Original Balkan Iron and Brass Clad Miquelet Tanchika Long Musket c.1790
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. The Miquelet (Migulet) Tanchika was the traditional muzzle loading long gun of the Balkans and Greece in the early to mid 1800s. Of almost all steel construction inlaid with decoratively engraved and embossed brass panels and mounts. The 56 1/2" octagonal barrel bears barrel makers and armorer's mark and lettering. Almost 70" overall length, in just lovely cleaned and polished condition. A truly impressive weapon.
There is very little visible wood, and most likely the stock is completely iron forward of the lock. Classic long gun from Greece and the Balkans from the Napoleonic era. The Migulet or Miquelet ignition system is a hangover from high quality Italian guns of the 17th and early 18th centuries.
These are just the weapons carried by Brigands and Pirates of the Mediterranean Sea that caused so much trouble to the Europeans in the early 1800s. Most decorative, with an intriguing ignition system.
History of the Miquelet Lock:
Miquelet lock is a modern term used by collectors and curators, largely in the English-speaking world, for a type of firing mechanism used in muskets and pistols. It is a distinctive form of snaplock, originally as a flint-against-steel ignition form, once prevalent in Spain, Portugal, Italy, the Balkans, North Africa, Ottoman Empire and throughout Spain's colonies from the late 16th to the mid 19th centuries.
The term miquelet lock was not recorded until the 19th century, long after the appearance of the mechanism in the 16th century, and is of uncertain origin. One commonly held view is that it was coined by British troops in the Peninsular War to describe the style of musket used by the Miquelet (militia) that had been assigned to the Peninsular Army of the Duke of Wellington.
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