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Old 5th July 2018, 07:27 PM   #1
dana_w
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Default Spanish Miquelet Belt Pistol, dated 1703

Spanish Miquelet Belt Pistol
by Bernat Calafell, 1703


This beautiful Patilla style Miquelet Pistol has a distinctive look associated with Ripoll. It was purchased a few months ago by a friend from Barcelona. He had it sent to me for safe storage until he was back in the States. There is only one problem with that, I had to give it back, but not before taking a few photos.

The .60 caliber smoothbore barrel is 11 3/4 inches long and marked MAS near the breach. The front of the frizzen is signed B/Cala/Fel/l and dated 1703.

Patilla style miquelet locks have a large external mainspring. The spring exerts an upward force on the hammer`s heel. Two horizontal sears pass through the lock plate in front of the hammer. The lower one is the half cock sear. It locks the hammer`s toe in a safe position for loading and carrying the weapon. The upper one is the full cock sear. It prevents the hammer from falling until the trigger is pulled. The earliest known examples of this style are Spanish and date from the late 16th century
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Old 5th July 2018, 09:45 PM   #2
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Very nice! Is that a belt clip on the side?
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Old 5th July 2018, 09:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victrix
Very nice! Is that a belt clip on the side?
Yes Victrix, that is a belt clip.

"Belt pistols have a large hook attached to their side or screw plate. They could be easily hung from a belt, saddle or sash. One contemporary illustration shows several belt pistols being carried at once on a type of shoulder belt called a baldric (Spanish: Xarpa)"
-weaponscollector.com

Attached: Tapestry by Francisco Goya, c1780
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Old 5th July 2018, 10:43 PM   #4
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Dana

Please, you could upload a photograph of the cock in half-cock and full-cock. Thank you
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Old 5th July 2018, 11:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fernando K
Dana

Please, you could upload a photograph of the cock in half-cock and full-cock. Thank you
I've passed this gun on to its new owner Fernando. It wasn't mine so I never cocked it, but i could see both the full and half cock sears.
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Old 6th July 2018, 08:46 AM   #6
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What an excellent pistol by BERNAT CALAFELL but, what is wrong with you Dana ? Why didn't you just keep it ? .
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Old 6th July 2018, 02:01 PM   #7
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dear Dana

Only for a concern. I seem to have seen in the lock's photograph, only the half-cock sear, located very high on the plate, when the full-cock sear is flat, and what I see is round ...

Affectionately
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Old 6th July 2018, 03:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fernando K
dear Dana

Only for a concern. I seem to have seen in the lock's photograph, only the half-cock sear, located very high on the plate, when the full-cock sear is flat, and what I see is round ...

Affectionately
This closeup of the image above makes it easier to see both the full and half cock sears.
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Old 6th July 2018, 04:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dana_w
Yes Victrix, that is a belt clip.

"Belt pistols have a large hook attached to their side or screw plate. They could be easily hung from a belt, saddle or sash. One contemporary illustration shows several belt pistols being carried at once on a type of shoulder belt called a baldric (Spanish: Xarpa)"
-weaponscollector.com

Attached: Tapestry by Francisco Goya, c1780
Fantastic!
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Old 6th July 2018, 05:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
What an excellent pistol by BERNAT CALAFELL but, what is wrong with you Dana ? Why didn't you just keep it ? .
I appreciate people intrusting me with their precious antiques but sometimes it is tempting to keep them.
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Old 6th July 2018, 08:17 PM   #11
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Dear Dana

In the first picture it did not look good. Sorry

Affectionately
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Old 6th July 2018, 08:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fernando K
Dear Dana

In the first picture it did not look good. Sorry

Affectionately
No problem. I should have uploaded a closeup of the lock in the first place.
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Old 6th July 2018, 09:38 PM   #13
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Default Ripoll Miquelet

Hi Dana, what a nice pistol. That lock alone pretty much identifies Ripoll made. A very standard patilla, flat full cock and round notched half cock. IMHO that is what my envious eyes see it.
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Old 6th July 2018, 09:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miqueleter
Hi Dana, what a nice pistol. That lock alone pretty much identifies Ripoll made. A very standard patilla, flat full cock and round notched half cock. IMHO that is what my envious eyes see it.
I was sure you'd absolutely love this one Miqueleter.
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Old 15th July 2018, 03:15 PM   #15
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Hi Dana

WOW!! That EARLY pistol is a beauty. And appears in wonderful condition. It must have been somewhat painful to have to re-ship it. LOL
It appears all iron mounted. The iron piercing decoration on the grip and butt area would have taken a long time to complete, being more difficult than brass or silver to work with.
A couple other things I notice: The trigger guard attaches directly to the stock versus being inlet. An common feature on early guns. The other is the shape of the grip and pommel. From a side view it looks round. But in fact is more oval shaped. I wonder if this was a common design feature on early Ripoll pistols ?
I've seen an English pistol from about the 1640's with the same shape grip.

Anyway, it's certainly a wonderful example of a turn of the 18th Century Ripoll pistol. Offer your friend my congratulations. And mention that he is welcome to send it to me for any future safe-keeping. I'll even pay for the shipping. LOL

Thanks for posting. Rick
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Old 15th July 2018, 07:00 PM   #16
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Default A beaut with interesting transitional features

Dana, I can sense that you were reluctant to pack and send this one off!

Bernal Calafell is listed in Der Neue Stöckel as being active ca. 1692-1703. His career coincided with the point at which noticeable stylistic changes were taking place in the universe of Spanish gunmaking, and this pistol has an interesting mix of old and new.

The stock design and deco are rooted in the 17th cent. The profile and grip and pommel are very similar to a pair of Ripoll belt pistols dated ca. 1680 in the W. Keith Neal Collection, illus in his book Spanish Guns and Pistols pl 78.
Note that on the pistol which is the subject of this post, the forestock is carved with longitudinal channeling. This feature, along with the umbrella-shaped pommels and the triangular-format openwork stock decoration on each side, are reflective of the "golden age" of Brescian gunmaking in the 17th cent. These features went out of fashion in later production.

Eduardo Graells, in his article "A Primer of Ripoll Gunlocks" (in The Arms and Armor Annual, vol. 1, ed. Robert Held, 1979), explores the "italianate flavor" of earlier Ripoll guns and the link to Brescia, illustrated by three further examples. It is interesting to note that all of these comparable examples have barrels pin-fastened to the forestock rather than with a capucine or barrel band, as were the Brescian originals.

The pistol under discussion does use a barrel band, which points to the stylistic sea-change mentioned above. It has a characteristic Spanish form with multiple ornamental slots on its lower half; it appears as early as 1660 on a Spanish miquelet pistol of provincial manufacture, ex-Dineley Collection and published in James D. Lavin, A History of Spanish Firearms fig. 22.

The move to barrel bands was largely prompted by the reluctance by Spanish barrel-makers (who often carried the decorative effects on the top flats around to the bottom as well) to mar the pristine symmetry of their creations with dovetailed lugs to retain barrel pins!

Lavin also mentions that the earliest Ripoll guns (wheellocks) had a peculiar barrel tang attachment consisting of the tang screw being integral with the head of the trigger guard, such that the guard was turned round to tighten the screw when finally, as it aligned with the butt, a wood screw fastened it on its tail end. (see History... fig 24)

Dana, can you tell us if the pistol you had also has this type of tang screw, or is it the conventional separate screw that works on its own, to secure the barrel tang only?
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