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Old 25th August 2018, 08:01 PM   #1
rickystl
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Default Interesting Balkan Long Gun

Here is a new addition to my collection. Tirri calls this gun Rumelian (see page 157 in his reference book Islamic Weapons). It has the same butt stock and wrist area carving. The barrel is 40" long, tapered round, and about .65 caliber. The flintlock is styled similar to 18th Century French, as was popular with many Ottoman/Balkan guns. And, it's in good working condition as is. Fron the auction photos I thought the mounts (butt plate, trigger guard, barrel bands) might be silver. But when I first received the gun, it appeared to be similar to fire blued iron. But a magnet won't stick to any of the mounts. It's not brass. So I think the mounts are some type of low grade silver (?) But the beautiful fire-blue addition was originally on all the mounts. The evidence is there. Just appears to be worn off from use in the more obvious places. There are 8 barrel bands. 6 identical, 2 different. But all have the blue tracing. The front band is 8" long and surrounds the entire muzzle area. Overall, I'm very happy with this one. An interesting gun you don't often see. And it's in great condition.

The ramrod is missing. But I'll have a new one made. The bore needs cleaned, and a general cleaning elsewhere. I'm pretty sure the barrel on this gun was originall percussion. I'll take the lock off and do some more studying and post again tomorrow.

Meantime, picture-heavy as usual. Hope you enjoy. Any comments most appreciated.

Rick
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Old 25th August 2018, 08:03 PM   #2
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MORE PICS............
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Old 25th August 2018, 08:05 PM   #3
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STILL MORE PICS.......
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Old 25th August 2018, 08:06 PM   #4
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ONE MORE.......
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Old 25th August 2018, 09:32 PM   #5
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A really lovely gun Rick. As you state, Tirri places this style as Rumelian which in todays language, is the region covered by northern Greece, Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria. You did well!! I wonder if the "blued" effect is tarnish on the silver? Have you tried silver cleaner on a small area?
I have nothing to add to my comments except to say that I think you have a piece in exceptional order for age.
Stu
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Old 26th August 2018, 07:14 AM   #6
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Hi Rick,

Very nice gun.
I have seen some of them, but yours is perfect.
Don't remove the blue in fact it's black niello work, normaly seen on Caucasian guns...

Best,
Kubur
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Old 26th August 2018, 10:30 AM   #7
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Hi Rick
This is a interesting gun and I love the work on the butt,Great find and the first of this type I have seen
very unusual
BRAVO
cheers Rajesh
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Old 26th August 2018, 01:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
A really lovely gun Rick. As you state, Tirri places this style as Rumelian which in todays language, is the region covered by northern Greece, Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria. You did well!! I wonder if the "blued" effect is tarnish on the silver? Have you tried silver cleaner on a small area?
I have nothing to add to my comments except to say that I think you have a piece in exceptional order for age.
Stu

Hi Stu

Thanks for your comments. Yes, I tried a dab of polishing paste and a tiny bit of silver cleaner on a corner of the butt cap surround. Didn't do anything except remove a bit of hidden dirt. So it's not tarnish, per say. But there is evidence that all the metal hardware originally had this treatment when first built. If you notice the barrel bands while covered with this blue/black treatment, the engraving shows through. Very neat effect.

Rick
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Old 26th August 2018, 02:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
Hi Rick,

Very nice gun.
I have seen some of them, but yours is perfect.
Don't remove the blue in fact it's black niello work, normaly seen on Caucasian guns...

Best,
Kubur

Hi Kubur

YES!!! That's where I've seen this before. On Caucasian guns. A few years ago I was at the Baltimore Show and saw a ball-butt Caucasian pistol with barrel bands that had the same treatment. And another Caucasian rifle at an auction with similar treatment. It seems to be what we call a white metal. More tin content than silver. Which, would be more suitable for this type of blue/black treatment. NO !! I won't remove it. It's very attractive and historically correct.
OK. Black niello. Thanks. While studying this, there was something familiar in the back of my mind, but couldn't pull it out LOL. Thanks again.

Rick
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Old 26th August 2018, 02:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BANDOOK
Hi Rick
This is a interesting gun and I love the work on the butt,Great find and the first of this type I have seen
very unusual
BRAVO
cheers Rajesh

Hi Rajesh
Thanks for your comments. As mentioned above, Kubur says he has seen a couple. But this is the first one I've seen outside of Tirri's book. Even though the barrel has a heavier breech area, the gun is very light. Only about 6-lbs.
And it's very comfortable on the shoulder, even with the narrow butt end.
It's an interesting gun with a mix of different Balkan styles. Glad I was able to obtain it.

Rick
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Old 26th August 2018, 02:47 PM   #11
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I took the lock off the gun to study further. I'm convinced that this gun was originally built as percussion and later converted to flintlock back in the period.
Notice there is a plug in the barrel where the vent hole now resides. This is where a percussion drum or bolster originally resided. Also, the lock mortice shows a period alteration to accomodate the change to a different lock (flintlock). It's also why the vent hole in the barrel does not line up exactly in the center of the priming pan. But would still work OK.
Of course we often see this change from the latter percussion system back to the earlier flintlock on many Eastern type guns. Percussion caps being difficult to locate and expensive in these Eastern regions.
Surprisingly, the lock is in good working order as-is. I got lucky with this one LOL. It appears to be locally made. While not quite up to European snuff, it is made much better than the typical Balkan flintlock. The main and sear springs are strong, but not overly so.
So the gun just needs a bit of minor clean-up and displayed with the others in the collection. Nice for a change to get something that doesn't require restoration or other fixes. LOL

Rick
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Old 26th August 2018, 07:15 PM   #12
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Well, i was discussing about this type of gun with a turkish collector, and he said that these are known in Turkey as Armenian guns. This provemamce correxponds well with the "like caucasus niello" decoration.
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Old 26th August 2018, 09:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eftihis
Well, i was discussing about this type of gun with a turkish collector, and he said that these are known in Turkey as Armenian guns. This provemamce correxponds well with the "like caucasus niello" decoration.

.........which would suggest that Tirri's placing as Rumelian COULD be wrong. The region known as Rumelia is west of Turkey (in Europe), whereas Armenia is to the east (in Asia).....

Last edited by kahnjar1 : 26th August 2018 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 26th August 2018, 11:20 PM   #14
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A note about Tirri - his book has a lot of things wrong and mislabeled.
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Old 27th August 2018, 05:53 AM   #15
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I saw exactly this gun (shape of stock, stock, engarvings) cca four times in Turkey (markets in Ankara). Based on this I would say it is of Anatolian origin. Usually they were in worse condition than yours.
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Old 27th August 2018, 02:09 PM   #16
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Hmmmm.....some interesting responses here. Thanks.

Barrel Bands: Now that I think about it, even the shape of the blue/black bands are similar to ones on Caucasian guns. The other two silver colored bands are shaped very similar to ones used on Algerian long guns. Curious.

It seems this "style" of gun may have had it's origin in Turkey - somewhere if others had seem them there. The carvings on the butt stock look similar to photos I've seen of old Turkish furniture.

Thanks for all the replies. Much appreciated.

Rick
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Old 27th August 2018, 02:54 PM   #17
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I think the stock and its engarvings are distinctive in this case (and very probably Anatolia/Asia Minor).
(Nevertheless, as far as your evaluation of the two types of the bands are concerned: If I am not mistaken, the African - Mediterranean coast was under the Ottoman Empiry for a long time... E.g.one of the most interesting big qamas I have ever seen I found in Libya years ago. I would say it was of Syrian origin, which was also Ottoman for a centuries... It was very probably survival of Ottoman garrison force. And, by the way - I was also told that Ottomans used to bring, among others, the garrison force from the Causasus region. - Just what I heard.)
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Old 27th August 2018, 08:15 PM   #18
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First of all, this is a very nice gun, congratulations. On the question of origin, I do not know where it is from, but I do not think ti is from the Balkans. I do not think you will find any of these guns in any Bulgarian or Greek museum, so the "Rumelian" attribution is probably just one of many things Tirri got wrong.
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Old 28th August 2018, 01:53 PM   #19
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Thank you all for the additional replies. It does seem a mystery as to it's origins. It doesn't match any other gun building "style" from the Balkans that I am familiar with. I've search through all new and old reference material I have to no avail. That small photo in Tirri's book, and the photo posted above are the only ones I've ever seen. I'll keep looking. LOL

Rick
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Old 28th August 2018, 05:11 PM   #20
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Must admit I do like the wood carvings.
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