Tschinke (wheel-lock hunting rifle)
When the hunter was ready to fire, he pulled the larger trigger, thereby activating the thinner "hair" trigger. The slightest pressure on this trigger enabled him to fire the weapon without spoiling his aim.
On the butt cap are the engraved letters "CMK," probably those of the owner or the stock decorator.
Full-length "German"-style walnut stock (see Blackmore, #903) of polyhedral section at the butt, & decorated in traditional Silesian manner with inlays of engraved ivory, horn & mother-of-pearl in strips, foliate tendrils, globose swellings, game animals and hunting dogs, zoo- and anthropomorphic designs, and musicians. Horn butt-cap engraved with date, initials & Pan-like creature playing horn. Stock has been modified to accommodate different lock. 2 squarish blocks have been fitted at lockplate terminals to mount the new lock. Lock of enclosed-wheel type with no external components. Edges of plate are beveled & rounded at ends. Raised wheel cover incised with worn wreath-like design. Jaws of cock & external spring, pan-cover & flash guard are also incised with scrolled foliate motifs. There is an elongated, heart-shaped & pierced set-trigger, together with a balustered hair-trigger, & adjusting screw. Trigger-guard is shaped to fingers & fitted with sling loop. Another "U"-shaped loop near front of stock, and was possibly to retain the ramrod in its slot. Barrel with breech plug is half octagonal in section, of once-blued steel, and rounded on the underside, & flared slightly at muzzle. 3 welded "ears" along lower face secure barrel to stock. Sights consist of a brass-alloy foresight & folding-blade iron rearsight with decorative acanthus terminal.
This weapon is typically Silesian in its decoration, but lacks the "Teschinke" external-mechanism wheellock and "dog-leg" shape of the butt comb. The initials could possibly bear some relationship to the Silesian gunmaker Christoph Kloss (worked 1642- +1684); see Støckel references. Their placement however, also supports the possibility that they are the initials of a past owner.
Hayward, John. Catalogue of the Hever Castle Sale, 5 May 1983 (London: Sotheby Parke-Bernet & Co.).
Eugen Heer, "Der Neue Støckel" (Schwäbisch-Hall: Journal Verlag Schwend, 1982), 1:633. Howard L. Blackmore, "Guns and Rifles of the World" (London Chancellor Press, 1965), 106; #903.
Howard L. Blackmore, Guns and Rifles of the World (London: Chancellor Press, 1965), 106; #903.