Monday, 29 June 2015
The blunderbuss illustrated above is one I bought last week. It is not, in one sense, a 'mystery object'. But there is one feature of it that I do not really understand.
And that is the fact that, as you can see, it fold in the middle. I have seen this feature before in Italian guns; but in the sixty years I have been collecting antique guns, this is the first gun with this feature that I have ever owned.
Here is a close-up of the wrist of the gun. The button on top of the wrist is pressed and the gun folds up like a Japanese Sumo wrestler struck smartly in the solar plexus by a bigger rival.
This picture shows the other slightly unusual feature - the elliptical muzzle; but I can see the advantage of this:- if you are being charged by a straight line of criminally inclined miscreants, then the gun, instead of throwing the circle of bullets that a round muzzle would give, presumably would throw a longer horizontal pattern, and bring down more wrong-uns than the round muzzled gun.
However, I can see very little advantage to a folding butt, except possibly that of packing the gun away in a smaller space in times of peace?????
The gun was made around 1750 by P. Lorandi, probably in the Tosco Emilian area of Italy. A pair of pistols by this maker are preserved in the Stibbert Museum in Florence.
Any suggestions as to the advantages of this design would be welcome, although if Rog and Crowbard would restrain themselves to within the bounds of possibility that might be a help- although - no, go to it chaps - I withdraw that last proviso. ALL suggestions fairly gratefully received.