Thursday, 22 June 2017

Thursday.




Mystery Object. What it is, and what it was made for are reasonably  obvious (but  please state the  obvious).  It is  to serve a specific purpose. When and  where was it made?  The  item  and  its  action are very rare - so much so that it has never (in my opinion) been satisfactorily named. Good guessing, especially  from  Crowbard, who has  seen the item a good many times over  the  last forty years or so.

10 comments:

Crowbard said...

Hi Mike, it's sad but I can't recall the brute at all (tempus fugetit).
It is a rifle.
While I am tempted to stop right there, I have yet to dig myself into a hole, and that being a personal tradition I shall continue a bit.
It appears to have a straight rifling to improve the reloading time by permitting the ball to sweep the gunk of burnt powder out along the grooves. In unrifled muskets between 20% & 30% of the volume of the burnt charge remained within the barrel choking the bore and noticeably increasing the difficulty of forcing another ball into the barrel after four or five shots.
It is fired when the flint strikes the frizzen and drops a spark into the priming pan, I seem to recall this alone does not qualify it as a flint-lock which should have an ogee curve to the cocking-head's neck and a vertically operating sear which cannot be determined from the photos shown.
Wild guess 1660-1680 possibly of German origin. Some of the early Kentucky rifles had similar rifling but not such a hefty trigger-guard and straight, utilitarian trigger while the filing and shaping on the cock and frizzen are comparatively fine and decorative; so perhaps Albanian 1630 or Cossack 1700?
Please give it my apologies for forgetting it, I still can't recall seeing it before.

Mike said...

It is a rifle, with six grooves, which appear to spiral in the usual manner to put a spin on the ball. There is such a thing as straight rifling which will give the advantages you name, but this has standard rifling to improve accuracy. It would have been described when made as a 'birding rifle'. I bought it when the Corry collection was broken up. The lock is a well made one of a very primitive sort. It is not a true flintlock. The Corry family referred to it as a Baltic lock, and dated it to around 1650 (which was probably about right. The other very interesting part of the lock is the external mainspring, which continues forward and becomes the 'frizzen spring'. Got to go out now. More later perhaps.

Crowbard said...

Yes,Mike, I was impressed by the double acting spring, very good economy of design. I would ask you to review your photo and see if you don't agree with me that there is some visual indication of straight rifling and none whatsoever of helical rifling. (Of course there is no question that it is what you say, but could you be sure from the photo alone?) I entirely accept the Corry family's location and date. As to birding I haven't been involved since we last shared Ann's Purdy on the far side of the Croft on Uncle Norman's land was it?

paul cully said...

Between your frizens and your priming pan, your cocking heads neck and your vertically operating sear, your Albanians and your Cossacks, I have to say that I am very happily way out of my depth and floundering badly. But keep up the good work, whatever it might be and could the next mystery object be, oh I don't know, perhaps a pineapple or a bicycle. Then I'd be in with a chance. Possibly Crowbard has never seen either of those items.

Crowbard said...

Hi Paul, I have heard of those mysterious objects known as pineapples, I believe they are a form of plant life with a very warlike nature as they usually occupy cylindrical suits of armour called canisters. There are at least two species (which may be the cause of their bellicose nature) the disc and the chunk which when removed from their armour enjoy bathing in condensed milk and being massaged by teeth. Mike has told me of a third kind which long ago dwelt in isolation on a market stall and was sold slice by slice as customers arrived. This variety had tall spiky plumes on its head and so did not fit into the traditional armour of the other two species. Of course this could be another tall tale told by mike to his icckle bwuvver who was exceptionally trusting and gullible. The bicycle is as I'm sure you know a complete myth, clearly it must fall over as soon as the occupant lifts their feet from the ground, Mike tried to kid me about them decades ago but even I am not that stupid. Ha, Ha, Ha, even Rog tries to kid me that he actually owns one and rides it hither and yon without ever a care. If you check out his blog though, reading between the lines, he actually admits that he got the bicycle idea out of a story-book about a Miss Marple.

Crowbard said...

I've just spotted James Purdey on the interweb Mike, wonderful stuff, well worth a glance at

https://www.purdey.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Gun-Brochure.pdf

or

https://www.purdey.com/new-guns

Mike said...

Hello Crowbard. I've had as close a look inside the rifling as is possible, and I'm convinced that it has helical rifling with a very slow curve. The barrel length is about 32 inches overall, and I think that the turn of the rifling is probably less that one turn in the overall length. The two major collectors' in the Corry family were father and son :- Claude Correy and Major Noel Correy. The Correy family referred to these refles as 'Baltic locks, developed in the Scandinavian Countries at the same time as the snaphuance lock was in use elsewhere. The gun we are considering, was stated by Major Noel Correy to have been made in Sweden in circa 1650. As I've now owned it for much the same length of time as he did - I think he made a pretty good guess at its antecedents, and I agree with him.

Mike said...

Hello Paul - good to hear from you, but sorry to hear my choices of 'mystery objects' rather annoys you these days. I think though that the choice of collectable objects collected choose us rather than the other way around, and I've always been fascinated by real antiques, that is probably pre 1830 objects. However, I'll try and vary the mystery objects chosen to keep it interesting.
Warm regards, Mike.

paul cully said...

Don't change a thing on my account.I'm always delighted to be outfoxed by such erudite gentlemen as yourself and your good Brother. Just let me grumble on from time to time and who knows I might get the right answer one of these days.

Mike said...

Dear Paul; this is to give you full leave to grumble on from time to time, and to guess the right answer as often as you can, which, considering the fairly specialised nature of the questions, you get quite fairly often. Guess on, dear boy - guess on.