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7. Ottoman Turkish Miquelet Rifle, 18th C.

( ID: mc1256 )

Overall dimensions: 100.33 cm

Barrel length: 69.85 cm

Bore: .5 inch

Weight: 5.75lbs

Price on request

Ottoman period Turkish guns come in a variety of types reflecting various decorative influences but retaining a basic shape and form that is distinctive to guns from the Ottoman Empire. The example in our catalog reflects this classical form with a level of quality rarely found on these guns and includes a decorative aspect that is highly uncommon to find on guns of the 18th century – namely a silver inlay throughout the flamed Circassian walnut stock.

The Ottoman gun, also called the tüfek, Turkish for “gun,” has a classic form with a hexagonal buttstock shape, often mounted with a finely wrought twist Damascus barrel and, starting in the mid-17th century mounted with miquelet locks, the original forms of which were imported from Spain or Portugal. This gun features a flamed walnut stock inlaid with decorative silverwork of a high level of quality, a feature rarely seen and more often found on later guns of European form. European decorative aspects in gun making were already trending into Ottoman arms in the late 17th century following the Battle of Vienna in 1683 but accelerated as peacetime contact between the Ottoman Empire and various European royal houses solidified in the 18th century, especially during the Tulip period under Ahmet III (1718-1730). During this time the baroque motifs found in Paris and Vienna were viewed by peacetime Ottoman ambassadors and adopted into the art and architecture in Istanbul and throughout the empire (Sardar 2003). By the late 18th century, Ottoman guns of entirely European form and using the flintlock mechanism began to be more common, while indigenous arms began to display decorative characteristics more common to European firearms. This gun synchronizes decorative elements with traditional Ottoman zarnishan gold decoration on the barrel and lock matched with coral inlays along the miquelet lock, a feature found most prominently on Ottoman guns from the North African provinces (see Elgood 1998; Pl. Nr. 45).

Furthermore, the stock is not only inlaid with silver but also green-stained bone panels of a vari-form design and then inset with brass tacks in roundels. This is a traditional Ottoman design derivative of Persian katamkari work. The barrel of traditional Ottoman workmanship is octagonal in form and has a prominent twisted construction visible entirely throughout the piece. Condition is excellent with the lock in full working order.

Provenance:

Private California collection

References:

Elgood, R. (1998). Firearms of the Islamic World: In the Tared Rajab Museum, Kuwait.

Sardar, M. (2003) “The Art of the Ottomans after 1600.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Photo #1 of 7.  Ottoman Turkish Miquelet Rifle, 18th C.
Photo #2 of 7.  Ottoman Turkish Miquelet Rifle, 18th C.