What do I have here?

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by Frankford, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. Frankford

    Frankford New Member

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    I was going through my grandfathers attic looking for something, and came across this. I asked him what it was, and he responded that he got in Africa 30 years ago, and had stuck it up in the attic ever since. Ive got a bunch of photos of the entire firearm as well as some detail shots of the inlays as well as the trigger mechanism. Does anyone know what this might be? Thanks!

    Ive posted the rest of the photos I took at the link below, there's a maximum upload of four images here.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/83241143@N08/sets/72157630687732914/

    Attached Files:

  2. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    that Sir is a guenuine arabic rifle

    poor but original condition except for the lock , cant figure if its fake or crude

    add a spring and it may just work !!
  3. 3/2 STA SS

    3/2 STA SS Active Member

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    Looks like a wall hanger....the lock looks like it is a one piece mold...
  4. rhmc24

    rhmc24 Member

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    jack404 is right. It's real and apparently original and un-messed-around with. The lock looks to me it could be cleaned up and oiled and still shoot.

    It is a 'snaphance', an early type of flint lock that came into use in Europe early 1600s and used until mid 1800s particularly in North Africa.
  5. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    the low quality silverwork is beautiful

    the silver of the period was not anywhere near pure and this has helped it to not tarnish away , the engraving its self is classic and too hard to clone nowdays

    i'd like to make a offer myself but the costs to bring that here is more than a reasonable offer i could make

    these things do have some value , i'd get a expert to look at the silver alone ..

    thats the valuable thing , and worth keeping it for ..
  6. Frankford

    Frankford New Member

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    Wow, thats very cool, though it's sad that it has sat in the attic all these years.

    Who do you suggest I bring it to for them to look at?

    I don't think that I'm currently intending on selling it, but to preserve the value should I get it cleaned and restored or leave it as is?
  7. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    leave it for a expert to advise , silver dont react to strong cleaners well the less purer even worse , the impurities may dissolve leaving gaping holes lead and zinc are common impurities of the time and zinc will dissolve in toothpaste !!!

    please see a expert ( general antiques expertise will do pretty well as long as they know metals )
  8. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    The pictures could be better, but I don't think it is a snaphance. It appears to be true flintlock where the pan cover is part of the frizzen. On a snaphance, the pan cover is separate and has to be moved out of the way, either manually or by a separate mechanism before the flint is brought down on the frizzen.

    That is an odd action, though; the pan seems to stick out well beyond what I would expect and there are other odd features. But I am sure it is (or was made as) a firearm; it is not one of the fake "tourist" guns often sold in the North Africa-Middle East area.

    Jim
  9. Hawg

    Hawg Active Member

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    There's a few things that bother me and they may just be camera angle. The face of the frizzen appears to be dished and it looks as if there's a lip on the bottom of it the hammer would catch when it opened. The pan appears to be very small if indeed it has a pan.
  10. rhmc24

    rhmc24 Member

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    Jim K may be right that it is a primitive flint lock. A detailed photo would tell for sure. Here is a snaphance lock on a pistol I once owned, pretty typical of snap locks. You can see the sliding pan cover Jim mentions. On this lock it has a push rod connected with the tumbler that pushes the pan open as the hammer falls. The pan is wider than the usual flintlock, with the large round ending -- typical of all snap locks I have seen and have pix of. As time went on it was common to modify snap locks and combine the frizzen and pan cover, thus making it into a flint lock. The gun at issue may be an example of that, a flint like Jim K says.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2012
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