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The 8th Lord Howard de Walden

Boar Spear with Twin Wheel-Lock Guns

16th Century
This spear-head for hunting boar would have been mounted on a spear shaft and has two curved lugs to prevent the animal reaching beyond the spear-head once impaled. To hasten the animals death and for added protection for the wielder, it also has two wheel-lock pistols incorporated into either face.

The first mechanical method of firing guns was by means of a piece of burning match in a moveable lever. This was extremely inconvenient and inefficient. In the early 16th century a new mechanism, the wheel-lock was invented, perhaps by Leonardo da Vinci. The mechanism depends on a strong ‘V’ spring inside the lock which was compressed by turning the axle of the wheel by means of a spanner. The barrel was loaded in the normal way. Some priming powder was placed on the serrated edge of the wheel. The pan cover was closed. A piece of iron-pyrites in the jaws of the cock was lowered onto the top of the pan cover. When the trigger was pulled the main-spring was released, the wheel began to turn, the pan cover opened, the pyrites fell on the edge of the moving wheel causing a shower of sparks which ignited the priming powder and then the main-charge in the barrel.
Place of Production:
Length of spear-head 640mm
Dean Castle
Accession number:
Digital Number:
EAAM064a; EAAM064b
Creation Date:
1540 - 1560
East Ayrshire Council

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