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Old 10th June 2020, 04:23 AM   #1
cyten
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Default Tufek/Tufenk/Shishane Identification

Hello, long time lurker of the boards here but after coming into possession of this I decided to finally register. I'm excited to share what I have and know as well as looking to learn from you fine folks.

This rather plain rifle has a 31.5 inch damascus barrel with 8 groove rifling in .55 caliber. The bore is actually quite good with no pitting. As I've never seen a sling set up like this on any rifles of this sort, I believe the rings in the stock to be incorrect and probably a modern addition by someone who thought something was missing.

It has some period repairs, such as replaced missing bone/ivory inlays with wood, brass cap covering the tang, and some kind of fabric acting as bedding for the barrel it seems. The ramrod I believe is also not original as it is mostly unfinished wood and fragile. It needs some cracks fixed as well.

I'm hoping someone might be able to tell me something about the age and/or place of origin. I know this style of rifle was used from 17th century till 19th so it can be difficult to gauge. The hallmark on the lock is pretty worn but maybe it is familiar or legible to someone here? The hammer wont go to full cock and is VERY difficult to get close to the notch. EDIT: after cleaning the lock up a bit, it now easily goes to half cock and full cock.

I look forward to and am grateful to any and all information,
Thank you.
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Last edited by cyten : 10th June 2020 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 10th June 2020, 04:41 PM   #2
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The lock removed, some period repairs/replacements. Strange wood splice in the ramrod channel.
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Old 10th June 2020, 09:19 PM   #3
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Hi,

From what I see it's a very net gun, in very good condition.
As you wrote the suspension rings are a late addition, probably also the big screws. The barrel bands are missing.
The lock is typical from Ottoman TURKEY. The whole gun looks Turkish, the Balkans models are well known. As you wrote, it's difficult to give an age to a gun like this, without taking any risk I would say 1750-1850.
I'm sure Rick will tell you more. Very nice gun

Kubur
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Old 10th June 2020, 10:33 PM   #4
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If you send a close-up of the mark on the lock I might be able to help
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Old 10th June 2020, 11:05 PM   #5
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Kwiatek, I really appreciate it! Unfortunately it is very worn and this is the clearest I can get.
Having no reference material, I can't even guess what it could be.
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Old 11th June 2020, 12:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Hi,

From what I see it's a very net gun, in very good condition.
As you wrote the suspension rings are a late addition, probably also the big screws. The barrel bands are missing.
The lock is typical from Ottoman TURKEY. The whole gun looks Turkish, the Balkans models are well known. As you wrote, it's difficult to give an age to a gun like this, without taking any risk I would say 1750-1850.
I'm sure Rick will tell you more. Very nice gun

Kubur


Kubur, thank you for kind words and confirming my suspicions of the sling rings. The one barrel band that remains is very thin and fragile, seems easy to make some more with a thin sheet of brass.
Are there any features that would tell more about the age or origin on a shishane? I've seen it mentioned on the board before that someone attributed theirs to being made in Kotor due to some special feature that I am not familiar with.
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Old 11th June 2020, 03:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyten
Kubur, thank you for kind words and confirming my suspicions of the sling rings. The one barrel band that remains is very thin and fragile, seems easy to make some more with a thin sheet of brass.
Are there any features that would tell more about the age or origin on a shishane? I've seen it mentioned on the board before that someone attributed theirs to being made in Kotor due to some special feature that I am not familiar with.


I proceeded by elimination: the Turkish guns from the 16th and 17th are very different (locks, barrels: Vienna booty for example)...So your gun has to be from the 18th or the 19th.
Please, note that your gun might have been used until the end of the 19th or 1900. As I said the rifles from the Balkans are very well known, the boyliya in Bulgaria is probably the most similar to your gun. The only thing to help for the origin will be the decoration, but i'm afraid to say that your gun is rather plain... I think your barrel is Turkish too. Can you post a photo of the sight?
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Old 11th June 2020, 05:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
...As I said the rifles from the Balkans are very well known, the boyliya in Bulgaria is probably the most similar to your gun... Can you post a photo of the sight?


While I have no reason to doubt you, I have seen this "shishane" type in Bosnia (where I know the Dzeferdar was more common) Montenegro (where the Tancica was more common) Bulgaria (where the Boyliya was more common) Kosovo, Romania, Serbia, etc. But of course these could be captures/leftovers/personal rifles of Turks and there certainly was a widespread gun trade.
Attached are the sights of my rifle. Any idea of when the "peep" sight became more in fashion for these over the more western barrel notch sight? I've seen both types used on these but the vast majority have been the peep hole. From the wonderful collection in Vienna I rarely recall any "standard" notch sights on the shishanes they had.
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Old 11th June 2020, 06:59 PM   #9
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Hi Cyten

That's a nice looking Ottoman Shishane. Likely made at one of the many gun making centers in the Balkans. Probably first half of the 19th Century.
The Damascus barrel with the 2-point rear sight look very common Turkish. The 8 groove rifling is the most common I've seen on these rifled barrels.
The lock is very common Turkish. (glad you got it working again) Even the pattern of the silver mounts. The mainsprings in these locks are very strong (a bit too strong in my opinion). But they are all made this way.
I think the brass cover over the barrel tank is also a replacement. But a full or partial cover in this area is also a common styling feature with these guns.
The round sling rings are likely a 20th Century replacement. But they look good on this gun. LOL
There is actually a Thread about a year ago on this Forum that showed the correct way a leather sling was attached to the two slots with a clever knot.
I think I saved the pic on my other lap top. So I will locate it and post here.

Rick
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Old 11th June 2020, 08:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyten
Kwiatek, I really appreciate it! Unfortunately it is very worn and this is the clearest I can get.
Having no reference material, I can't even guess what it could be.


Thanks! Yes, it's very worn, wouldn't want to make a suggestion. Someone might be able to read it with the aid of a magnifying glass
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Old 12th June 2020, 03:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickystl
Hi Cyten
Likely made at one of the many gun making centers in the Balkans.
Rick


Ah Rick, I had a long discussion about yataghans made in the Balkans or in Turkey. And I will say the same. Not all the firearms were made in the Balkans. Especially because the firearms from the Balkans are very distinctive. The trap is that so many Ottoman weapons were made in the Balkans and so many weapons from the Balkans were posted on this forum that you might be tempted to attribute this gun to the Balkans. In fact most of the features of this gun point to Turkey (as you wrote) and none of them point to the Balkans.
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Old 12th June 2020, 04:35 PM   #12
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double post

Last edited by cyten : 13th June 2020 at 06:55 AM. Reason: double post
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Old 14th June 2020, 06:06 PM   #13
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Hi Kubur

I totally agree. The locks, stocks, and barrels - of this type - are all Turkish designs. Even if many were made at one of the many gun shops in the Balkans, they were probably made under contract to the Ottoman Empire anyway. But yes, these shashanes and tufuks are originally of Turkish design I believe.

Rick
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Old 15th June 2020, 06:39 AM   #14
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In trying to do some online research, I came across THIS VIDEO from Antiques Road Show. I'd like the input of you folks on the "experts" assessment. Personally I took everything with a spoonful of salt after stating that this example was smoothbore when they just did a close up of the rifling. Though, being an amateur in this subject, who am I to doubt the other claims?
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Old 17th June 2020, 01:47 PM   #15
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Hi Cyten

Thanks for posting that video. First time I've ever seen it. Interesting.

My personal (non-expert) opinion of the analyst's opinion: The gun is indeed of Turkish origin. And the stock design, decorations are very similar to other Turkish rifles from the period. Even the old silver decoration is of a similar pattern done by Turkish lock makers. But it is not 17th Century. It's more likely from the late 18th or early 19th Century. Also, as you note, the barrel is rifled, not smooth bore. (Wonder if he even bothered to look at the muzzle end ? LOL).

Thanks again for posting.

Rick
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Old 19th June 2020, 02:19 AM   #16
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I've come across several articles from Bulgaria stating that (in Bulgarian) the town of Sliva was a major manufacturer of (specifically) shishane rifles, no mention of boyliya.
I also came across this shishane with the barrel marked by a maker in Vienna!
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