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Old 30th January 2019, 05:56 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, 10:08 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, 11:04 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, 12:54 PM   #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, 04:59 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, 05:18 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 20th March 2021, 06:18 AM   #7
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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, 05:08 PM   #8
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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 21st March 2021, 02:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrado26
The fotos show an Italian pistol once in my collection maybe made in the same region and in the same time.
Thank you for sharing your example with us. Beautiful! Am I correct in interpreting the photos as showing GILDED brass?
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Old 20th March 2021, 09:28 PM   #10
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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 isn´t the maker of this gun.
Is there still any possibility to assign the initials "P.F."?

Kind regards
Andreas
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Old 21st March 2021, 02:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AHorsa

Is there still any possibility to assign the initials "P.F."?

Kind regards
Andreas
Aha, a nagging question. Since the Middle Ages, Italian armorers often used only initials to identify themselves on their works. The same with the makers of gun locks and barrels. In some cases, the letters arranged and embellished in idiosyncratic style can be identified when compared with other corroborating evidence. Such as C.L.P. on some central Italian barrels, "Cristoforo Leoni in Pistoia", second half 17th cent. However, other instances are a mystery as of now, absent any other data and references. There is bound to be confusion when there are more than one artisan who had the initials working in the same region, city, and era.

I am faced with this conundrum at present with a piece in my collection, a hunting rifle built on an Austrian damascus barrel signed by Johann Schifter, 1690s, with typical Italian stock and everything else fitted to it. The Roman-style lock is marked only with D P on the inside of the plate. The trouble is that the only possibilities I have seen are two gunsmiths who had workshops in Rome, ca 1700, Domenico Principi and Domenico Politti. No facsimile of their "signatures" is contained in the only reference book that I have on them, and it seems that for many makers, the complier got information from documents such as municipal tax records that just mention names and occupations, not showing the actual markings on the objects themselves.
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