Thursday, 22 August 2013

Thursday.


                                 MYSTERY OBJECT.
                                  _______________

The object, of course, isn't in the least mysterious. It's a gun, with the gun lock showing. The object is for someone to be able to say what sort (very specifically) of gunlock this is. The country of manufacture and some idea of period would gain extra marks, or rather, kudos.


This next picture is of the same gun, showing the butt plate. The butt trap in the centre of the plate was missing, and this week I have been making (and engraving, en suite) the missing butt trap. The next part of the Mystery Object game is for you to tell me (again specifically) what the butt trap would have been made to contain.    
                   In fairness, I must warn you that this particular Mystery Object competition is
                                         AN ABSOLUTE STINKER.
                                         _______________________
I doubt that even Crowbard, on a good day, will be able to answer this one in the required detail.  Still, have a bash chaps (and, of course, chapesses).

14 comments:

Sir Bruin said...

Go on then, I'll have a go.
Flintlock. No idea of country of origin,but I'll guess at France.
Again, no idea of date, will guess at around early 1800's.
I'll have a stab at the butt trap being to store spare flints.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Sir B. It is a flintlock, but not a true flintlock. It's a fairly rare variant of the flintlock. The answer to the rest of your guesses are, I'm afraid :- No, No, and No (in that order).
Not like you Steve - you are allowed more guesses, of course.

Mike and Ann said...

P.s. The gun lock type has two names. Either will do, though Both would do better.

Maggie said...

An absolute guess, would the butt trap have held a small pistol?
To say its a flintlock would be too obvious I suppose?

Crowbard said...

There is no external mainspring, nor obvious striation of the frizzen so it is not a miquelet despite its having a ring-topped jaw-screw. (Spanish)
The frizzen is entirely different in its geometries from a Snaphaunce (Dutch)
Neither does it have the simpler characteristics of the Gemanic or Baltic Snaplocks
Not a dog-lock in the absence of the tooth on the back of the cock and the latch behind it.
The two parallel ridges behind the cock appear to be utilitarian rather than decorative and may be the grip of a slide which prevents cocking.
Although I cannot read the proof-mark from your photo its format appears to be Spanish about 1710-1750 and the ring-topped screw supports the idea of Hispanic origin. There is something odd about the arrangement of the frizzen spring and its clamp but my eyes or your photography defeat my ability to define it further. The steelwork looks exceptionally fine and the brass trigger guard suggest a possible maritime application.
The Baker rifle had a 'butt-trap' or patchbox where greased linen patches and tools could be stored so I guess this butt-trap also held such patches to wrap the balls and a pricker to clear the touch-hole which possibly doubled as a torsioning bar to tighten the jaw onto the flint and maybe spare flints and a bullet mould but you may as well have asked “What have I got in my pocketses” as a conundrum of equivalent solubility.
In other words Mike you have completely defeated me, the nearest I can get is a Spanish flintlock of the early to mid C18th. I await the pleasure of your response telling me it is a South American Aardvark gun with a butt-trap full of irresistable aardvark bait!

Rog said...

Lily has suggested that it's actually a Doglock but I think she's been on Wikipedia

Rog said...

English 17C and storing black powder

Mike and Ann said...

Between you, you got a good deal nearer than I had expected. Maggie's suggestion that the butt trap held a pistol is the nearest to the butt trap question, in that it was made to hold a small plug bayonet. The gun is a sporting gun, and the bayonet would have been to deliver the 'coup de grace'. The Spanish used plug bayonets for sporting purposes long aft the rest of the civilised world (and the Americas) used the socket bayonet. The lock, as Crowbard surmised is an odd cross between a miquelet lock and a flintlock. If you look at the front of the cock it has a projection which acts on a stud coming through the lock plate. This is the half cock position. On the back of the cock is the full cock catch, engaging with another stud through the plate.
It is usually know nowadays as the Madrid lock, as most of them come from that area. In its day the Spanish would have called it the lock 'a la moda'. It would have been built around 1760 to 1780, and, as Roger guesses looks far more like a lock of the late 17th century. It is by a well know maker - Deop or Deops.
That was a very good joint effort, and as I said - you got nearer than I'd expected.

Crowbard said...

So I was right about the sporting gun, just wrong about the hunting of Aardvark with it (and everything else)!
Perhaps a few more photos from different angles might have given us more of a 'sporting' chance, but you mustn't make these problems too easy I suppose.
A most engaging mystery object with an entirely unsuspected pointy thing in the butt, a sticker rather than a pricker.

Crowbard said...

Hi Mike,
It would be interesting to see a few photos of the plug bayonet too, please?

Crowbard said...

Just seen a pistol with this type of Spanish lock described as 'llave a la moda' meaning 'Key to fashion'.
e-mailing URL to you as it is quite a pretty piece.

Pat said...

Tooth picks?

Mike and Ann said...

Actually Pat - you got fairly near, insofar as a plug bayonet would make rather a good giant toothpick.

Mike and Ann said...

Actually Pat - you got fairly near, insofar as a plug bayonet would make rather a good giant toothpick.