Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 8th March 2021, 08:34 PM   #1
eftihis
Member
 
eftihis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Chania Crete Greece
Posts: 437
Default Balkan gun with early turkish barell

This balkan gun "kariofili" is a blend of 3 elements. The stock, which was usuall in Albania, Greece and other balkan areas,(known as "kariofili" in Greece or "rasak" in Albania), the lock, which is stamped with the "venetian arsenal" stamp, and the barell which is an early ottoman one, and obviously started its life as a matchlock. If i read correctly the inscription says "Allah" and the year 1517!!! (923) There has been a repair in the stock evident from the different colour of the wood in both corners.
Attached Images
            
eftihis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th March 2021, 06:27 AM   #2
Philip
Member
 
Philip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
Posts: 946
Default

Thanks for sharing this! The barrel is a standout feature on a gun that is quite nice overall.

I am most captivated by the shape of the muzzle, a very bulbous form, one might say tulip-shaped. It's a quite early design, derived from English prototypes, late 16th cent. (there is an exceptional example of an English snaphaunce petronel whose barrel has a similar mouth, inv. no. 10428, Nationalmuseet Kobenhavn, published in Brian Godwin's article "Some observations on the decoration of English snaphaunce guns 1584-1622" in the Handbook of the Spring 2015 London Park Lane Arms Fair.) The author notes that this muzzle shape is of a general form "strongly associated with English firearms of the period 1580-1620".

Of interest is that once they went out of fashion in Europe, these bulbous muzzles became popular in the Maghreb, where they are sometimes found on Moroccan snaphaunce muskets made until the end of the 19th cent.
Philip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th March 2021, 06:51 AM   #3
Philip
Member
 
Philip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
Posts: 946
Default image

Here's the piece I referenced in the previous post. This example has an inlaid band at the point of maximum expansion, but the concept is unmistakable -- a marked but gradual flaring of the exterior contour of the muzzle, then a more abrupt reduction down to a diameter close to the bore diameter.
Attached Images
 
Philip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th March 2021, 04:40 PM   #4
eftihis
Member
 
eftihis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Chania Crete Greece
Posts: 437
Default

Thanks Philipp! The question is when the first "tulip" ottoman barell was made? Was it inspired by the english one, or the opposite happened? BEcause if i read well the barell's inscription has a date that corresponds to "1517"! Here are some more similar ottman barells.
Attached Images
 
eftihis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th March 2021, 02:16 AM   #5
Philip
Member
 
Philip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
Posts: 946
Default date of first appearance

Quote:
Originally Posted by eftihis
Thanks Philipp! The question is when the first "tulip" ottoman barell was made? Was it inspired by the english one, or the opposite happened? BEcause if i read well the barell's inscription has a date that corresponds to "1517"! Here are some more similar ottman barells.
Re the date you observe, how confident are you that the inscriptions can reasonably be dated to the time of manufacture? I'm wondering what the context of the date might be, is there accompanying text that can give us something more to hang our hats on?

My gut impression is that the Ottomans, like virtually all the Eastern cultures, developed firearms in a derivative fashion, based on impetus and technology input from the West.

Europe made the transition away from the "handgonne" (basically a small cannon barrel on a wooden handle, fired by an external combustion source) when the first matchlock arquebuses appeared as early as the first decade of the 1400s, based on dated illustrated manuscripts (see Howard Blackmore, Guns and Rifles of the World (1965). These early firearms contained the basic elements of all portable firearms today: a barrel, a mechanical firing mechanism activated by a trigger, both mounted on a stock that permits aim and controlled discharge.

Do you have Dr Robert Elgood's Firearms of the Islamic World? On p 32, he notes from intensive research into archival material that it is reasonably certain that the Ottomans were exposed to the matchlock gun in encounters with Italian (probably Venetian) arquebusiers in the Hungarian service in the Balkans. This was, according to the texts he consulted, during the 1420s. A decade or so after the first RECORDED appearance in Europe (although this based on surviving documents mentioned in the previous paragraph, we don't know if it could have been a bit earlier).

Surviving Italian guns of the 1400s are few (a number are shown in Agostino Gaibi's Armi da Fuoco Italiane) along with illustrations from a codex from later in that century, and none of the barrels had bulbous or tulip shaped muzzles.

Looking at the subsequent development of Ottoman firearms (16th-17th cent.) one sees an evolution that appears to follow in lockstep certain technical and stylistic stages seen in Europe, especially Italy and the Germanic countries. For example:
1. Rifles: polygonal barrels with swamped (gently flaring muzzles with flat terminus), and rifling with an odd number of round-bottom grooves
2. Miquelet lock of "Spanish" type: earliest developed examples extant dating from 1620s Spain and Brescia (Italy) shortly thereafter, some of those having the long "bridge" between cock pivot screw and priming pan characteristic of all Ottoman, Balkan, and Persian derivations down to the 19th cent.
3. Certain buttstock shapes of north Italian origin appearing later in the Balkans.

Based on the general context of firearms development in the Ottoman lands, I tend to lean towards a Western origin of the bulbous muzzles under discussion, and lean towards the belief that England was the origin of this unique feature, based on Mr Godwin's assertion in his article that this form is strongly associated with the work of English artificers.

To which I would like to suggest -- if you would look at Moroccan guns all the way up to the dawn of the 20th cent., we see snaphaunce locks almost identical to Dutch and English originals, buttstock shapes echoing those of these regions, and in many cases a varying degree of bulbosity to the muzzle

Years ago, I had a nice Moroccan afedali silver-wire-inlaid snaphaunce gun with a very bulbous muzzle rivaling the ones posted on this thread in its proportions. Unfortunately, it got traded away without my taking picture of it and I'm kicking myself now!
Philip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th March 2021, 04:49 AM   #6
TVV
Member
 
TVV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 1,383
Default

I cannot read the date, but the barrel sure looks very early. Very nice gun overall, but that barrel has the potential to be special,

Teodor
TVV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th March 2021, 10:45 PM   #7
kwiatek
Member
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 135
Default

Very interesting piece. I don’t think it’s a date. It looks like, with a slightly strange spelling

الحافظا الله

“The Protector is God”

You would instead expect it to be

فالله خیر حافظا

“And God is the best of protectors”

The latter is Koranic (12:64) and common as an inscription on weapons.
kwiatek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2021, 07:12 AM   #8
corrado26
Member
 
corrado26's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Black Forest, Germany
Posts: 928
Default

The lock bears at the left side the lion mark of Venice. Probably this gun has been made in the bay of Kotor Boca Kotorska), which stood under Venice government and where have been lots of the well known and wonderful Ledenica all metal pistols
Attached Images
     

Last edited by corrado26; 11th March 2021 at 07:31 AM.
corrado26 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2021, 05:52 PM   #9
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,590
Default

Hi Eftihis

Almost missed your Thread. WOW!! What an attractive and interesting musket. It certainly does have a Greek/Albania/Turkish flavor to it. LOL

And I agree with Philip's comprehensive comments.

Most of the stock, with it's iron fittings and shape remind me of the Greek muskets. But the butt stock construction reminds me of the muskets from Southern Albania.

As mentioned, the barrel would likely be of Turkish origin. I've never personally seen one up close. You do see barrels from Moroccan snaphaunce with the smaller bulbous muzzle as Philip mentions above. There is a good possibility the barrel is indeed older than the rest of the gun. That would not be surprising. And as Philip mentions, it's a feature that came about during a much earlier period. But, other than aesthetics, I can't come up with a potential reason for the large, over-sized tulip shaped muzzzle (?) I'll have to think about this for a while LOL Also, the decoration and inscriptions on the top of the barrel are most interesting. Don't recall seeing a similar pattern.

If you get a chance, maybe you can take a pic of the bore at the muzzle and a couple pics of the lock.

Again, Congratulations. Great looking addition.

Rick
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th March 2021, 06:45 PM   #10
eftihis
Member
 
eftihis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Chania Crete Greece
Posts: 437
Default

Thank you all for your comments! For me the most possible scenario is that this musket was built in a Venetian controlled area, using a captured ottoman barell and a lock from Venetian arsenal. However, the problem is i cannot trace this form of barell in manuscripts and icnography of the period (16th-17th c). Also althought this tye of barell is for sure early turkish. i cannot find it in Askeri museum objects. Also Turkish collectors whom i talked with, they dont know this design! Is it possible taht is a desigm manufactured somewhere in teh Balkans after the ottoman conquest? Here is another musket that uses this type of tylip barell (i thinh in a second use). It belonged to a Cretan revolutionary and is held in the historic-ethnological museum of Athens.
Attached Images
  
eftihis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th March 2021, 12:16 AM   #11
Philip
Member
 
Philip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
Posts: 946
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by eftihis
i cannot find it in Askeri museum objects. Also Turkish collectors whom i talked with, they dont know this design! Is it possible taht is a desigm manufactured somewhere in teh Balkans after the ottoman conquest? Here is another musket that uses this type of tylip barell (i thinh in a second use). It belonged to a Cretan revolutionary and is held in the historic-ethnological museum of Athens.
I think you have a point, this type of gun appeared after the Ottoman conquest which as we know was largely completed by the end of the 15th cent.
Do you have access to catalogs of or journal articles based on the museum collections in other parts of the Balkans, such as at Zagreb or Sofia? In the past I have seen publications, in various languages, of arms of different types in museum collections in the Balkan countries. Unfortunately I do not have these in my library, these were published several decades ago so would have to be located on the antiquarian book market.
Philip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th March 2021, 11:59 PM   #12
eftihis
Member
 
eftihis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Chania Crete Greece
Posts: 437
Default

Here are some more examples from Elgood's book "the arms of Greece and Balkan neighbors" The last photo is sypposed to be an Italian gun with a turkish tulip barrel, but the photo shows only the stock.
Attached Images
    
eftihis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th March 2021, 12:17 AM   #13
Philip
Member
 
Philip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
Posts: 946
Default Italo-Turkish miquelet guns

Quote:
Originally Posted by eftihis
Here are some more examples from Elgood's book "the arms of Greece and Balkan neighbors" The last photo is sypposed to be an Italian gun with a turkish tulip barrel, but the photo shows only the stock.
Here is an example I have, of Brescian manufacture ca. 1630, built on a non-tulip, non-damascus smoothbore Ottoman barrel. The faceted buttstock has a profile that resembles that of the later Balkan guns called dzheferdar. Here, the incised designs are typical north Italian. The interesting thing about this stock is the prominent bulge ahead of the angular trigger-guard, which is a holdover from earlier wheellock guns, whose mechanisms had an outward shape determined by the size and position of the wheel but which was irrelevant with the now-novel miquelet lock.
Attached Images
  
Philip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th March 2021, 12:31 AM   #14
Philip
Member
 
Philip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
Posts: 946
Default transitional miquelet lock

The earliest surviving examples of these "Spanish" locks dates from the first quarter of the 17th cent., corroborated by signed examples in museums. This one is believed to be made in Brescia, ca 1630, and the gunsmith would have been working with a new, imported technology. There are stylistic elements carrying over from the wheellock era, but more germane to the students of early Ottoman firearms is the long "bridge" linking the cock pivot screw to the priming pan. This is a characteristic of virtually all miquelets made in the Ottoman Empire, the Caucasus, and Iran down to the 19th cent but is something seldom seen on their European antecedents, except for a handful of published, early specimens.

Other characteristics in common with the later (and much smaller) locks made in the Balkans are triangular jaws clamping the flint in place, and an excessively stiff mainspring. Mature versions of European locks (whether Spanish, Neapolitan, Portuguese, or their German imitations) have narrower jaws and a much more efficient mechanical design using a lighter mainspring but resulting in faster lock time due to reduced inertia in the moving parts.
Attached Images
 
Philip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th March 2021, 12:53 AM   #15
Philip
Member
 
Philip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
Posts: 946
Default miquelet, fully-developed for comparison

Just to add some context, here is a mature example of a miquelet lock (in this case from the Eibar region of Spain, ca. 1800-1810, to compare with the early example in the preceding post.

Note that the "bridge" connecting the cock pivot and the pan is absent, and the cock jaws no longer have the triangular "duck foot" shape seen on earlier wheellocks. In contrast, Eastern locks remained extremely conservative, and although some are quite lavishly decorated, little or no effort seems to have been made to improve their mechanical design, or build quality, to keep up with Western versions of essentially the same style of lock.
Attached Images
 
Philip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th March 2021, 08:15 AM   #16
eftihis
Member
 
eftihis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Chania Crete Greece
Posts: 437
Default

Hello Phillip, your latest posts make me wonder if another gun i have is in fact Italian with an ottoman barrel, or it is actualy a turkish copy of teh Italian design... The lock looks turkish from your examples.
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=22029
eftihis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th March 2021, 06:05 PM   #17
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,590
Default

Hi Philip

A good observation and comparison of the Eastern and Western miquelet locks.
I too have never seen any Balkan lock without the connecting bridge. And conversely, I've never seen a Spanish style with the bridge.

Since most of the Balkan style, locally made lock specimens we see today were likely made sometime during the first three quarters of the 19th Century, it is strange they never caught up with the European improvements as you mentioned. And yes, as you mention, even the better quality Balkan locks still don't perform as well as their European counterparts. I've seen well decorated locks that required a high level of skill, that contained mechanical internals that would rate no better than average. I have always found this curious since the reputation for Turkish barrels and blades seem to be held in high regard.

When you consider Morocco was still using the snaphaunce lock, which has it's origins somewhere around the third quarter of the16th Century, it's as if progress in some areas of the East were still on a level of the middle ages.

Here's a good view of the Balkan lock mentioned showing the bridge.

Rick
Attached Images
 
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th March 2021, 07:26 PM   #18
Philip
Member
 
Philip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: California
Posts: 946
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by eftihis
Hello Phillip, your latest posts make me wonder if another gun i have is in fact Italian with an ottoman barrel, or it is actualy a turkish copy of teh Italian design... The lock looks turkish from your examples.
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=22029

You have an impressive collection of these things! Thanks for linking me to the other thread, I have already posted a dissenting opinion with pics in regards to comments made by someone else.

I am looking thoroughly at the images you posted on that thread, and for the sake of addressing your questions directly, am bringing up some points on this thread, so perhaps readers will get an added perspective on the general topic.

I believe that your lock is European but very early, a transitional model of perhaps the mid 17th cent. I attach a photo from W Keith Neal's classic Spanish Guns and Pistols of a very rare early Spanish miquelet, he assigns a 1640 date to it. You will find some parallels to yours with the profuse and well-executed filework on the parts (Mr Neal's example has deco in the style of the gunsmiths of Ripoll, Cataluña). AND of course the characteristic "bridge" that was to become normal on Eastern miqs but soon vanished from Europe. However, your lock, with the graceful "swan neck" curve to the cock's neck, is more Italian in flavor, I see it repeated on other early transitional snap locks from north Italy, and it's quite common on the later "Roman" style miquelet common in central Italy. Ripoll gunsmiths preferred a short, straight, column-shaped neck on the cock.

Further, the buttstock of your gun shows distinct Brescian style. But please see your other thread for my discussion of this, so readers will not get confused.

There is no question about the barrels, they are of Ottoman or Balkan make but the tulip muzzle is a stylistic imitation of something that originated outside of Italy. So far, I've only been able to pinpoint England as its origin and area of popularity (and this, for a short period of time only based on surviving examples).
Attached Images
 

Last edited by Philip; 15th March 2021 at 07:36 PM.
Philip is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 02:44 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.