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    Fine Quality Japanese Matchlock Tanegashima Musket

    Fine Quality Japanese Matchlock Tanegashima Musket

    £3,600 (approx conversion from $4295)

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    Tuckasegee, United States

    +1 828 507 7160

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    About this item

    Very ornate example featuring 41 ½" tapering octagonal barrel of approximately .50 caliber
    with cannon muzzle; engraved and inlaid with gold animal figures and twin bands at the
    breech.  Fixed front blade sight and fixed heavy rear notch sight.  Brass snap matchlock
    mechanism with pivoting brass pan cover; stamped with a maker’s mark forward of the
    brass serpentine cock.  Beautiful figured fruitwood full stock inlaid with numerous brass,
    copper, and silver decorations depicting animals, flowers, and foliage.  Four barrel pins,
    each with a silver cherry blossom cap on both sides.  The underside of the stock features a
    25" long decorative inlaid brass strip; brass trigger and trigger guard.  Overall length 53 ½",
    weighing 8 pounds 12 ounces. In very good plus condition for its age.  These can be difficult
    to date but we imagine it is from the early 19th Century.

    This type of gun was often referred to as Tanegashima, after the island where a Chinese
    junk with Portuguese adventurers on board was driven to anchor by a storm in 1543. The
    local lord purchased two matchlocks from the Portuguese, and then had his swordsmith
    copy the weapon. Making some parts proved problematic, so a Portuguese blacksmith was
    brought over to assist and the guns were completed with much success.

    These were also often called “hinawaju” in Japanese, meaning "matchlock gun".  They were
    used by the samurai class and their foot soldiers (ashigaru). Though slow to load and fire,
    within a few years the introduction of the Tanegashima in battle changed the way war was
    fought in Japan forever.

    Subsequently, Japan returned to being essentially a closed society, essentially blocking
    contact with the outside world. Due to this, the use of the Tanegashima continued until the
    1870s and early 1880s.  With the coming of the MEIJI era in 1868, this saw the beginning of
    the modernization of Japan.  However the old Shogun War Lords, wishing to maintain the
    old ways, rebelled in the Satsuma Rebellion of 1878.

    Read more...

    Additional Information

    Code

    EM1819

    Period

    19th Century

    Nationality

    Japanese

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    Antique Weapon Store

    Tuckasegee, United States

    Collecting since 1970 and in business since 1999, we are passionate about what we sell and do our utmost to please all our customers.