, Brescia 1675-1700
FRASSINI, Pietro, Brescia 1698-1734
FORNAZI, Pietro Paolo, Brescia 1650-1685.

The pistol is certainly made in the years between 1680 and 1700, a very similar one is pictured in the above book under n°183. This was made by Agostino BARBAGLI in Brescia ca 1680. Its calibre is 12mm. From the foto you can see how the cock should look like.
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Old 31st January 2019, 11:54 AM   #4
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Hey There,

great! Thanks for the answers and the information on the possible makers. If I should guess, I would say it was made by Mr Francese, as his (working?) dates fit best. Foranzi would be a bit too early and maybe would have put a second P as his initials. Frassini was a bit too late.

The calibre of this gun here is also 12mm.

Sure, the screw is not the original one. But it seems to be there since a long time. So it somehow belongs to the gun.

Cheerio
Andreas
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Old 31st January 2019, 03:59 PM   #5
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Hi Andreas.

That is a very nice, early Italian pistol. Congratulations.

A question: Is the lock a three (3) screw lockplate ? Looks like one of the lockplate screws is missing.

Rick
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Old 31st January 2019, 04:18 PM   #6
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Hello

The third screw was used to fix the waist hook, here missing

Affectionately
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Old 1st February 2019, 03:18 PM   #7
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OK. Thanks Fernando K. I should have thought of this.

Rick
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Old 1st February 2019, 08:06 PM   #8
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Fernando K has a lot of knowledge of these things ... and a sharp eye .
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Old 3rd February 2019, 05:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Fernando K has a lot of knowledge of these things ... and a sharp eye .
Much agreed !!

Rick
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Old 4th February 2019, 11:09 AM   #10
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Hey there,

indeed it is just two screws. I was wondering for what that third "rivet" is for. Thanks for the clrification that it was part of the belt hook!

Cheerio
Andreas
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Old 17th March 2021, 06:02 PM   #11
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Hi All

I meanwhile found the time to replace one of the two missing rod-holder. I used an iron tube, put it in a stand driller and forged it with a file. What is still missing now is the second (and I worry much more complicate to produce) rod holder as well as one of the screws from the lock plate.

I would very much appreciate if

- someone can post a good quality example image of such a "rod holder". Even if I am not sure if I can manage to reproduce.

- and if someone has an idea where I can get such a coatless iron screw with a round head. It must be M4 (4mm) x 35mm (or longer). I found one 30mm long (see link), but that would mean to add another 5mm... Maybe one of you has an idea or has one as a spare part. I would be very happy.

Kind regards
Andreas

https://www.ebay.de/itm/Halbrundkopf...2c62%7Ciid%3A9
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Old 17th March 2021, 08:58 PM   #12
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Hello

I do not know if I will give myself to understand, because English is not my language

I think the first thing you should do is know how big the missing screw is. I mean that you must find out the diameter and pitch of the screw, checking the threaded part of the holes in the lock Example [: 5 mm metric screw. by a step of 0.8mm.)

As at that time the diameters and steps were not standardized, it is a bit difficult to get a copy, but it would be necessary to try with numerous screws (metric or Withwort) until obtaining one that threads. Knowing this, it is easy for a turner to modify an existing screw, or to manufacture one from scratch, modifying the hexagonal head to round, according to the surviving example.

Affectionately
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Old 17th March 2021, 09:54 PM   #13
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Hi Fernando,

thanks for your comment! Itīs a good idea to modify a hexagonal head!
Actually the diameter of the whole is 3,5mm. So there must be some alterations anyway. The headīs diameter of the surviving example is 8mm. Sadly a 4mm-screwīs head is 7mm. So I guess a way would be: Taking a 5mm screw with hexagonal head (8mm diameter), altering the head and the shaft and adapt the thread (or let a turner do this, which might be more fruitful )

Kind regards
Andreas
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Old 18th March 2021, 02:29 PM   #14
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hI Andreas
This pistol maybe a bit more complicated than it first appears. Given the conservatism of Italian gunmakers these Brescian type pistols continued to be made well into the eighteenth century with a variety of locks . Flintlock , snaphaunce with or without external buffers and as in your case a southern Italian toe lock.Having said that I agree that in the main this pistol probably belongs to the third quater of the seventeenth century. First question is are you absolutely sure this is the lock it started life with ? The reason for asking is that these pistols are normally of uniformly excellent quality and from the photographs the lock does not seem to be up to the quality of the rest. Secondly the center lockplate screw appears to have been drilled through the wood rather than through the sideplate which is a strangely scruffy thing to do on a pistol of this quality. Also the third sideplate hole, where a belt hook might have been fitted looks like its been blanked of with a domed rivit. All this should be easily resolved by looking at the rebate for the lock to see if their are any signs of it being cut for a different lock. If it looks OK then we need to think again. Another strange thing is the barrel tang which has been shaped to fit round the very nicely executed escutcheon doesnt look right . Also at this date you would expect the barrel tang screw to be fitted from underneath the trigger guard and screwed into the tang. Whatever the answer is its still a nice thing and if it has been modified then this must have occurred fairly early in its working life. Attached are some images of our archaic looking Brescian snaphaunce of a similar date and a potential pattern for the missing ramrod tube .
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Old 18th March 2021, 04:23 PM   #15
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Hello

Two observations

First: The front face of the frizzen also has a mask, as does the arch of the guard and the stock knob. If the mask is the same or similar, the lock is original. And also, it seems to be consistent with the little decoration that we find on the barrel, the trigger guard arch and the butt pommel, except for the masks and a work of filing, giving drawing to these parts.

Second: the back plate (side plate) and the decoration around the tang barrel I suppose it is iron) seem to come from another hand, they may have been obtained by the armorer who assembled the gun, and the holes for the screws that hold the lock they may not coincide with the spaces in the side plate for the screw holes. There is also a hint of this; the barrel tang had to be filed in a corner to embed the decoration.

Affectionately
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Old 18th March 2021, 04:50 PM   #16
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1 couldn't see from the photographs the mask on the front of the frizzen so if this is the case then the lock obviously belongs. I also take your point that individual furniture fittings were bought in from specialist outworkers therefore one might expect some stylistic inconsistencies. Still think the tang looks odd but these things do happen. Apologies if I have confused the post.

Here for general interest is the interior of the snaphaunce I posted.Notice that the maker, initials detailed , didnt entirely trust a single piece vertically operating sear and incorporated a secondary sear in order to lock it , rather like the sear arrangement in a wheelock but operating in a vertical plane
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Old 18th March 2021, 09:00 PM   #17
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Hello
}
Interesting. The second sear blocks the first, but can only move by turning. How is it handled by the shooter? The second guarantor seems continually bound by the small double spring at the end of the plate. Thanks

Affectionately
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Old 19th March 2021, 01:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fernando K
Hello
}
Interesting. The second sear blocks the first, but can only move by turning. How is it handled by the shooter? The second guarantor seems continually bound by the small double spring at the end of the plate. Thanks

Affectionately
Hi I thought you might be interested .Maybe this image makes it clearer. This arrangement seems to be transitional between earlier snaphaunces with interlocked horizontally moving sears and flintlocks / snapaunces with vertically moving sears . I haven't seen it illustrated before and may be uniquely Italian. It seems surprising to find it on a late seventeenth century gun but this antiquated style of lock with its external buffer continued to be made in the early eighteenth century.

On full cock the secondary sear D slips under the tail of the primary sear C at E locking it into the tumbler notch B. On release the force of the mainspring drives the sear out of engagement. The V spring controls the movement of both the primary and secondary sears.
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Old 19th March 2021, 02:31 PM   #19
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Hello

I still don't understand ... When the first sear enters the firing tooth or surface, the end of the first sear on which the trigger is acting moves down and then the second sear rotates clockwise and locks. to the first guarantor in that position, bound by the small double spring. I do not understand how the shooter moves the second guarantor in an anti-clockwise direction, canceling the insurance ...
}
Sorry for the translator.- Affectionately
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Old 19th March 2021, 03:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fernando K
Hello

I still don't understand ... When the first sear enters the firing tooth or surface, the end of the first sear on which the trigger is acting moves down and then the second sear rotates clockwise and locks. to the first guarantor in that position, bound by the small double spring. I do not understand how the shooter moves the second guarantor in an anti-clockwise direction, canceling the insurance ...
}
Sorry for the translator.- Affectionately
The trigger bar is part of the secondary sear ( second guarantor ) as in a flintlock. The trigger acts on the trigger bar moving it right rotating the secondary sear anti - clockwise. Hope that does it .
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Old 19th March 2021, 08:56 PM   #21
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Hello

With all due respect, I still do not understand ... the action of neutralizing the safety is different from squeezing the trigger .... it would be important to design the lock ready to fire, with the safety on, then with it removed and having fired

A HORSA would be convenient a photograph of the frizzen's face, to clarify all these questions

Affectionately
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Old 20th March 2021, 04:30 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raf
Hi I thought you might be interested .Maybe this image makes it clearer. This arrangement seems to be transitional between earlier snaphaunces with interlocked horizontally moving sears and flintlocks / snapaunces with vertically moving sears . I haven't seen it illustrated before and may be uniquely Italian. It seems surprising to find it on a late seventeenth century gun but this antiquated style of lock with its external buffer continued to be made in the early eighteenth century.

On full cock the secondary sear D slips under the tail of the primary sear C at E locking it into the tumbler notch B. On release the force of the mainspring drives the sear out of engagement. The V spring controls the movement of both the primary and secondary sears.
This arrangement of primary and secondary sears controlled by a single V spring can be seen on many wheellocks as well, albeit working horizontally. Blackmore's Guns and Rifles of the World has a diagram of this system as found on Silesian wheellocks with external springs (so-called Tschinkes, pp 112-13. The same essential construction is also found on the central Italian or "Roman" version of the miquelet lock. However, it is not confined to Italy, as it was also used, likewise operating horizontally, in the so-called agujeta snap-locks of Castile and Cataluņa, and achieving greater popularity later in North Africa (particularly Algeria) down to the 19th cent.

The longevity of the snaphaunce "alla fiorentina" in Italy is perhaps explained by the experiences of a friend who has shot these, he says the lock time is respectably fast despite the rather Rube-Goldbergish nature of the separate frizzen and sliding pancover. Apparently, elegant conservatism has its appeal, witness the reluctance of many in the German-speaking lands to give up wheellocks despite their expense, complexity, and demands for rigorous cleaning and maintenance.
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Old 20th March 2021, 04:58 AM   #23
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Default sears -- variety is the spice of life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raf
... snapaunces with vertically moving sears . I haven't seen it illustrated before and may be uniquely Italian.
Raf, have you seen this? Schematic diagrams of different sear systems used on Italian alla fiorentina snaphaunces. These compiled by the noted Italian arms researcher Nolfo di Carpegna in his surveys of central Italian firearms traditions. The variety is a testimonial to the marked regionality of Italian firearms design in the pre-industrial age, echoing the peninsula's history of political and cultural divides prior to the reunification of 1870.

Looking at these six variations, one can see that two of them (A and C) appear to be unitary, horizontally-acting sears, and two (D and F) unitary vertically-moving ones. F is essentially like that of the French flintlock or the Portuguese fecho de nó. E is a classic dual-sear vertical.

A mystery to me is B, the scatto a scatola or boxed sear. If you have a schematic of its innards, or an "exploded" view of one, please share because I have a pistol with such a sear that needs some work in getting it to hold on cock, but am hesitant to dismount it without understanding fully what's inside and how the parts relate to each other.
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Old 20th March 2021, 05:18 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrado26

The pistol is certainly made in the years between 1680 and 1700, a very similar one is pictured in the above book under n°183. This was made by Agostino BARBAGLI in Brescia ca 1680. Its calibre is 12mm. From the foto you can see how the cock should look like.
corrado26
For what it's worth, Der Neue Stöckel puts Barbagli's Brescian domicile in question. The pistols you posted are of characteristic central Italian style, not Brescian. In Agostino Gaibi's book where they are illustrated, the caption only states that the barrels are Brescian; furthermore unsigned and in the author's opinion probably remounted. On the locks, the exceptionally tall stem of the cock, with the little scrollwork below and to the rear of the lower jaw, indicates origin in the region of Umbria. The long, somewhat angular handles with small bulbous butts are typically central Italian, 17th-18th cent.
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Old 20th March 2021, 05:30 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raf

... these Brescian type pistols continued to be made well into the eighteenth century with a variety of locks . Flintlock , snaphaunce with or without external buffers and as in your case a southern Italian toe lock.Having said that I agree that in the main this pistol probably belongs to the third quater of the seventeenth century. .
Raf, you have a lovely example here, thanks for sharing it. In terms of style and decoration, I would say that this pistol is more likely to hail from central Italy than Brescia, although armorers in that area did on occasion make products for export, catering to outside tastes -- for instance the quantity of cup-hilt rapiers of high quality for sale to the Spanish market, and also in Spanish-dominated southern Italy.

The "toe lock" you mention is likely the so-called "roman" miquelet lock, something which vied for popularity in central Italy as well, along with the Florentine snaphaunce. Roman-style locks were not much favored in northern Italy, although gunsmiths catering to the luxury trade, working in Madrid and Lisbon, also made them in limited numbers.
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Old 20th March 2021, 10:24 AM   #26
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Dear All,

sorry for the late reply. I havenīt been at home the last days. Thanks a lot for the discussion gentlemen and for sharing your nice example, Raf.
I add some better images. I hope the following is somehow understandable, as my English became a bt rusty the last years.
On the lock / frizzen, there is no third face. Itīs just some decorative element, which from the side looks a bit like a face in this context. But the lock is, as far as I can judge it, in quite good quality and I cant find traces of alteratoins for a new lock on the wood.
The center screw is indeed drilled throug the would without a corresponding elemt on the lock plate. An there are some old alterations on the lock plate, one of them from the missing belt hook, the others I canīt attribute. On the other hand, there are no holes in the wood from older screws at another location.

In my eyes,

- the barrel definitively belongs to the shaft, although the tang screw is not "text book"

- the decorations and lock plate definitively belongs to the shaft

- as I canīt find any traces of altering or fitting in a new lock, I assume that also the lock belongs to the pistol from the beginning, although t
he decoratoins do not fit perfectly to the other elements.

I marked a round piece of the lock plate in the last image, which I thank was the point, deisgnated by the manufacturer of this element, for drilling a hole for the screw. It seems that it was never used.

As a conlcusion I think that, concerning the traces of age, all the parts belong together for a very long time / since its working life. Moreover I think it initially was assembled that way. Maybe the producer did not have another lock, so he fitted the screws to this one. I donīt know. But it seems that there have never been another lock on this pistol, followed by the traces (or non-existence of traces).

Kind regards
Andreas
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Old 20th March 2021, 12:17 PM   #27
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HI Philip. Thanks for your comments. The good thing about this forum is that there is usually someone out there who knows more about things than you do. I agree. Could have been made in any small town North of Rome. Alla florentina has a nice ring to it. Your comments about the regional nature of Italian firearms production are I think perceptive. Probably explains why we see such a variety of lock styles, including Wheelock’s with no obvious chronological significance. Also one of the reasons these things are difficult to date.

Obviously type E according to Nolfo Di Carppegnas classification. All lock design is a compromise and early lock designers took the question of safety very seriously. The two part interlocked sear has a lot to recommend it as the thing wont lock off unless the primary sear is properly and fully engaged. The classic flintlock is the simplest, cheapest and one could argue worst solution.
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Old 20th March 2021, 12:44 PM   #28
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Posts seem to have crossed somehow. Re Ahorsas post it is clear that the lock is original and the better view of the lock shows that the quality is consistent with the rest. Therefore please ignore my previous comments on this. As I suggested before the odd discrepancies can probably be accounted for by fittings such as the sideplate and escutcheon being bought in fully finished from specialist outworkers that didn’t entirely fit the gun that was being made.
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Old 20th March 2021, 04:08 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
The pistols you posted are of characteristic central Italian style, not Brescian.
You are certainly right, I should have red the caption to this pistol with more attention, sorry. The fotos show an Italian pistol once in my collection maybe made in the same region and in the same time.
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Old 20th March 2021, 08:28 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
For what it's worth, Der Neue Stöckel puts Barbagli's Brescian domicile in question. The pistols you posted are of characteristic central Italian style, not Brescian. In Agostino Gaibi's book where they are illustrated, the caption only states that the barrels are Brescian; furthermore unsigned and in the author's opinion probably remounted. On the locks, the exceptionally tall stem of the cock, with the little scrollwork below and to the rear of the lower jaw, indicates origin in the region of Umbria. The long, somewhat angular handles with small bulbous butts are typically central Italian, 17th-18th cent.
Oh I overlooked this statement. Thanks for clarificatoin and thanks for the other example images! The lock indeed is nearly identical.
Sadly, allocating the pistol to cental Italy means that Paolo Francese (or one of the other two, certainly isnīt the maker of this gun.
Is there still any possibility to assign the initials "P.F."?

Kind regards
Andreas
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