Tschinke Birding Rifle

Tschinke Birding Rifle

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A SILESIAN (Polish/Central European) WHEEL-LOCK BIRDING RIFLE (TSCHINKE), CIRCA 1640-50

Arms and armor are rarely associated with art. However, they were influenced by the same design sources as other art forms including architecture, sculpture, goldsmiths’ work, stained glass and ceramics. These sources had to be adapted to awkwardly shaped devices required to perform complicated technical functions. Armour and weapons were collected as works of art as much as military tools.

This wheel-lock rifle has a mechanism that enabled it to be carried loaded. The jaws of the lock clamped a piece of flint or a piece or pyrites designed to rub against the rough edge of the wheel projecting into the pan. The wheel was revolved at speed by a tightly coiled spring, wound by a separate spanner, and released when the gun’s trigger was pulled causing sparks to ignite the gunpowder in the breech.

Sketches for wheel-locks were made by Leonardo da Vinci but their first common use was in Germany in around 1520 and they continued in use until the late seventeenth century. They were the first devices to fire guns mechanically and accelerated the development of firearms by negating the need for long and dangerous ‘match’ cords which had to be kept dry.

As technical devices wheel-lock guns attracted princely collectors. Many are finely chiseled and engraved as works of art, some even on their insides, to be taken apart and reassembled at pleasure. The stocks were also often decorated with fine bone and horn inlays drawing on the skills of furniture makers and engravers. Wheel-lock guns were expensive, however, and most ordinary gunners were equipped with the older style match-locks until well into the seventeenth century.

 


Snaphaunce Kabyle Rifle

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19th Century North African Silver Mounted (Moroccan) Snaphaunce Kabyle”Camel” GUN, ca. 1850


Rare German Cane Handle Pistol

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Rare cane handle percussion revolver of the 1850 period. German silver and brass engraved fittings. Tight action. Forearm patter copied from Harper’s Ferry 1807 Flintlock pistol.

The percussion cap, introduced circa 1820, was the crucial invention that enabled muzzle loading firearms to fire reliably in any weather.


English Dragoon Pistol

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English Flintlock 65 bore Dragoon pistol having a tapered part octagonal round barrel. The lock-plate with indistinct inscription below pan. The walnut stock with brass furniture, the top grip with oval medallion marked: “W.R.”.

The word dragoon originally meant mounted infantry, who were trained in horse riding as well as infantry fighting skills. However, usage altered over time and during the 18th century, dragoons evolved into conventional cavalry units. In most armies, “dragoons” came to signify ordinary medium cavalry.

Dragoon regiments were established in most European armies during the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

The name is derived from a type of firearm (called a dragon) carried by dragoons of the French Army.

The title has been retained in modern times by a number of armored or ceremonial mounted regiments.


Turkish Flintlock Pistol

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1800’s Antique Turkish Flintlock Pistol with engraved capucines, the stock and ball butt decorated with brass, and scrolling brass wire.


French Flintlock Pistol

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Mid 18th century French flintlock pistol.

The very first true flintlock firearm was developed by Frenchman Marin le Bourgeoys who designed it for King Louis VIII. Flintlock muskets, pistols and rifles were the mainstay of every European and American army from 1660 to 1840.

The flintlock design was initially a smooth bore long gun, or musket. The flintlock design allowed for more variations of weapons and so many short barreled pistol designs and shotgun designs were developed. Flintlock pistols were commonly used by officers on sailing ships and some armies as well. The blunderbuss shotgun designs were more common with sailors and pirates. Some were even designed to fire ropes from one ship to the other. However, the most intuitive design during the flintlock period affected firearms in an incredibly revolutionary way.


Ottoman Miquelet Pistol

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The Balkans produced more pistols than any other region of the Ottoman Empire. The distinctive rattail stock was made primarily in Albania and exported for use throughout the Ottoman Empire, the pointed butt making an effective club. This example is of better quality than most, with a quality lock featuring engraved geometric design and a frizzen with dovetailed grooved strike plate. Mechanism still works smoothly, which is unusual for these early miquelets. Octagonal to round 12 1/4″ barrel of approximately .65 cal. with raised design at the breech; steel barrel band. The wooden stock is completely covered with sheet brass engraved with small arabesques. Smooth brass rattail butt cap. Steel trigger guard with engraved line borders and applied brass decoration. Steel vent pick where a ramrod would normally be found, though these Ottoman pistols usually only had false ramrods.


OTTOMAN MIQUELET PISTOL

 

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Ottoman (Albanian) “rat tail” miquelet lock pistol, late 18th/early 19th century

 


Ottoman Miquelet Pistol

 

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18th Century Miquelet Flintlock Ottoman Pistol.


OTTOMAN MIQUELET PISTOL

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Ottoman (Albanian) “rat tail” miquelet lock pistol, late 18th/early 19th century


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