Object Title

Matchlock musket

Matchlock musket

Date

1700-1799

Object Number

XXVIF.244

Provenance

The gun was acquired as part of a group of three, all of the same form and decoration, published in j. Hewitt, Offical Catalogue of the Tower Armouries, London, 1859, 110. XV.383-5, renumbered to XV.192-4 Viscount Dillon, Illustrated Guide to the Tower Armouries, London, 1910, 17; the other two unsigned guns are now nos. XXVIF.99 and XXVIF.119. Acquired before 1859, from Lahore.

Physical Description

The lock is of simple pivoted form, with a D-shaped trigger decorated with floral scroll in gold koftgari, the serpentine is a spatulate, divided terminal, also decorated in koftgari. The stock is of wood, nearly full length and covered in polychrome decoration with hunting scenes mostly in red, orange and gold on a green ground. The butt is straight, thin and five-sided, with a fretted section at the end, with a tiger hunt at the left side followed by a river populated by ducks and parrtor flying above. Behind the breech is a substantial block, carved with a central groove for sighting, and decorated with red and green flowers on a gold ground. At the right of the breech is a conical holder for the vent pricker, also decorated in gold koftgari. The rectangular section of the stock continues to the lower strap loop, and after a foliate moulding the stock is round-bottomed to the fore end. The decoration continues, and includes a fine blackbuck's head at the right, and a tiger hunt, the hunter mounted on a pale horse, at the left. The barrel is of square section with a circular bore, polished bright with a section of geometrical decoration at the breech and the muzzle. The breech section had a medial transverse band of foliate scrollwork, and a cartouche for the maker's signature, 'aml Hajji Sha'aban. A the rear of the breech is a rectangular notched sight. At the muzzle, which flares slightly to the end, is a notch for a fore sight. The barrel is secured to the stock by five twisted bands of iron wire. The gun retains its original steel ramrod, with a section at the force end flaring with a knop to the end, and decorated in gold koftgari. The decoration is damaged in several places, especially around the breech. The koftgari is rubbed on the serpentine.

Dimensions

Dimensions: length 1575 mm, barrel length 1082 mm, bore 14 mm

Calibre

14 mm

Associations

Bibliographic References

John Hewitt, Official Catalogue of the Tower Armouries, London, 1859: 110, xv.383

Harold, Viscount Dillon, Illustrated Guide to the Armouries, Tower of London, London, 1910: 17, xv.192