Object Title

Musket (kabyle)

Musket (kabyle)



Object Number



Presented 1960.

Physical Description

This appears to be a very old gun of high quality that has been crudely repaired and modified.

is an African made copy of a Dutch snaphance. The outer end of the pan is a circular domed disc whilst the cock and frizzen stem have moulded and curved outer faces. The lock is held into the stock by three screws with domed heads, the rearmost having broken leaving the threaded portion rusted into the lockplate.

is of a dark wood that may originally have been covered with leather fastened in place with silver domed nails. On the side opposite the lock the surface appears to retain the leather moulded with foliage in relief. The shape of the stock is of characteristic kabyle shape with a deep thumb-notch behind the barrel and a flaring butt. Running along the comb is a U-shaped strip of iron that wraps over the end of the ivory butt cap. a similar strip follows the underside. These strips are held at the forward end by a wrapping of silver wire. Under the lock itself is a further iron plate having lugs along the sides that bend upwards and are pierced for the lock screws. Screwed to this plate is a deep trigger guard of brass, heavily decorated with silver with an ornate and pierced finial. Forward of the lock is a conical sheathing of iron, a short gutter shaped iron plate and then the long wood fore-end. There are nine silver capucines, all engraved and decorated with foliage and a cap at the muzzle. Inlaid into the stock are various shaped pieces of ivory decorated with engraved lines and ring and dot ornament. Some are crude replacements. Around the barrel tang is the remains of an engraved silver plate that extended along the edge of the stock opposite the lock.

is very worn so that the mouldings are hardly discernable. Octagonal at the breech becoming round with a a simple double ring moulding. There is a similar moulding near the muzzle. The back-sight comprises two curved plates looking like a wing nut, the foresight is a low rounded iron blade. In front of the backsight is a crude triangular patch of silver.


Dimensions: The overall length of the gun is 1545 mm, the length of the barrel is 1218 mm. Weight: The weight of the gun is 3.2 kg.


14.6 mm

Inscriptions and Marks




This gun appears to be of considerable antiquity, the wood within the lock cavity being considerably erroded. The remaining original decorative elements are of high quality and show a heavy patina. The iron strapping is more recent and together with the present fore-end, appears to have been addded to hold the gun together.