Original North African Tuareg Snaphaunce Lock Camel Carbine circa 1800

Item Description

Original Item: One Only. These are most unusual, the TUAREG were and still are the native Arab BERBERS that occupy the hottest and nastiest parts of the Saharan Desert. Their History goes back to just after Christ and there was a great Tuareg Queen known to have ruled around 500 A.D.

What is today half a dozen Countries including Algeria, Mali, Chad, Tunisia etc. was largely colonized by France in the 19th Century, you remember the French Foreign Legion depicted in "BEAU GESTE"? Well these were the guys in the black head wrappings. They started getting surplus firearms as early as the 17th Century, mostly from Spanish and Italian traders so it is not surprising that they copied early European designs like the 17th. Century SNAPHAUNCE flintlock systems then popular.

Our example is a Tuareg Snaphaunce Camel Carbine with massive Snaphaunce lock in a stock of iron and only a little wood decorated with bone and lots of line engravings. This one perhaps from a more affluent Tuareg has some additional Silver band decoration. An iron ring on the left hand side attached the carbine to the Camel's saddle within easy reach of it's rider.

In 1881 the French sent a Colonial Military Force into the Tuareg region and they were almost entirely annihilated. It took over 20 years of very blood thirsty war for France to finally get a Treaty signed in 1910 by MUSA AG AMASTAN, the Tuareg leader, while in Paris.

The Carbine is completely Tuareg made and although by our standards primitive, these Tuareg Arabs fought the French for many years before coming to terms.

Fully cleaned and ready to Display

History of the Snaphaunce Lock:

A snaphance or snaphaunce is a type of lock for firing a gun or is a gun using that mechanism. The name is Dutch in origin but the mechanism can not be attributed to the Netherlands with certainty. It is the mechanical progression of the wheellock firing mechanism, and along with the miquelet lock and doglock are predecessors of the flintlock mechanism. It fires from a flint struck against a striker plate above a steel pan to ignite the priming powder which fires the gun.  Examples of this firearm can be found through Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

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