Thread: Small handgonne
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Old 29th June 2021, 01:57 AM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
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Thanks for posting a very interesting acquisition.

This could possibly be a late handgonne, perhaps first half 15th cent. by virtue of its side-mounted integral priming pan and corresponding touchhole. Being derived from artillery pieces, the early ones tended to have touchholes at the 12-o'clock position. The hole and pan on the right side of the barrel would of course be the next step along in the evolution towards the matchlock barrel.

The décor on your piece reminds me of a folksy version of Baltic / Scandian area knotwork so prominent in medieval north European decorative art.

I am looking through Howard L Blackmore's Guns and Rifles of the World (1965) and note an all-iron Hakenbüchse with a similarly long straight tiller, and a barrel length and caliber not too far off from the numbers cited for your example (barrel 8.34 in., bore diameter 0.60 in. cited in the photo caption) The piece is in the Tojhusmuseet, Copenhagen ( inv. no B.1); if any readers have the book an image is on p 99, fig. 42. Am in a bit of a rush with impending errands at moment, will try to scan or photo the page later.
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