Object Title

Flintlock walking stick gun

Flintlock walking stick gun

Date

1700-1799

Object Number

XXVIF.218

Provenance

Purchased 3 October 1995.

Physical Description

The device consists of five main pieces that screw together. The main sections will be identifed by numbers 1-5, starting with number 1 at the top or the end with the knob. Section number 1 has a gilded fluted knob, under which is a flat loose ring with a small spur. This was probably a swivle loop originally. The sections are octagonal with incised lines down each edge. Section 1 has a hole in every face with scaled lines across the faces, these are marked with numerals in gold Nagri script. Section 2 is immovable but an X-ray shows it has a sprung loaded nozzle like section 4. On the outer surface of 2 is a collar with gold marks that originally slid up and down the cane. Section 3 has seven sides scaled and marked in gold and is pierced by a single through hole. Section 4 has five sides scaled and marked whilst inside is a spiral wire spring that pushes a brass nozzle out of the end as the joint is unscrewed. Section 5 contains the flintlock gun of conventional boxlock construction, the whole of which is decorated with gold koftgari. The barrel has a sleeve covering it, attached to the underside of which is a square section tube containing a folded spring. A bar extends from the rear edge of the sleeve and butts against the stud trigger. Behind the trigger is screwed a bar with two lugs that had a pivot pin passing through them. This may have had a pivoted safety catch that locked the trigger. The structure suggests that the gun could be fired by forcing the muzzle of the gun against an object, the sleeve sliding backwards and operating the trigger to fire the gun. Secreted in section 3 is a ramrod that unscrews to form a short pricker that also fits through the holes in the cane.

Dimensions

Dimensions: The length of the top section is 123 mm excluding the knop, the second is 125 mm, the third is 173 mm, the fourth is 175 mm, the fifth is 143 mm excluding the pistol which measures 95 mm. Weight: The cane weighs 1.15 kg.

Calibre

12 mm.

Associations

Places India

Bibliographic References

Bottomley, I Indian firearms curiosa, Arms & Armour 1.1, 2004: 81-88

Notes

The sundial feature of this combination weapon was identified at a Meyrick meeting in October 1995, and that a spring loaded bayonet was originally fitted to the muzzle, and is now missing. This may not be the case, see below. A similar sundial cane is shown in Cane Curiosa, and is called a shepherds stick from Nepal. The Encyclopedia Britannica also mentions vertical dials that were hung from a string and used in the Pyrenees. These however have the lines for the hours lying on curves around the circumference of the cylindrical dial. This stick has simple numbered lines on the flats. It could be that it was laid horizontally pointing in the direction of the sun in a similar way to those used in ancient Egypt. The scales are not linear and in some cases run up to 16, the numbers clearly indicating the space between the lines rather than the lines themselves.
Very similar guns are shown in H. Gordon Frost, Blades and Barrels, Walloon Press Texas, 1972 p.217. The guns illustrated are fitted with bayonet type blades with angled necks that slide in the square tube under the barrel of the pistol and push against the stub of the trigger. These guns are described as Tiger spear-pistols. This gun does not however do this. It is the sleeve around the barrel that activates the trigger. If a bayonet was fitted it need not be moveable. In his article Ian did not notice another example in the Royal Collection, J Purdon Clarke, Arms and armour from Sandringham, London, 1910: 19, no. 266, presented by Maharao Raja of Bundi, and Rajput.

Information

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