Pistols from Austria and Germany, 16th century
According to the sources, Hungarian Hussars were equipped with pistols as early as 1571. It certainly gave them an advantage over their adversaries, the armored Ottoman Sipahi cavalrymen who despised firearms.
Let me share with you a double-barrelled, gilded, steel wheel-lock pistol from the 16th century, found in Hungary, possibly it was made in Germany. The second barrel is located beneath the other one, it is also called the “puffer”.
The carved bone decoration depicts a hunting scene in great detail: a rider, a hunter holding a rifle, running dogs, and the killing of a boar. There are birds swimming in a lake and flying in the air, too. You can see on it other very nice ornamental carvings as well.
Total length: 540 mm
Length of barrel: 300 mm
Caliber: 11 mm
(Source: Hagyomány és Múltidéző; it is on display in the National Museum of Budapest)
There are many Hungarian-related historical items from the Kunsthistoriches Museum of Vienna, Austria.
Here you can see the pistol of General Salm; read the description provided:
The dark brown wooden shaft of this pistol is richly decorated with engraved leg inserts in the form of trophies, cornucopia, birds, and a bear hunt and follows in its decoration other work of the Schäfter Hans Paumgartner. The pistol may have belonged to Nikolaus V. Count Salm (1525-1580). This is evidenced by the coat of arms of the Salm family on the piston crown.
The occasion of the order of the pistol may have been the Turkish campaign of Archduke Ferdinand II in 1556. At this time, the count was commander of the imperial fortress Kanizsa in Hungary.
Look at this modern replica of a 16th-century German pistol, made by Németh János:
Below, you can see pistols exhibited in Vienna from the 16th century.
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