Rodionov E. A. (2020). Oruzhie Mikele Lorenconi v kollekcii Gatchinskogo dvorca [Weapons by Michele Lorenzoni in the Collection of the Gatchina Palace]. Istoricheskoe oruzhievedenie [Weapons History Journal], № 9, pp. 12 — 34.

Rodionov E. A.

Abstract: The article deals with the weapons made by Michele Lorenzoni, the most famous Florentine gun master of the late 17th- beginning of the 18th centuries, which are curated in the Gatchina palace museum. These are a gorgeous repeating gun № ГДМ-65-IX and an ordinary flintlock gun № ГДМ-707-IX, which lock was made by Lorenzoni.

The repeating flintlock gun № ГДМ-65-IX represents a very rare constructive variant of the Lorenzoni system that is usually called the ‘mixed’ system (sistema misto). The ‘Mixed’ system guns, by contrast with the ones of its simpler and quite widespread variants, were made by Michele Lorenzoni solely. This system presumes powder magazine and bullet magazine to be situated in fore-end and butt-end respectively while on sluing successively the handle fixed on the left side of the stock and placing gun barrel up and down, a specially designed mechanism brought powder charge and bullet to the gun breech, sent priming powder to the pan and cocked the gun. In such a way it took about three-five seconds to reload the weapon. The master’s marks, «LORENZONI», and the place of manufacturing, «FIRENZE», were engraved on the gun’s barrel and lock, while on the side-plate there is a mark «COCCHI», which is probably the one of a master who made the gun mounts. The gun forestock and the mounts are silver, decorated with relief and engraved images of antic mythology heroes, while a scene from Homer’s “Iliad” ornaments its side-plate.  The gun goes back to the end of the 17th century and is one of the most valuable specimens of weapon art of the time.

In case of the gun № ГДМ-707-IX, according to the stamps, its barrel was made by a master from the family of Leoni in a Tuscan town of Pistoia. The gun lock was produced by Michele Lorenzoni, whose name («Lorenzoni») was engraved on the lock-plate. This is the classical flintlock. Its constructive feature, which is distinctive for the Tuscan gun smiths, is an extra cover for the priming powder pan. The cover is fixed on the same screw with the steel. The cover served as a kind of safety – having poured priming powder on the pan and closed it with the cover, one could leave the steel open and even not use half-cock. The chance of occasional shot was shut out while the lock could be rapidly brought into firing position. The lock dates back to the beginning of the 18th century, probably to the 1720-ies. In general, the gun could be referred to as a reliable working piece, designed for an exacting client – its decoration is quite modest and inexpensive, but the barrel and lock were made by one of the most famous masters of Tuscan.

Keywords: Michele Lorenzoni, repeating flintlock gun, flintlock weapon.

Category: Articles

Received: September 9, 2020 Accepted: November 14, 2020 Published: December 15, 2020

License: Copyright © 2020 The Author, The Center of Support and Development of Actual Research in the Field of Historical Weaponry (АНО «Центр поддержки и развития актуальных исследований в области Исторического оружиеведения»). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY license (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.