Loaded for Boar
Although not a medieval gonne, this still falls into the category of pole guns. In Europe, the sport of hunting the wild boar goes back many centuries. It usually was hunted using dogs to locate and hold the attention of the boar, until the hunter having neared his quarry, called off the dogs so as to allow the beast to charge. At the opportune moment, the hunter braced the hilt of the hefty spear as to allow the boar to run upon it, impaling itself. Later, in the 18th and 19th centuries, most hunters substituted a rifle for the spear. A very few however, still liked the traditional spear. The original owner of this weapon could just not quite make up his mind and had his boar spear made with a 60 calibre insurance policy attached.
This very rare piece of firearm curiosa is of all iron construction. It has a percussion box lock with a .60 cal smooth bore barrel. The gun fires once the three sided blade was embedded up to the cross guard. A similiar example may be seen in "Firearms Curiosa", by Lewis Winant, on page 24. The similiarities and lines are so close, that both may have originated from the same maker. Unfortunately, neither are marked.
Overall length of 24 5/8", barrel length 6 5/8", .60 calibre, 6" spear blade, inside diameter for pole 1 3/16", outside socket diameter is 1 1/2". The side plates on the lock have a simple star and dot engraving. This photo and edited text contributed by RON AND SHIRLEY WATSON'S FINE ANTIQUES AND COLLECTIBLES.
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