Original Ottoman Empire Miquelet Lock Ornate Shishana Rifle with Ball Trigger circa 1760-80

Item Description

Original item: One Only. This is a fantastic display piece! It is truly a work of art, as much as it is a weapon. A huge amount of time was put into producing this piece.  In the 17th Century the Ottoman Empire really dominated the Middle East and became a real threat to Europe. In the 1680s they laid siege to Vienna, which certainly attracted the attention of all the Western European monarchies.

By the end of the 19th Century they controlled most of the Middle East and North Africa including Egypt and further west. They were sophisticated and well organised and came to grief only by taking sides with the Central Powers of Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the First World War.

Here we offer a Classic, high quality, Ottoman Miquelet Rifle known as a "SHISHANA", dating probably the mid to late 18th century. It features a 31" smooth bore Damascus barrel, that has a bore around .75 inches in diameter, with a cannon shaped front. The barrel has designs engraved into the top and front, and many are also inlaid with silver.

The barrel is held in place by several barrel wedges, which have hexagonal escutcheons that appear to be made from horn. The barrel is further secured by numerous embossed silver barrel bands. There is also embossed silver cladding on the front 8 inches of the stock, surrounding the cleaning rod channel, and additional cladding behind the barrel and wrapping around to the lock screws. This appears to overlay the embossed brass that is inlaid into the stock around the butt stock.

This Shishana has a fixed rear peep sight set into the end of the barrel, which looks through a small notch sight in the flared barrel front. The Miquelet lock itself is small, one would think almost for a pistol, but this is absolutely correct. It is inlaid in silver, and has a maker mark just below the pan, stamped into the silver.

The fancy wood Stock shows much grain figuring throughout, almost to the level of burl. The butt end is classically "five sided" with inlaid brass decorations. The trigger plate is brass, the trigger itself is a small iron ball and this style of rifle never had a trigger guard.

45" in overall length this really is very well constructed and shows real quality. Ready to display.

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.


Years of Manufacture: circa 1760-80
Caliber: approx .75 inches
Ammunition Type: Lead Ball & Powder
Barrel Length: 31 inches
Overall Length: 45 inches
Action: Miquelet Lock
Feed System: Muzzle-Loaded

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