Friday, 12 July 2013

Friday 2.


                                    Mystery object.
                                    ____________

  
                                    This is the object I was working on earlier this week. It is just over eight inches long. The above and below photos are, of course, of the same object.
                                    What, and why, and roughly when, please.



9 comments:

Nea said...

Am I allowed to take a shot at this one? 'Cause I think I know what & when & where :)
Xxx
Rxxh

Mike and Ann said...

You do, of course, oh sneaky daughter. I had forgotten that.

Even before the days of flints,
were daughters dropping crafty hints-
Let others make their guesses wild, or the astute ones analyse,
I warn you, well informedd child,
I NEVER give a winner's prize.

Rog said...

It's a key that looks like a gun,
Or a gun that looks like a key
It looks like a bit of fun
And the result of ingenuity

Was it a key gun, used to open flint locks?
17c

Mike and Ann said...

Well done Rog. Even your dating is right. It's a key with a matchlock pistol built into it. They're rare items, usually known as jailer's pistols. It would be a reasonably effective weapon, if a little impractical. The only one of its kind I've ever seen that would be a reliable weapon was a Spanish miquelet flintlock key-pistol; but even then it handled rather awkwardly.
I should in fairness make it clear that daughter Nea saw it in my workshop last week when I was doing fairly major restoration work on the key pistol. Hence the punning hint of 'taking a shot at this one'. Good one daughter!

Mike and Ann said...

P.s. If they were Jailers' pistols, I think they were probably some sort of 'badge of office'.

Crowbard said...

Dear oh dear, Mike; and I thought it was a lock-smith's match-lock tool for blowing the innards out of recalcitrant locks. I think it might produce a bit of shrapnel if used in this way although I don't think Major General Henry Shrapnel had invented the stuff until the last quarter of the C18th.
Fascinating little hoojah though!

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Crowbard. I must say that I've never thought that any sort of matchlock pistol could be a very practical weapon, although I've seen one or two highly decorated Eastern European ones, some Indian ones, and several Japanese snap-matchlock pistols. The whole point of a pistol is that it can be carried safely (in a pocket or holster) and can be made ready to fire simply by cocking it or by moving the safety catch. To fire a matchlock you have to either carry a length of lighted matchcord, or be prepared to light some by the time honoured method of using a flint and steel, all of which takes a little while, although perhaps not so long as you'ld think. For this one to be of practical use you'ld have to have a length of already lit matchcord with you to be of any use as an offensive or defensive weapon. The lock works as well as would a matchlock musket.
As I say, a badge of office maybe.

Lori Skoog said...

No clue! However, I loved catching up. Especially liked the roses through the window and seeing Nea and the girls. They sure have grown up.
You are still your busy selves and don't let any grass grow under your feet.!

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Lori. Yes, it was lovely having Nea and the girls home, even for a short while.
As for not letting the grass grow under our feet, I don't notice you and Gari slowing up much!