Object Title

Snaphaunce musket (mukhala)

Snaphaunce musket (mukhala)



Object Number



Presented by the National Art Collections Fund, 1942. From the Norton Hall colllection, no. 333.

Physical Description

The lock is an African made copy of a Dutch snaphance. The plate, 220 mm long is of considerable thickness and is shaped with a decorative finial at the tail and a simple point at the front. Screwed to it is a long deep gutter shaped pan whose outer end is closed by a thick iron disc having its outer face covered in sheet silver rather crudely engraved with leaves. The flat-faced cock has a prolonged tail that engages with the nose of the horizontal sear where it protrudes through the plate and is arrested by a buffer screwed to the plate. The square frizzen is operated on by a spring whose outer edges are filed to a waved shape. The rod that links the tumbler with the pan cover is missing. The lock is fastened to the stock by three dome headed screw, the centre one being missing.

is full-stocked to the muzzle and made from a reddish close-grained wood similar to mahogany. Behind the barrel is a deep thumb-notch and then a flaring butt of characteristic form. The butt itself is of a denser lighter coloured wood, possibly box, and is attached to the stock by an intermediate piece having the grain at right angles. The deeply bowed trigger-guard is of iron, terminating in a rounded finial through which the tang screw passes. There are four capucines of copper, lapped and clenched underneath, engraved with stylized flowers. These hold the barrel to the stock and act as ramrod pipes over the open channel. The rod itself is of iron, grooved behind the head and with a region of punched decoration.

The barrel is of iron and is divided into two regions by a series of mouldings covered with sheet silver. At the breech the barrel is octagonal with the sloping faces recessed and stepped. The forward part is round with a slightly flared muzzle. The rear sight is deeply notched and of triangular shape, the foresight being a small rounded blade.


Dimensions: The overall length of the gun is 1790 mm, the barrel being 1423 mm long. Weight: The weight of the gun is 3.9 kg.


Serial Number None visible


15.4 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

There is a circular makers mark stamped on the outside of the lockplate below the buffer.



Compare A C Tirri, Islamic weapons, Maghrib to Mogghul, 2003, fig. 15. These are often called Kabyle rifles.