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Ottoman four-stage barrel

Ottoman empire, 17th century

A very rare and impressive Ottoman pattern welded, twisted steel four-stage matchlock barrel. It is only partly octagonal, 18 mm cal. richly chiseled and adorned with silver geometrical and floral decorations. Typical silver stroke circular dots. The muzzle is a monster / dragon head with a neck of 15 chevrons. Condition is very good with some los to the silver inlay and wear/pitting near the breech. The cartouche is unreadable. The earliest evidence of this type of barrel used on matchlock muskets dates to the early 16th century. The Grand Vizier Sokullu Mehmet Pasha (1506-1579) possessed a matchlock with the same barrel. Our barrel came mounted on a indo-arab stock. Being in a bad state of preservation I choose to remove the barrel as the stock downgrades the item as a whole. (But it can be acquired if desired.) It is not uncommon for Ottoman barrels to be fitted on Arab stocks. 

- Robert Elgood, The Arms of Greece and her neighbours in the Ottoman Period, p. 31, fig. 017,018,019

- Guns for the Sultan, Gabor Agoston

- Military Museum (Askeri Muzesi) has a few matchlock muskets with similar barrels. One belonging to Silahtar Mustafa Pasha (early 17th century)

- Museum Hessel-Kassel, inventory nr KPB XVII.319/4

- Another matchlock with an identical barrel once owned by Sokullu Mehmet Pasha. Grand vizier of Suleiman the Magnificent. (16th century)

- Hermann Historica, 17 October 2007, lot 2063, sold for 5500€

- An Ottoman matchlock auctioned at Sotheby's 2009, SOLD for 15000 GBP "http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2009/arts-of-the-islamic-world-l09723/lot.182.html?locale=en"

- Czerny’s, December 12th, 2015, lot nr 0896, unsold