Antique JAPANESE MATCHLOCK “Tanegashima” MUSKET Fascinating Ancient Weaponry with Silver Inlays
Guns International #: 101326713 Seller's Inventory #: 190012
Category: Antique Rifles - Matchlock - Antique Rifles - 1500-1850
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Company: Ancestry Guns LLC
Member Since: 11/3/16
Country: United States
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Antique JAPANESE MATCHLOCK “Tanegashima” MUSKET
Fascinating Ancient Weaponry with Silver Inlays
Here we present an antique Japanese Tanegashima Matchlock Musket in .56 caliber. This was a more refined matchlock musket that utilized a lock and trigger mechanism instead of the more primitive hand-held match. Use of this type of firearm in Japan dates to the mid-16th Century, when the Portuguese brought this 15th Century European concept to the shores of the Japanese Island of Tanegashima, for which the musket is named. With just a few examples Japanese swordsmiths were able to duplicate and produce their own on a large scale, forever changing how wars would be fought in Japan by the end of the 16th Century. They proved decisive in settling the internal wars, so that Japan lived in relative peace and isolation for the next 250 years. The Tanegashima continued to be produced and used until about the end of the Edo Period, when Commodore Perry established contact in the mid-19th Century. Conflict again rose to the surface but was decided by modern weapons of the period.
This is a very interesting weapon when comparing to those most of us are familiar with today. These were not shoulder-fired weapons, so they do not have a provision to brace the stock against one’s body. A braided cord, known as the “slow match”, would have a burning ember at the end. The slow match is held by the spring-loaded arm known as the “serpentine”. The serpentine is put into the cocked position when ready to fire, and the hinged cover moved from over the flash pan. A simple pull of the trigger plunged the serpentine and the slow match into the flash pan, detonating the charge within the gun. The top of the barrel bears beautiful silver figures of a tiger-like creature and flowers inlayed into the barrel. There is also a crane on the first barrel band. Markings are located on the top of the brass medallion on the top of the stock, the medallions underneath the stock, as well as on the underside of the barrel as seen when removed.
The overall condition is very good. The iron parts have 80% of the silver inlay remaining and the iron is dark with age. The markings are clear. The stock is in very nice condition. The bore is dark. The springs of the action have good tension, but the sear surface is a bit too worn to hold the serpentine. This could be corrected by adding a bit of material to the sear surface, but we like to leave these antiques as original as possible and let the buyer decide what they would do with the piece. This is a beautiful work of art and very rare in the United States. Don’t you’re your opportunity to own this incredible piece of Japanese history!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 41 5/8 inch.
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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