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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I'm new to the board and wanted to first thank whomever in advance for their time and input. I recently inherited a antique Japanese Tanegashima matchlock rifle from my Grandfather's estate. I'll post a few photos so you can get an idea of what it looks like. I'm very interested in selling this piece but would like a professional's input as to it's value and also the best way/legality to sell a piece like this. If there are any more angles I can sent in a photo, let me know. I have little information on the provenance except that it was a family heirloom. The wooden muzzle loader seems original and intact but I can't guarantee the original part.

Thanks in advance!
 

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It isn't intact, it's missing the serpentine and possibly more of it's internal fire control mechanisms.

If you're in the States there are no federal regulations regarding the sale of an antique firearm.

There will be a signature on the bottom of the barrel, like a sword smith the gunsmith would have signed his work. This signature will tell you the family name of the shop, the area it was located in and a timeframe that the gun was made much like the writing on the tang of a sword that is hidden under it's hilt can help identify and date a Katana.

As far as 16th century, I don't believe it's that old, 18th or 19th century is more likely. The Japanese were using and making matchlocks into the latter half of the 19th century.

P.S. unless you are a skilled antique firearms technician don't try to take it apart to find the signature on the underside of the barrel.
 

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The house/ clan name will have a lot to do in regards to its value.
As Grzzly1 mentioned there are a few parts missing and will have to be replaced in order to bring the matchlock up to a reasonable value.
There are a few places which specialize in this sort of work and that is were I think you should start.

With out the serpentine I have seen similar matchlock musket/firearms sell for as little as $200 . With all the correct parts, the price is usually three times as high and sometimes higher.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Hey guys, thanks for your responses. It really gives me a lot to work with and am in possession of another piece that goes to it, luckily, I believe the serpentine. Being a family heirloom with a story, of course we had to investigate further and your insight is appreciated. Anyone good at deciphering Japanese clan names? ;)

@Grizzley1 @grcsat - respect!
 

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Hey guys, thanks for your responses. It really gives me a lot to work with and am in possession of another piece that goes to it, luckily, I believe the serpentine. Being a family heirloom with a story, of course we had to investigate further and your insight is appreciated. Anyone good at deciphering Japanese clan names? ;)

@Grizzley1 @grcsat - respect!
There is a message board devoted to Japanese arms and they do have a sub forum devoted to tanegashima, they might be able to translate any writing on the barrel and perhaps point you in the right direction on how to go about taking it apart to find it without damaging things and in how to put the serpentine back in place.

http://www.militaria.co.za/nmb/

Good luck with your efforts in discovering what you can about this old matchlock and perhaps come back here and let us know what you discover.
 
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