Monday, 3 March 2014


 The first three photographs are of this week's  MYSTERY OBJECT.   We went for a drive this morning (with a purpose, but found ourselves on a slightly unusual route so I took lots of photies, meaning to show you old buildings, but then thought  I might have been overdoing suffolk scenery of late, so decided that it was a while since I showed a 'mystery object', so showed this one instead). It isn't strictly a mystery object in that there's no mystery about it. It's a flintlock pistol, but made for a fairly specialised purpose, and it's your job to see if you can work it out.  I think to do this, you'll have to ask yourselves questions.

Above photo shows the brass barrel of the pistol. Why a brass barrel ? It has one major advantage over an iron barrel, and is used in two fields of use. which you may be able to work out. The stock, as is usual, is of walnut.

The above picture of the lock is the giveaway. Suggest you enlarge it and look closely. It's not quite what you'd expect for it's date. I think I'll give a clue here. It dates from around the year 1800.  See what you can do with this. As per usual - no prizes. Good deal of kudos though, if any one gets it.  I do realise that this one is quite highly specialised. I'm not cheating - it really is a lethal weapon of its day, but for a special purpose.As that might mislead you, I'd better say - it's emphatically NOT a duelling pistol.


This bit has nothing to do with mystery objects.  I found meself thinking that I sometimes put up a photo of the evening meal. Well this is today's light lunch. Gammon sandwiches, the gammon cooked by Ann and cut into quarter inch thick slices (with a little mango chutney in them - I prefer a smear of English mustard, but this is more subtle, I agree).  Celery and red pepper as a relish. The olives are prepared and bottled by our friend Millie. They are bottled in olive oil with fennel seeds  and, I think, a little garlic. We plan to try and bottle some ourselves later in the year if our bronze fennel produces a decent crop of seed. With grapes and apple. A very tasty lunch, although I think that celery does need a little salt (although I'm not really supposed to - bad for the ticker, I'm told).
Oh, and a cup of Red-bush tea (ruibos tea), which fortunately I like!  People either love this stuff, or can't take it at any price. The point is it contains no caffeine or tannin, so it's lucky I love the stuff.  Being 'GOOD for you' and 'liking it' don't necessarily run together, but this time they do.


Maggie said...

I really not sure on this, but will have a guess. I assume it's a brass barrel so that it doesn't rust so easily? Possibly also lighter in weight. Would it have been used by the customs police of the day to catch the smugglers?

Probably being a little romantic in my guess, but cannot think of anything else. By the way your lunch looked scrummy! Agree on the mustard though.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Mag. Well done. You're on the right lines in that brass is generally very corrosion resistant. And a chap called Barnett made Customs and Excise pistols with (occasionally) brass barrels. The one I've illustrated has in fact nothing to do with Customs and Excise, but I mention it to show that your guess is not in the least 'romantic'.
Warm regards to you both - Mike.

Crowbard said...

Marine & Naval pistols of brass withstood the corrosive powers of sea-water better than steel; but do I detect a slight belling at the muzzle's mouth? If so this could be a mail-coach pistol, weather resistant brass and a bell mouth to give a wide spread of buck-shot or rock-salt.

Lori Skoog said...

Ann takes good care of you with those beautiful meals!

kippy said...

Perhaps used by a buccaneer, whale boat captain etc? Since the brass is corrosion resistant exposure to the elements would not harm it as much as other metals.

kippy said...

Perhaps used by a buccaneer, whale boat captain etc? Since the brass is corrosion resistant exposure to the elements would not harm it as much as other metals.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Lori. Yes, she does, bless her. But don't forget that I've seen illustrations of the meals you make, and occasional recipes for them, and I don't notice that your Gari is fading away on them, so I think that both you and Ann are doing a grand job of taking good care of your husbands, or partners, as we're usually called nowadays.
Regards to you both.

Mike and Ann said...

I think I'll leave the mystery object till later this evening to see if any more answers come in. Then make all clear a bit later.

Mike and Ann said...

For the answer please see the second part of the next entry - for Shrove Tuesday.